It's exam period, and I am stressed. I have exams in Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure this week, which means I'm up to my eyeballs in notes about strict scrutiny, rational basis review, burden of production, summary judgment, and other weighty concepts. There won't be any cooking between now and Thursday, which is when I'll take a breather and attempt to cook for either Novel Food or the Mini-Pie Revolution.* I can't manage anything more involved than putting cheese on bread for the next few days, and to tell you the truth, even that might be pushing it. I foresee a lot of takeout in my immediate future.
Fortunately, I don't have to resort to pizza delivery or overpriced sandwiches from the law school café. Not when I can make a quick trip to the food court at Super 88, and get food from someplace like Dim Sum Chef.
A food court might not sound like a good place to get dim sum, but what Dim Sum Chef lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in freshness. With the exception of the pudding desserts, everything is made to order.
I'm particularly fond of their dumplings, both steamed and pan-fried. The shrimp and spinach dumplings have thin, chewy skins, and are plump with succulent shrimp. The Shanghai-style dumplings have a meat and vegetable filling bathed in rich, flavorful broth. And the pan-fried steamed dumplings are deliciously soft and fluffy underneath a lightly crisped exterior.
The siu mai aren't quite to my taste - they're on the large and meaty side, while I prefer them bite-size - but the pan-fried turnip cake is excellent: the squares are crusty and golden on the outside, and meltingly soft on the inside, flecked with dried shrimp and tiny cubes of salted pork. The steamed tripe is fragrant with slivers of ginger, and agreeably chewy. And while it's not a dim sum dish per se, I have a soft spot for the steamed rice with sweet Chinese sausage.
If you want the full dim sum experience, you're better off at someplace like China Pearl. But if you, like me, find that shrimp dumplings and pan-fried turnip cake are just the thing to fuel an afternoon with Marbury and Madison, Dim Sum Chef is the place to go.
*There shouldn't even be any blogging between now and Thursday, but I have to preserve my (in)sanity somehow.