Happy Chinese New Year to everyone! I may be a week late, but I still wanted to give you a re-cap on some amazing dim sum I had for the occasion. It’s been a crazy week here in SoCal Vegan land. This past week, I have moved to a new place and started a new job. But the plus to all this craziness is that I get to see my vegan guy everyday now! And it’s a good thing I keep him around, because he was the one who told me about a special Chinese New Year Dim Sum Brunch at Susan Feniger’s STREET.
We got a big group of friends together and ordered some of each of the menu items. All of them were vegan, except the donuts (but could be made vegan).
The first in our marathon of eats was the Cantonese Style Radish Cakes. These were one of my favorites (as well as my vegan guy’s). Great tasting and lightly crispy on the edges.
The Sesame Fritters were filled with a red bean paste that kind of made these sweet. I think I would have preffered these fritters filled with something more savory, because the outer layer was quite tasty.
The Mushroom Shu Mai were another one of my favorites (and among a lot of people according to STREET’s facebook page). These had a bit of spice in the filling and were on top of a spicy mustard sauce. It definitely had that burst of fire running up your nasal passage, but subsided quickly.
The Vegetable Potstickers were also good. These were filled with yams and were sort of sweet, but went well with the crispy wrapper.
I liked the Jackfruit Bao, but I would have liked a lot more jackfruit. We split this bun into pieces to share and everyone got a lot of dough and a tiny bit of jackfruit. The jackfruit was well seasoned, but I just really wanted more of it.
The Mung Bean Crepes were nice. Splitting this dish was hard, so I didn’t get much crepe part. But the tofu scramble topping was simple, flavorful, and good on its own.
The Fried Rice was (by far) my number one favorite of the savory dishes. I love fried rice dishes and this one had an intense amount of flavor covering the slightly sticky rice. It seemed like the ingredients weren’t too uncommon – I need to learn to make something like this.
And my favorite of the sweet dishes (and, well, of ALL the dishes) was the Youtaio Donuts. According to my vegan guy, these weren’t like the youtaio donuts he’s used to (those are not served sugared). As for me, I’m glad they were served with soymilk and sugar crystals for dipping. The fried dough was amazing – fluffy and not too greasy. The sugar made it seem like I was eating a real fried donut at a state fair. Yum! This is really what I need to learn to make on my own (forget the fried rice!).
Sadly, the Coconut Tapioca Pearls with Shanghai Fruit were the big bummer of the night. In fact, this dish was the only one that was barely eaten by the table (we devoured all the others). I didn’t mind the tapioca texture – which a lot of the people at our table were against- it was just that the flavor was not to my liking. It must have been the Shanghai fruit. Not sure what that is, but I guess I don’t like it in my tapioca.
The Rice Batter Pancake was another one of the less-liked dishes at our table. To me, the pancake had a funny flavor – kind of like there was too much leavening. The sweet black sesame and almond syrups were delish, though. I’d like to order some of that to dip more donuts in.
I hope they do this again – and before the next Chinese New Year! They need to make it a monthly event, right? I say let’s all badger them until they do it. Ready? Go.