There is something celebratory about hitting one of New York City's dim sum palaces at high noon on a Sunday. The mad crush of people, the clattering of the carts, children darting around the room, the never-ending pots of tea -- all of it contributes to a rollicking good time.
In Manhattan, one of the finest spots for traditional dim sum is Jing Fong. Its massive dining room is a sight to behold -- bright red, decorated with gold flourishes and over-the-top crystal chandeliers, and packed to the gils with Chinese-American families and friends. A few tables here and there host diners who are visiting from neighborhoods other than Chinatown, but this place is seriously popular with locals. It is the real deal.
Watching the cart ladies do their thing is quite the entertainment. Whether they are hawking platters of crispy duck with hoisin for dipping, or ready to pour out piping hot bowls of savory congee, or are piling bamboo steamers one atop the other filled with gelatinous chicken feet and steamed pork riblets, I am entranced. My go-to's are the sticky rice in lotus leaf, har gow, and the classic siu-mai...
I have a hard time deciding if dim sum is the ultimate New York Sunday brunch or if that award should go the Judaic combo of bagels and smoked fish. Either way, this gal is happy to have either one next Sunday.
Who wants to join me?