When it comes to authentic Chinese food in the Triangle, your choices are few and far between. And when it comes to Cantonese eats and dim sum, it gets even harder! If you’re a fan of these Chinese small plates for brunch, you know that it’s a special treat. Steamed and fried goodies served lickety split off of carts, typically on the weekend. In the area, we’ve had some restaurants try it from time to time but the most consistent options for dim sum have been the Hong Kong out in Durham and Dim Sum House in Morrisville. When it first opened up, Dim Sum House did a great job with its food, a bit lower for service. Changes in ownership and the chefs left me scratching my head at the decline in food quality over the years. But eventually I got curious and figured it was time to see where Dim Sum House was at!
I slide in for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon and the restaurant is pretty quiet. Dim Sum House hasn’t changed much on the inside. Same yellow walls with green carpeting, it all feels a bit worn but clean. I’m seated at a booth near a window and handed two menus along with a paper slip. One menu and the paper slip are for ordering up dim-sum. If you’re not familiar with dim-sum, the prices are by the size of the plate: small-medium-large at prices of $2.95-$3.55-$3.95. And dim-sum tends to come in two main types of preparation: steamed and fried, it also typically is heavy on ground pork and shrimp so if you’re kosher you’re out of luck!
Given I’m dining solo, I try to constrain myself to three plates which should be puh-lenty! The first dish out of Dim Sum House’s kitchen is the tofu skin rolls. A bit different than what I expected, these rolls aren’t braised and have more a pan-fried, crisp skin around a shrimp filling. But they’re pretty decent and well-stuffed so I’m good with this dish.
Next up are the pan-fried buns. These are steamed and then pan-fried a bit to give it a crispy bottom. Stuffed with ground pork, these buns are nicely done at Dim Sum House but I’m not a 100% sure they are made in-house based on the texture of their bottoms. I’ll have to dig in further and find out. And finally the dim-sum classic, shu-mai dumplings! These are open-faced shrimp dumplings steamed in a yellow wrapper. Dim Sum House does a solid job here with a LOT of filling but it’s missing a bit of complexity like a hit of ginger. But totally acceptable for lunch, it’s a robust dish. Note that Dim Sum House has a separate lunch menu of some more typical Chinese-American dishes if dim-sum is not your thang!
I’ve already been back for a second visit and managed to try some solid steamed pork buns, delicious har gow and fried shimp balls. Again, everything was tasty, well-stuffed and prepared decently. I’d qualify the dim-sum here as OK but for the Triangle?! It’s quite good…
Service at Dim Sum House was very good for both lunches but the test will be on the weekends when they’re busy. The dining room has opened up quite a bit, gone are the round 8-tops meaning it will feel like more of a civilized meal when dining here. But yes, they did a solid job for lunch and I need to get back here for a busy weekend meal. Dim-sum is traditionally a weekend offering and I suspect there will be a much higher volume resulting in fresher food out of the kitchen! And there are certain dim-sum items on the menu that are only available on the weekend. So rock on, Dim Sum House! It’s good to know that you’re still doing dim-sum for the Triangle and I’m looking forward to my next visit here and trying more off of the Cantonese menu…
100 Jerusalem Dr #104
Morrisville, NC 27560