This morning we took the F to Chinatown and walked to a place called The Golden Unicorn. Our mission : eat dim sum. We left with a gaggle of 8 and arrived around 10:45, most of us very hungry (and some of us a little cranky). We were instructed to go to the third floor. The elevator opened onto a big dining room draped in tacky pink satin. The tables were all full, and the cart handlers were slowly pushing their carts of food, winding their way past tables and stopping to indicate what food they had. We sat near the kitchen, and I was not prepared for the bombardment that was about to take place. For those of you who have never been to dim sum, let me explain:
Each table gets a card. Every time a cart person comes by, you decide whether you want anything on the cart. If you do, they stamp it on your card. Hardly anyone spoke English, so I have no idea what ate, for the most part. I know it was good, and much of it was fried. If you miss a cart with what you want, it’ll come by later.
From what I recall, there were dumplings of pork, shrimp, tarot cake and something with sweet potatoes. Balls of taro fried and coated in tarot crisps. Spring rolls. Tea. Sweet stuff : mini egg custard things and coconut custard. Some balls of veggie and shrimp wrapped in a light rice shell. Everything felt like it was fast paced. You eat some food, you survey the table, you mime to the cart person yesses and nos. It felt like we ate in only fifteen minutes, but it must have been more. By the end of it, our table was a disaster. Spilled sauces and tea spotted the once pristine table cloth.
It was tasty as heck. And pretty entertaining, too (especially when my very tall uncle stalked the cart folks in search of a mysterious bean curd roll that didn’t show up until the end of the meal. He definitely was about three feet taller than all the people he was trailing).