The Dim Sum Smackdown

February 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

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The Great Dim Sum Smackdown
a new ‘down

Saturday February 2nd, 2008

By Jason Chin
Eat Vancouver Writer

I know what you are thinking: Another ‘down, has this guy lost it?

But let’s not forget the immortal words of Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood:

I assure you, whatever the others promise to do, when it comes to the showdown, they won’t be there.

And that’s why we have to keep ‘downing, that’s why we do what we do, because no one else is. I believe dim sum will be the most difficult of all ‘downs so far simply because it’s the most heterogeneous of all targets. Up until this point we’ve mostly focused on a single dish, like pho or the xiaolongbao, but dim sum is a meal. Of course, there are some dishes you will always have at dim sum, like har gao (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings) and char siu baos (barbecue pork buns). But there will tons of dishes that vary a lot between dim sum restaurants and outings, like various noodle dishes, specialty steamed dumplings, and desserts. In the face of this seemingly unmanageable variety and quantity of data, it’s easy to get a bit lost. The only thing I could think to do is really hammer out a strong rating system that can deal with all of this information. It would have to differentiate between different types of dim sum, but still give most weight to the more important and iconic dim sum dishes. So, that’s what we did.

What we came up with was a 100-point system, with 35 points for steamed dumplings (i.e., the classics), 15 for steamed others (e.g., spare ribs, squid, chicken feet), 15 for fried and deep fried items (e.g., pot stickers, half-moon dumplings), 15 for baked and sweet items (e.g, baked char siu baos, desserts), 10 for rice, noodle or vegetable dishes (bulky items), and 10 points for service, atmosphere and anything else of relevance. I think it’s a pretty good system and it should be successful at differentiating between different qualities of dim sum.

So from The Great Phodown to The Great Phodown 2.0, and of course The Xiaolongbao-down, The Dim Sum Smackdown is born. Let’s see what happens.

Tags: Chinese · Dim Sum · News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jake // Feb 27, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Dim Sum’s one of my favourite things on a weekend, but by the time I get out of the house it’s often 1 or 2pm. Do you know any good spots that offer dim sum well into the afternoon?

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