(Owner has changed, December 2013 and have not been able to re-visit) When most people think of Chinese food, their opinions can really cover a WIDE range of options. But in most parts of the USA, Cantonese food is typically what they think of. The many immigrants from the Guangdong province helped establish their food in this country as the defacto standard. Given its location in China, Cantonese food is known for its beef, pork, and seafood in stir-fry's and steamed dishes. So where to go for good Cantonese food in the Triangle? Dim Sum House in Morrisville! Oddly, it's easy to find great Szechuan food in the Triangle but more of a challenge to find Cantonese. And as a bonus not only can you get great Cantonese food here, but Dim Sum House also specializes in its dim sum namesake, serving small Chinese plates all week long.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with dim sum, the tradition originated from eating savory plates during visits to the local teahouse. If you're not familiar with dim sum, check out my earlier dim sum post or the slide show above. Just think Asian small plates or appetizers in sweet and savory form. While there's a large variety and types of dim sum, you'll learn over time what you like and don't like, the names may be hard for you to remember. And traditionally, dim sum is only done on the weekends but not here at Dim Sum House, you've got all week to try it out. Sound confusing? Well don't worry because you're here to eat so let's get going!
Located off of Aviation Boulevard, Dim Sum House is tucked away behind Babymoon Cafe and about a half mile past Hooters (I know, you want wings but wait'll next week)! Inside the space is basic and decorated very plainly. Dim sum is served all the time, choose off the menu during weekdays. But on the weekends, Dim Sum House has traditional rolling cart service where you point at your favorite dishes brought table-side. You'll probably have a better and fresher selection on the weekend due to increased traffic. If you have any questions, consult the menu or ask your server. But the best strategy is to just keep an open mind with the selections and give everything a try.
Most dishes are shrimp or pork based and come either fried or steamed. But trust me, it's all good! Some favorites include the shao mai steamed pork dumplings and the white, steamed shrimp dumplings (har gow). You'll need some chopstick skills to grab one of these slippery treats so time to practice! And note, you'll be sharing plates so if you're concerned about hygiene, grab the dumpling with the back end of your chopsticks, then flip them around when you're eating. And while dim sum is more about the savory than the sweet, don't miss out on the Chinese egg custard tarts or fried sesame balls (filled with sweet bean paste) to end your meal!
But in addition to the delicious dim sum here, the Cantonese dinner menu at Dim Sum House is fantastic. They do a great job with my childhood favorites. Try their salt and pepper pork chops, a simple but amazingly delicious treat. Take some thin-cut pork chops, fried in a crunchy coating and served with sauteed minced garlic, yum! And their pan-fried seafood noodles is a pile of crunchy noodles covered in a white, savory sauce, shrimp and calamari. Some Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce provides a nice counterpoint to these rich dishes by adding some dark greens to your meal. I'm also dying to try their stir-fried lobster which is a another classic (and pricey) dish for Cantonese cuisine.
Service at Dim Sum House is efficient and perfunctory, you'll also get served family style (when the dish is ready) cause they expect you to share. Chinese food can be amazingly diverse given the size of the country but if you're going to first try authentic Chinese, Cantonese food is a great start. It's not too spicy and a lot of Chinese-American dishes are spin-offs from Cantonese cuisine. And eating at Dim Sum House gives you the option to go small plates or do their full-size entree. But no matter which way you dine, I'm pretty sure Dim Sum House will cure your Chinese food cravings, bon appetit!
Dim Sum House
100 Jerusalem Dr # 104
Morrisville, NC 27560