New York: Chinatown 

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December 11, 2015 by Soo Ee

I am Chinese people so when I’m in C town, I eat dim sum. Good thing I got a recommendation which to try. I suppose you can call this place authentic, with the push carts and Cantonese speaking serving staff. 

After an hour this morning power snatching and clean squatting (amid sore butt cheeks from previous days of crossfit since arriving in NYC 4 days ago) I went in search of Jing fong. 

They opened at 10am. A lady wondered aloud why the late operation time and ain’t the yum cha places suppose to open early for breakfast crowd? Another lady answered that the hours were meant for the retiree crowd. I connected that to mean when you retire you don’t need to wake up so early to join the rat race, so you can come yum cha after you’re done with Taiji or whatever retirees do, at the park. 

  
 

There were a couple of people, like me without company, at the table. If retiring is like this, give it to me! I would gladly Taiji/yoga and read a book while I eat dim sum. 

Since I was on my own, my strategy was to take only one of each item on a plate though I finished threes of the charsiew shu and salted egg york buns. That strategy was devised to maximise my stomach space and not overload on calories, while I get to taste all that’s I’ve come here for. 

Note to self: my Cantonese is illegal. Every serving staff was polite and tried to hide that look you give someone when you want them to stop speaking in a language they were clearly struggling with but still wanted to show they can do so without trouble. I told the head waiter I wanted a pot of chrysanthemum without sugar. Guess what it came with – Sugar. A lady came by my table with a pushcart. I asked her what she had there. The only words I understood were the sight words. I just pointed to a plate of white obviously handmade balls of something. They seem legit. 

The Sesame balls were ok. I’d give it 6/10 more if they were fresh and warm out of the pan. The Char Siew Shus were very buttery and has soft crusts. Not warm too. Century egg porridge had too few strands of lean meat and century egg and too much MSG.  

Up next, The ‘gauS’. Chives in crab meat. Chives and chicken cubes. Prawn (har) gau. 

I kept telling myself not to compare the food here to Singapore’s one Michelin star dim sum place. 

Salted york bun. Custard bun. Salted custard were as almost as good as the ones at victor’s kitchen. Victor’s win by a small margin. Victor’s buns were always hot and steamy. The custard bun I had was weird. White sticky stuff inside which felt like glue. 

I asked the pushcart lady what buns were available. She shouted at least five types of bun names but I could only catch the words ‘salted york’ and ‘char siew’. I could be more adventurous and ordered all of them baos. But then, the calories already on my table bothered me. Not having someone to share them was heartbreaking in the face of good food. No wasting. 

      

    
   
 

And I didn’t see the snail on the menu beforehand. Damn. I haven’t had snails for appetisers in a Chinese restaurant before. I would so go for that dish. 

 Anyway, I wasn’t going to cancel all my plans for tomorrow morning and head here at 10am for round two. I have to say it again, my taste buds are spoiled rotten by the likes of Victor’s kitchen, Red Star, Swee Choon and our Michelin star dim sum place in singapore – Tim How Wan. 

P.S. Thanks E Miu (friend I met at crossfit 212 in the morning) for the recommendation! 

The workout at Crossfit 212 which made my butt cheeks more sore https://twitter.com/soo_is_here/status/675157044031299587 

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