dim sum restaurant.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Popular not only in China but throughout Asia, dim sum is a Chinese culinary tradition of Cantonese origin. In terms of Chinese culinary history, it's relatively new on the scene, dating back only to the 10th century and the beginning of the Sung Dynasty.
Literally meaning "to touch your heart," dim sum is an informal meal where diners enjoy bite-sized portions, usually three or four to a plate, and including dumplings, steamed dishes, pastries, noodles, vegetables and other goodies similar to hors d'oeuvres, or the Spanish tapas. Diners can either make a meal of it or take in very little, depending on their appetite.
Featuring much more than just culinary delights, dim sum is also a learning experience for those willing to explore the Chinese culture of eating, from the ying yang of alternatively dipping each tiny dumpling into either a sweet or savory sauce to the communality of diners sharing the many small entrÃ©es - all with chopsticks, of course.
Located at the heart of Tel Aviv's business district, the Dim Sum noodle and sushi bar has long been a great place to eat with friends or kids. At lunch, the place buzzes with young crowds from the nearby offices enjoying a satisfying, reasonably priced meal in the spacious dining room dominated by black and red hues and a dark slate floor.
The menu boasts an intriguing array of traditional sushi besides dim sum selections. Except for some specials, it's all under NIS 40.
Start with irresistible edamame: green soy beans steamed and sprinkled with sea salt (NIS 19). We couldn't stop nibbling on them until the waitress came with an even better treat - tangy carrot soup (NIS 25) with ginger, fresh coriander and coconut milk. The sushi combination was equally good, with tuna and salmon rolls, shrimp tempura and California roll.
From the variety of dim sum dishes (NIS 30) we opted for steamed Yin Yang of chicken and beef in crisp dough, chicken with vegetables and cashews, smoked goose with shitake mushrooms, and the beef giyoza with tomatoes and spring onions.
Service was fast and efficient, maybe too efficient. Everything appeared on the table in bamboo pots within moments of being ordered - blink and a dish may be snatched away while you're still eating.
Cute desserts, like chocolate bau with orange caramel, or chestnut mousse with Belgian chocolate, taste almost as good as they look, and with a golden-colored plum wine it all went down nicely.
Dim Sum noodle and sushi bar, Rehov Allenby 120, Tel Aviv. Tel (03) 560-4341. Open daily from noon to midnight (not kosher)