February 4th, 2013
My friend Oli has been visiting from Spain, so once again we went out for Dim Sum. Dim sum originates from the Canton region of China and is normally served at lunchtime. For a change we went to the Dim Sum Palace, instead of the usual New World. Back in the 80’s we visited both establishments on a regular basis, but somehow, over the last 25 years we seem to have forgotten the Dim Sum Palace. So, for the sake of food blogging, we went back in time and were pleasantly surprised.
The Dim Sum Palace has two entrances, one on Wardour Street and the other tucked away in Rupert Street. I vaguely remembered that one could jump the Saturday queue by going in the back door (Rupert Street) and sure enough, we got a table almost straight away. Another plus is that fact that like New World, Dim Sum Palace has girls walking round with authentic, heated, dim sum trolleys – something that picture menus just can’t provide. A helpful girl showing you what the little steam baskets contain, with extra description, is the dog’s bollocks! We really lucked out and got the most charming and helpful waitress in China Town ever – she volunteered to go off and get us extra things several times.
We started off with fish balls – usually lightly fried and then steamed, these went very well with the sticky chilli sauce that was present on all tables. They are probably made with fish paste, green onions, soy sauce and corn starch.
Satay squid – slightly rubbery (really) squid in a satay sauce. These had a hot peanut flavour.
Scallop dumplings – delicious scallops steamed in a translucent pasta. These remind me of the Coco de Mer.
Har Gow – steamed prawns wrapped in a translucent dough. These almost crunchy prawns were excellent with the sticky chilli sauce.
Turnip paste – also known as turnip cakes, these are actually made with daikon, an oriental radish, mixed with pork and prawns.
Turnip/radish cakes are cooked on trolleys with hot griddles,
which adds to the real dim sum experience.
We finished with regular Shui Mai – pork and shrimp dumplings with shiitake mushrooms, onion and ginger. These are normally served as a four, but one had disappeared before I’d even taken the lens cap off the camera!
I’d have to say that currently Dim Sum Palace is serving slightly better dim sum than New World. I’d go back again just for the fantastic service. New World, however, wins on décor.
Dim Sum Palace is at: 17 Wardour Street W1D 6PJ
Dim sum served all day 11am – midnight.
Feeling suitably restored, I set out on my bicycle for Golders Green and a roast chicken supper.