My sister took the day off today and so she and her husband plus my 5-year old went to have lunch at a restaurant on the corner of Sahara and Decatur called Orchid’s Garden. We were going there for some dim sum, a Cantonese specialty of dumplings, steamed dishes and other small bites usually served to accompany tea. Unlike some places that serve dim sum only on weekends, here it’s served everyday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Think of dim sum as Chinese-style tapas mostly served in little bamboo baskets.
Orchid’s Garden had the whole array of traditional dim sum plus a separate a la carte menu. Most of the those at lunch today, including ourselves, were taking turns flagging down the dimsum ladies who wheel around carts with all the different goodies on display. You see something you like, you point to it, she serves it to your table then places a stamp on your bill. Each plate or bamboo basket equals one stamp and every stamp is a set price.
From the steamed selection, we had har gao (shrimp dumplings), siumai (pork and shrimp dumplings), shark’s fin dumplings, Char siu bao (roast pork buns) and the rice noodle roll with shrimps. We also chose a small plate of fried noodles and crispy shrimp wonton. All of this was of course accompanied by jasmine tea. For dessert, we had the dan tarts (the original of which are Portuguese custard tarts adapted from the Macao Cantonese) and buchi which are sesame -encrusted balls of sweet bean paste.