Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dim Sum

I woke up when the call to prayer for fajr began, so I might as well blog. Yesterday we picked up CodeMonkey's grandmother and went out for dim sum. His grandmother is a very sweet lady, though she only speaks their dialect of Fuzhou, so we couldn't communicate without someone acting as translator.

We went to a dim sum house in Kuala Lumpur. There was an awkward moment where a waitress went to talk to my MIL after we we're seated. I could see them both looking st me; apparently the waitress was concerned that I wouldn't be able to eat with chopsticks. After that was sorted, we ordered and the food arrived. I didn't get to sample all the dishes, but here's what I remember.

-Har gow Mastery of these little shrimp dumplings is the test of any good dim sum chef, and these were excellent. The skin wasn't waterlogged, but had a nice spring to it and stuck nicely to the filling. The shrimp were fully deveined and very briny tasting. All the seafood is so much better than what I usually get in the U.S.

-Siu Mai Lovely pork and shrimp dumplings. I've had siu mai where the filling was rubbery from being steamed incompetently, but these were very tender and juicy. They had a nice fish roe on top.

-Xiao Long Bao My FIL advised us against ordering these, since the skins were thick st this place, but my BIL, husband and I shared an order. They were tasty enough, but badly constructed. None of us were able to get them from the steamer to a spoon without the skin breaking, releasing the soupy goodness everywhere.

-Congee with fish This was rice porridge with scallion, fried fish, and sliced whitefish. The soup broth was much more flavorful than most congee I've had in the States. I adore all things porridge, so it was hard for this to go wrong, but it was fantastic. They brought it to the table right away, so the fried fish was still very crunchy, and finding the pieces was like getting a prize at the bottom of a cereal box. The sliced white fish was very tender; my FIL says dim sum chefs spend years learning to properly cut fish.

-Radish Cake I like radishes, who knew? These was grated radish, pressed into a cake and fried in XO sauce. It was served with sprouts, eggs, scallions and bonito. This was fantastic, though I added the bonito.

-Char Siu/Char Siu Bao This was the one disappointment. The char siu was much too fatty and sugary for me to manage, and the filling in the bao was so sugary it made my teeth hurt.

My BIL tells me visiting malls is the Malaysian national pastime and we went to two today. We visited an IT mall, which was a five story mall that sold nothing but electronics. I have the attention span of a gnat at the best of times, and with so many screens, I didn't even know where to look.

We visited a very fancy shopping mall in KL, the Pavillion. It was very high end; I spotted Gucci and Prada stores along with H+M and a bunch of local stores. My FIL took us to a Taiwanese shaved ice place, where I had a milk tea. All their shaved ice options had grass jelly, of which I'm not a fan. The tea was nice, though. We visited a 5 ringgit shop, which is like an American dollar store. This one was Japanese owned, and I was tempted to buy some of the beautiful Japanese dessert pamphlets, but I decided that recipes in a foreign language are useless to me.

We came home and I fell asleep, missing dinner. I must have not completely adjusted to the time difference.

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