Happy Mothers’ Day from Las Vegas. I used a personal day so I can be with my mama today. I popped popcorn last night and my parents and I watched SNL together. This morning I made strawberry/blueberry buckwheat pancakes for breakfast. Mama used to tell stories of her father Tatang Maël making popcorn, making pancakes in the afternoon for snack, picking pineapple out of the yard for breakfast, and stealing chunks of Cougar Gold cheese that Tatang bought at the Commissary.
I’m grading papers and planning classes all this weekend, but I’m taking a little break to blog. My boy BM texted me this morning for dim sum recommendations in Seattle, which… I haven’t lived in Seattle for two years! But of course I have a list. I don’t know if these places are still there, but they are still fresh in my mind.
Dim sum for one/I’m in a hurry
- Dim Sum King Order at the counter. Get it to go if you want.
- Dim Sum House Up on Beacon Ave. This is the greasy spoon for dim sum.
- Duk Li Dim Sum Probably the best variety of the Dim Sum For One category.
Old School Dim Sum
- Harbor City This has been the it-place for a while now; a shoebox shaped, mildly noisy, wait-for-30-min during Sunday Brunch kind of place. This is where I would take Chinese people.
- Jade Garden This was once the it-place, maybe ten years ago. Still good, but not the same spectacular food it once was back in the day. There is often still a wait, and it’s got a lot of non-Chinese buzz.
- Joyale Seafood This place has had two other names, but they were all good. There has been ownership drama, I think; an ugly divorce, etc. The food is good, service is good; free parking is nice, usually no wait time. This is a wedding banquet hall. The only thing I don’t like so much about it is the lack of natural light; otherwise it’s good.
- Honeycourt Maybe twenty years ago, this was the it-place. Still popular among old people and Filipinos of all ages. A student messaged me recently to tell me they had renovated. When I still lived in Seattle, the buzz was that Honeycourt was a place for old people, which means absolutely nothing to me.
- Ocean Star This is the old Sun Ya, which was a way old school place that I didn’t like. A friend of mine, the Transit Tzar, asked me to meet him there a couple years ago, and I was blown away by how good it was. Also, free parking (tight, limited) and natural light. This place is the new hotness to me.
- New Hong Kong Way down in Rainier Beach. Nothing to sneeze at; jammed with Chinese Americans. Parking is a piece of cake.
- Regent Bakery and Café This place has high quality food and is on the fancy end of the dim sum spectrum. Service was a little weird the times I went there, in that the servers were not Asian and were not really acquainted with the way that Asian people eat. For example, they weren’t very quick on the draw when it came to a big pot of rice and a whole bunch of rice bowls for everybody at the table. But my complaints about this place are cultural, not food-based.
- House of Hong Ok, look; I don’t go here anymore. It’s not that it’s bad; in fact, it’s nice inside, and it’s the place where a lot of us non-Chinese people first learned about dim sum. You will see the whole ethnic spectrum of Seattle in the dining room, and it feels good. This used to be my go-to place, until I started realizing I was seeing the same shrimp ball cooked 15 different ways, and I kept falling for it. I didn’t mind, until I started going to other places and seeing other things; then I never wanted to go back to HOH. Still, I’m thankful for all the meals there.
If I wanted to impress my Chinese friends, I’d go to Harbor City. Left to my own devices, I’d be at Ocean Star. My sister and I often end up at Joyale because of parking. 慢吃吧。