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Report: Last North Offering in the Dim Sum War

Pssst | Apr 28, 200303:55 PM

Hong Kong Flower Lounge

Well, yesterday’s Dim Sum Battle was a resounding success. Nineteen of us met at 10:30 at Hong Kong Flower Lounge (51 Millbrae Avenue) and enjoyed seventeen dishes for $20 over the course of the next two+ hours. We also raised $100 for Chowhound.

We were seated on the main floor, tucked in by the window so we were a little more isolated from the chaos that is Hong Kong Flower Lounge. The service was quite good considering that we were such a large, crazy group. At first, we just picked from the offerings that came by on trays. Then we realized that we needed to get serious so we special ordered the compulsories for the competition. After hearing tales of “my family does dim sum as a leisurely two hour snack & bonding fest”, I tried to keep the pace of the meal slow so people would have to visit and “stop and smell the dim sum”. I think it was successful and even though spacing between items at the end were further apart, I for one, needed the digestion time.

I am on the North Team so I’m sure SOME people will say I’m biased but I think that yesterday’s meal was the best dim sum I have eaten in the past year. And that’s saying something ‘cause being on the severely handicapped North Team (white people with little prior dim sum knowledge), I have eaten more dim sum in the last year than all of my family members (40+) have in their entire lives.

And you know what’s really exciting? Since the South’s last offering is on May 17th, I could still have my Best Ever Dim Sum Meal still ahead of me!

Here's what we ate yesterday:

Shrimp in Rice Noodle Roll – good but not outstanding. Noodle was tender without being gummy

Har-Gar (Shrimp Dumplings) – delicate, translucent wrapper sweet, plump shrimp (big chunks not puree) Some people thought the wrapper was too delicate.

Siu Mai (Shrimp and Pork Dumpling) – quite nice, came topped with roe. It was a little inconsistent – some people had too much shrimp while others had little to no shrimp. A couple of people thought the pork was too dry.

Steamed Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce – first serving was disappointing not cooked enough but the second serving was much, much better. Derek was sad to have to take away points for inconsistency

Steamed Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce – good flavor but needed additional cooking time to reach true tenderness

Deep Fried Taro & Meat Dumpling – smaller in size usual with excellent filling to taro ratio

Pan Fried Turnip Cake – our table agreed that this item was a “best in class”. There was outside was nicely caramelized, and there was just enough meat chunks in the cake to complement the turnip without overwhelming it.

Pan Fried Rice Noodle Roll with XO chili sauce - this was one of their specialty dishes that the North Team loves. The crispiness of the pan fried exterior, the tenderness of the soft rice noodle interior dredged through excellent house made XO sauce. Yummy!

Duck – this is one of their specialty dishes. It is Superb. The crispy skin was excellent. The orange sauce was nice.

Pan Fried Chives Dumpling – this was not as popular as some of the other dishes. I’m not sure why ‘cause I liked mine.

Crispy Tofu Skin – I loved this dish. The exterior was nice and crispy without being too oily and had a good filling to wrapper ratio.

Braised Tofu Skin – similar to the crispy tofu skin - filling wrapped in tofu skin, this dish came braised in a lovely sauce.

Soft Tofu served with syrup – This was the first dessert item to arrive and was a good palate cleanser. The tofu was soft and mild and was complimented nicely by the slightly sweet ginger flavored syrup. A few people felt the tofu to syrup ratio was off and wished for more syrup.

Sweet Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Black Sesame Paste – this dessert item arrived as many at our table were fading and beginning to get distressed over the idea that we still have multiple desserts still on order. But after one bite of this tasty sweet, several people’s appetites were revived and “if all the desserts are this nice, I think I can make it” was the quote.

Egg Custard Tart – was a bit controversial. Some people considered it best in class with its lovely pastry crust (as opposed to the less favored cookie style crust) and its nice, true eggy custard. But other people felt that the too much crust to custard ratio disqualified it as the best example. Also, several people began waxing eloquent about an egg custard tart in Chinatown that is the pinnacle of egg-custard-tart-dom. I hope Yimster plans to take people to this particular outlet on his Chinatown walk on May 10th!!

Coconut & Peanut Rolls – This was served room temperature. It had a nice crunch from the coconut and peanuts. The coconut was more ground than flaked. Very enjoyable.

Egg Puff - light, puffy, and greaseless ball of fried air and dough. This was a perfect ending to this delicious meal.

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