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Do You Dim Sum?
4800 Fields Ertel Road 513-677-3388
Cincinnati is littered with Asian restaurants but few are truly worth seeking out. Most feature the universal 80 item single page menu (usually it’s a red & black two sided 11X17 paper one) but they never offer us any authentic dishes. Example, how often have you seen Dim Sum?
It originated with the Cantonese in southern China. Dim Sum is a holiday style way of eating, rather than a specific dish. In China, hundreds pack in the restaurants sitting wherever they can or even standing to feast on the never ending Dim Sum delicacies and hot pots of tea.
The servers stream out, carts piled high with steaming dishes in stainless steel pans, small portions of delicate Asian specialties that just keep coming and coming and coming.
Traditionally Sunday is the day families meet at their favorite Dim Sum restaurant. Relatives and friends gather, socialize and casually snatch up the dishes they love the most as they quickly pass by.
You pay individually for the dishes you choose, sort of an al a carte buffet. It’s insanely popular but we rarely see it here except in a few major cities. In Cincinnati some local Chinese places serve dishes called Dim Sum! That’s like going to an American restaurant in China and seeing “Buffet” on the menu. Ordering it out of curiosity and being given a plate of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy with a roll. Imagine what those Chinese people would think if they liked the “Buffet” dish from such a place, vacationed here, saw a big BUFFET sign and was excited to get one. They would be shocked to find out it’s not a dish, it’s a whole other experience completely.
You don’t see Dim Sum here often but when you do see it you know you’re on to something.
We already knew Grand Oriental’s Dim Sum was served on the weekends. We anxiously took our seats and watched with anticipation as the room quickly filled with (primarily Asian) diners. We ate one of nearly everything the server presented us with for about the first 8 minutes. After that, we slowed our pace and became a little more selective, eating only the dishes we couldn’t say no to. With all the Asian families gathered eating with us and the enticing aromas of dozens of previously unknown dishes, we were transfixed, almost transported to a truly authentic Chinese cuisine experience. The traditional hot tea even added to the feeling of really being there.
The complete Dim Sum experience is only on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10-2:30. Even that’s traditional.
We can’t show you all 50+ Dim Sum dishes. Here is a sample of a few of our favorites. Clockwise from left, fried taro root puffs, custard tarts, sesame balls, chive & pork buns, shrimp balls, shrimp spring rolls and BBQ pork buns (center). All very authentic.
If you love Asian, you have to try it. Better yet, try it Chinese style... invite the whole family, sit back and relax for a while. Grand Oriental has been serving Dim Sum since 1988. Grand Oriental’s Hong Kong Chef Sunny Wong can treat you to a real taste of Asia. His 35 years of experience show on every plate.
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