Monday, March 30, 2009
Musings on Dim Sum Go-Go
Restaurant Name: Dim Sum Go-Go
Location: 5 East Broadway, New York City
To offer full disclosure upfront, I must begin by saying that I am at once attracted to and repelled by dim sum. The concept of morsels, fresh and bursting with unfamiliar flavors (here unexpectedly briny, there unexpectedly sweet), encased in wrappings that both conceal and beckon is something simultaneously irresistible and terrifying. What lies inside: the freshest shrimp or the scariest chicken feet?
And then, of course, there is the cart. That mobile concession stand of mysterious foods, lurking in their wrappings, adamantly refusing to reveal themselves in any language. Eat me and find out, they declare.
In the spirit of pushing my culinary boundaries, I first visited Dim Sum Go-Go with a group of knowledgeable diners and allowed them to order for me. Chicken feet enrobed in savory sauce, tripe quivering in the bowl with glistening sauce caught in its frills, shark fin lurking in innocuous-looking wrappers - all were presented to me without explanation or comment. I ate, nervously, and left unsure if I had enjoyed the experience or not.
Several months later, I returned to Dim Sum Go-Go and ordered all the things I really wanted: crisp, plump, shrimp dumplings, steamed pork buns the consistency of a perfect souffle (or maybe whipped marshmallow creme), fat, sticky rice noodles draped around thin slices of beef and swimming in a dark sweet-salty sauce. Everything was fresh, bright, and just right.
At Dim Sum Go-Go there are no carts. Instead you make selections off of a card of choices. They will bring you as little or as much as want in endless courses until you have sat at a sunny table by the window for three hours without even realizing it. Everything comes out fresh and hot, nothing languishes on a cart touring the room unwanted. And then...the best part of all: your bill arrives and the three hour feast tops out at around $15 a person.
To end on a practical note: Dim Sum Go-Go gets pretty crowded around noon or 1pm on the weekends. Reservations are, however, accepted - so call ahead.