Saturday, July 31, 2010

dim sum from a truck

There is no reasonable explanation for why I've been a little obsessed with the Dim Sum Truck. I love dim sum, but I don't live in a dim sum wasteland. There's a place not too far from where I live that I can get pretty good dim sum (and I go on a periodic basis), and within about a 10 minute drive, I can get to dozens of places where I can get good dim sum and even places that have really great specialty dim sum dishes. I am not dim sum deprived.

Several months ago, I learned of the Dim Sum Truck from their Twitter feed, and I started following them. I looked at their website and saw pictures of the things they served, and it mostly looked like good, normal dim sum, with a few new things as well. But they were never near where I was. In the past few weeks, they've been parked for lunch at various times at places by where I work - but I lamented that they were there on Saturdays, so not so much convenient for me. Because, you know, there's nowhere for me to go on a Saturday to get dim sum. Right.

And then, at the beginning of this week, I saw their new schedule. And I saw that one day this week, they were going to be THISCLOSE to work. I had to go right? Because, while there are plenty of places for me to get dim sum by home, there's really nowhere for me to get dim sum by work. So if dim sum is going to make itself available to me just a short drive away, then I'm obliged to go check it out, right? (Come on, go with me on this.)

OK, so lunchtime rolled around, and I got in my car to drive to where they said they'd be. And I didn't see them. I drove past, turned around, and drove back the same way I came. Ahhh, and then I spied them - they were on a side street. I made my way to them but had a bit of trouble finding parking because they were on a residential neighborhood with restricted parking. I get why that's good for the people who live there but it's a pain in the ass for anyone trying to go to any place nearby. I finally found a little space not too far away, parked the car, and then made my way to the truck.

Found the Dim Sum Truck!

They offer more items than are listed on their website. Either they just haven't gotten around to updating their website with all of their offerings or they do a lot more specialty/available-when-we-can items so they can't keep their website current. I'll admit that when I went to look at the website, I was a bit disappointed at how sparse their offerings were. Not so much the case when you actually get to the truck though. They had a small listed menu and then a bunch of other items individually displayed with a picture of the item. It took me a while to look everything over and figure out what I wanted. In the end, I decided to try the lotus leaf sticky rice, chicken bun, the specialty dumpling of scallop and crab and the duck taco.

They asked if I wanted it for here or to go, and I said to go would be easier, so my order was given to me in a covered to go container. They had disposable wooden chopsticks and napkins and sauces that you could get as well. I just got the chopsticks and napkins since I was going to eat in my car.

Clockwise from top left - chicken buns, scallop and crab dumplings, lotus leaf sticky rice and duck taco. (Please excuse the bluish coloring - that's a function of my camera phone and not the food itself.)

The chicken buns were pretty good, with chicken, mushrooms and ginger inside.

The scallop and crab dumplings were de-licious. They were made with real crab, not that k-rab stuff. Seriously yummy. I'd definitely recommend it, and I'm sure to have it again.

Inside the scallop and crab dumpling.

I unwrapped the lotus leaf and used the chopsticks to separate the insides since the rice was mostly on top. It had a good mixture of ingredients, usually chicken and Chinese sausage and stuff. The flavor was really good and nice texture too. Very tasty - *almost* as good as my mom makes. :)

Inside lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice.

Here's a link to the picture on the site that shows the contents better.

The best discovery, though, was the duck taco. I had seen their tweets about it, and it had seemed a bit odd to me. I mean, come on, it's a dim sum truck, and they have tacos? Ummm, ok. I hadn't really planned on ordering it, but when I got there and saw the picture, I figured why not. Totally unconventional, but this thing was seriously tasty. It had some shredded vegetables (can't remember what exactly they were) and bits of roasted duck meat inside, topped with duck skin. There was already a sauce in it, but there's extra sauce that comes with it. I can't really describe it to you, but if you like Chinese roasted duck, I seriously recommend that you try this.

The total for my lunch came to around $12. It was a bit more expensive than regular dim sum, but most of the truck food is pretty much like that, given operating charges for them and convenience to their customers, so that's ok. It was really worth it though.

The most unfortunate aspect of my finally trying the Dim Sum Truck is that it's really just expanded my obsession with them, me being all dim sum deprived and all.