Friday, December 2, 2011

Dim Sum /// Royal China Restaurant

A few weeks ago friends took us out to a dim sum restaurant off Buford Highway, called Royal China.

This was our first dim sum experience in Atlanta and we were pleasantly surprised.  For those unfamiliar with the style of food, dim sum consists of small dishes prepared in a Cantonese style.  It originates from Southern China and is typically eaten during the day with lots of tea.  The small dishes are usually pretty heavy, but man are they good.

The dining hall with covered seats is, for me, as key to the dim sum experience as the ladies pushing carts of food.  These women push carts laden with different items through the aisles, stopping at each table to see if the diners are interested.  The items are then marked off on a receipt to be tallied at the end of the meal.

We started with duck with hoisin sauce and crispy skin.  I'm sorry to say I have no idea what this dish is called; I'd never had anything like it before.   The skin was as crisp and thick as a cracker, with a toasted-rice flavor (possibly a coating?).  Anyway, delicious.

Lo mai gai, or lotus leaf rice, consists of stick rice wrapped around a meat or egg (or both) filling, all packaged and steamed within a lotus leaf for color and flavor. 

Taro dumplings, lightly sweet and crisp-fried on the outside.

Another new dish for me; shrimp wrapped in bacon, coated and fried, with a mayonnaise dipping sauce.

Daikon radish cakes with dried shrimp and sausage! a personal favorite

chee cheong fun, or shrimp wrapped in a rice dumpling, and green vegetables.

the fried taro balls again.

Here's the cart containing the daikon cakes, which the woman fried to order.

She also fried these shrimp dumplings for us.  Chinese restaurants are the best for taking photos.  I'll admit sometimes I'm shy about busting out the camera, but at Royal China the woman frying daikon cakes was an enthusiastic camera assistant, pointing out dishes to photograph and smiling the whole time.

Congee, or rice porridge.

Barbecued pork bun.

There were no misses at this meal; everything was delicious.  There's not much for vegetarians at a dim sum restaurant.  As you can see, even the shrimp dishes had plenty of pork!  

I was disappointed that the meal didn't include phoenix feet, aka fried chicken feet.  We saw other tables eating it, but I guess they ran out by the time they got to us in the third row!  I left satisfied however, and content in the knowledge that we'll return and get those chicken feet next time.

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