During the Chinese New Year celebration, I had a delightful lunch with Robyn at Dim Sum Dynasty in beautiful, downtown, scenic Ridgewood, New Jersey. It was a blustery, cold winter day, with snow still underfoot, but the sun shining brightly.
It was my first time enjoying dim sum, so I was very happy to have such an experienced guide. If you're not familiar with dim sum, here's how it works: the waitstaff rolls carts filled with a variety of fried, steamed, baked, and otherwise cooked items on small plates of one to three pieces. The staff stop the carts (one at a time) in front of your table, telling you what they have, until you either give in and take some or say you'll pass. Until the next cart comes and you do the same.
I wasn't sure what I'd be eating after this stop, or if it was the only stop, so I just chose a few crunchy, fried bits. This is a deep-fried crab and shrimp puff that was one of the best things I've ever tasted. It came on a dish of three, which I shared with Robyn (who was smart enough to get a steamed shrimp and spinach dumpling to offset all the fried goodies.
The other outstanding item was this shredded taro and shrimp snack. Like the puff, it was deep-fried and crunchy, with a sweet, fresh shrimp filling. After eating these, I vowed to visit that place with Robyn again.
We also had a few unremarkable spring rolls and Robyn's steamed dumplings.
While everything tasted fantastic, unfortunately, I was terribly sick with heartburn all night. It happens to me when I eat fried food not made at home. Maybe it's the choice of oil? I'm not sure, but John made me promise to lay off the fried food since it made me feel so awful. Too bad, it tasted fantastic.
Oh well. Robyn, next time, I'm sticking to the steamed bits of Chinese loveliness.
By the way, if you haven't had the opportunity to meet and dine with Robyn, she's a wonderful companion with a sunny disposition. Her blog is a riot with the most gorgeous photos, too!