A La Cart – Dim Sum
We adore dim sum (Cantonese for “heart’s delight”)—the multitude of steamed, baked, fried or roasted little nibbles that...
A La Cart
We adore dim sum (Cantonese for “heart’s delight”)—the multitude of steamed, baked, fried or roasted little nibbles that are served midday, from roving carts, at area Chinese restaurants.
And we’re not the only ones. On weekends, only the fortunate are likely to snag a table between noon and 1 p.m. for the traditional Chinese practice of yum cha (drink tea). Waits can be particularly daunting on the Chinese Lunar New Year, which this season falls on Sunday, Feb. 10, signaling the arrival of the Year of the Snake.
Want to order dim sum like a pro? Over the years, this food writer has learned that true dim sum aficionados request a table near the kitchen door for access to the freshest dumplings and crepes. For a varied experience, select small plates from as many as six carts, progressing from lighter steamed dumplings and meat-filled buns to heavier pan-fried and deep-fried dishes. Timing is everything. If an appealing dish passes on a cart during the noon rush, claim it. It might not come your way again. Try these locations:
China Garden, 1100 Wilson Blvd. (Twin Towers, mall level), Rosslyn, 703-525-5317, www.chinagardenva.com. Dim sum served: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant, 6249 Arlington Blvd. (Seven Corners Center), 703-538-3333. Dim sum served: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mark’s Duck House, 6184-A Arlington Blvd. (Willston Center), Falls Church, 703-532-2125, www.marksduckhouse.com. Dim sum served: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.