Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars

Washington DC & Baltimore Dim Sum

Oriental East - Dim Sum Review

Share:

Restaurants & Bars

Oriental East - Dim Sum Review

JT | Jul 22, 2002 07:24 AM

I just had dim sum with my friend and her family at Oriental East this past Sunday. It was cheap, but not that special, flavor-wise.

Oriental East is at East-West Highway & Colesville Road, in the shopping center with a Giant. It's very small, at least in comparison to the VA places. It's about 1/4 the size of Fortune and 1/3 the size of Maxim Palace. As a result, there's a healthy wait to get seated. Admittedly, I was with a party of 7, which is going to be tough. We got there at noon, maybe a little before, and waited about an hour for a table. Smaller parties had smaller waits, but the place just isn't that big, so the turnover is lower.

The noticable thing was the enormous size of the portions. Other places give you 2 taro dumplings. This place gives you three, and the cart lady cuts them in half with a scissors because they're so big. Most of the cart ladies have scissors because of the size of the dim sum. The shumai, for instance, were about 1.5 times the size of any other shumai I've seen. This brings the price down, although I could see it being a disadvantage if there were just two of you.

The food wasn't particularly exceptional. Not bad, just nothing to write home about [although I seem to have written a fair amount already]. I thought the taro dumpling had an unusually tasty filling, and the shumai seemed unusually bland, or maybe just cold. They don't have heated steam carts, just regular carts. I think they rely on the small size of the place and high demand for the food to keep things warm. The sesame balls and egg custard were burn-your-mouth hot and required careful eating. The congee came with 2 kinds of meat, preserved egg, and that long fried dough [yo tiao?]. Chinese broccoli is the only vegetable available off the carts, but as we were paying, the people at the next table got a plate of what looked like snow pea shoots from a waiter.

-JT

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound