Let's celebrate 7 years of Cheap Eats events by enjoying Dim Sum at at Asian Jewels in Flushing in Queens on Sunday January 20th starting at 11:30am.
PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE -- http://www.tunseng.com/ - WE WILL CARPOOL FOR THOSE WHO WOULD PREFER NOT TO DRIVE TO QUEENS. Please see carpool instructions below...
Literally meaning "to touch your heart," dim sum consists of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes and other goodies. They are similar to hors d'oeuvres. Dim sum entertains the taste buds with a sequence of flavors and textures that might include savory, sweet, rich, spicy, soft, crunchy and dense. These little dishes are served at lunch, or any time an afternoon snack and a relaxing pot of tea are required. They are not, traditionally, offered in the evening.
Originally a Cantonese custom, dim sum is inextricably linked to the Chinese tradition of "yum cha" or drinking tea. Teahouses sprung up to accommodate weary travelers journeying along the famous Silk Road. Rural farmers, exhausted after long hours working in the fields, would also head to the local teahouse for an afternoon of tea and relaxing conversation.
Many of the dishes are either steamed, sauteed, or deep-fried. Among the former, you'll find everything from steamed pork spareribs and char siu bao - steamed buns stuffed with delicious roast pork - to har gao, those wonderful shrimp dumplings with the translucent skin. Deep-fried treats include mini spring rolls and Wu Gok, a type of taro turnover. Not to mention whatever other culinary creations the chef may come up with. Steamed prawn-stuffed dumplings, open pork dumplings, lubricious floppy stuffed pancakes, dumplings with black bean paste, chicken and sticky rice in a package of scented lotus leaves, fried shrimp, garlicky sauteed baby bock choy with black mushroom, fried chicken feet with black bean sauce - these are only a few of the dim sum possibilities.
At one dim sum lunch we were treated to delicious shrimp dumplings wrapped in seaweed and topped with a dollop of salmon caviar.
Finally, there's dessert. Custard tarts are a must; you may also have a choice between mango or almond pudding. All of the above are washed down with copious amounts of green tea.
Instead of ordering from a menu, you choose from an assortment of dishes that servers push around on carts. While it may not be evident in the hustle and bustle of the carts rolling by, there is a certain order to how dim sum is served: lighter, steamed dishes come first, followed by exotic items such as chicken's feet, then deep-fried dishes, and finally dessert. An Asian friend told me that beginning dim sum with heavier deep-fried food is a little like serving rice for dinner as the first course.
So.. the way we're going to work this is that we'll have two round tables.. each of which has a lazy susan in the middle.. we'll order a bunch of food for the table (each table will have its own bill and will collaboratively order what they want) and then we'll SPLIT THE BILL EVENLY AMONG FOLKS AT EACH TABLE. I don't usually do this, but this is the only way to keep track.. unless you read chinese script!! AGAIN -- PLEASE BRING CASH.. AND BE PREPARED TO SPLIT THE BILL..
If you have an issue with this, then this is not the event for you.. but please come, it will be a fun and enlightening experience for those who haven't had Dim Sum before, and a wonderful and delicious experience for those who have..
here are a few comments from prior diners: "Asian Jewels is your typical Cantonese-style banquet hall, serving family style Chinese food regularly, dim sum on the weekends, and banquet-style for special occasions.
Dim sum: Asian Jewels' dim sum is probably the best I've had in Flushing. They have all the dim sum standards and then some: siu mai, har gow, steamed dumplings, steamed buns, turnip cake, spare ribs, chicken feet, various puffy fried seafoods, and the list goes on and on. The food is nearly always fresh because the restaurant is huge and packed for dim sum on the weekends so the turnaround is quick."
And another writes: "One of the best dim sum places in all of Flushing, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Offering the more unusual and delicious dim sum including one with banana, sweet bean paste and white custard wrapped in rice and topped off with coconut - YUM! Helpful, friendly staff and weekday specials of ONLY $2 per dim sum item (not the most expensive one though)."
Dim sum prices range from $2.50 to $5 per portion..you must be aware of how many portions you order, so expect to pay at least $20 as part of the split..
WE WILL CARPOOL -- SO FOR THOSE WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT DRIVING TO QUEENS - YOU CAN BE A PASSENGER!! IT IS EASY TO GET TO AND I WILL LEAD A CARAVAN OF CARS DOWN THERE.. SHOULD BE ABOUT 30 MINS OR LESS FROM THE CROSS COUNTY MALL.
WE WILL MEET AT 11AM AT THE CROSS COUNTY MALL NEAR SEARS TO CARPOOL. PLEASE UPDATE YOUR RSVP AS TO WHETHER YOU WILL MEET US THERE, OR DRIVE DOWN, OR CARPOOL.
This location change will be totally worth it --check out their website for more information: http://www.tunseng.com/
If you have questions, please email me!!