Monday, June 16, 2014

Dim Sum near D.C.

In this post I share 3 dim sum places near and in D.C. I have always enjoyed dim sum, those delicacies that come in small steamers, or petite plates of fried crispy goodness or stir fried freshness; crunchy, soft, hot, cold, seafood, veggies, ducks, pork, beef--oh, the variety! Since everything is so small and dainty, you order many of the dishes and share with your friends so everyone gets a bit of everything. Sip hot tea, and eat so many snacks that it makes a proper entree, lovely.

Hong Kong Pearl
6286 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044
(703) 237-1388
Expect around 15-20 dollars for dim sum for a full meal.
Sorry, I was too busy eating to take good pictures, and as you can see, much of the food is gone...

With the invitation of my D.C. roommate, all four of us and some other friends went to Hong Kong Pearl, a dim sum restaurant at Falls Church, VA. And ummm the food was good and I loved the traditional serving method they have that is nowadays so hard to find in dim sum places in Taiwan. And most importantly, the food is good.

What I meant by the traditional serving method is that there are no menus involved, that's what my mom told me she remembered dim sum places to be like when she was small. Little carts full of food come to your table side, and the server opens up all the little steamers to announce their names. "shrimp dumpling," "shao mai," and after surveying everything you pick out the ones you like. You got the cart for steamed food, the cart for fried foods, the cart for cold dishes, dessert cart, and boiled veggie on a platter, with sweet soy sauce drizzled on when you order. And if you're feeling like something fried but the steamed cart comes to you, ask for it and the server will call for her fried food cart colleague.

Opening the steamers to show you options available.

Here's the cart for the steamed snacks.

The food is charged by "small snack" "medium snack" and "large snack," it's not by the size of the snack itself, but how fancy it is. Roasted duck, for example, is a fancy snack and thus is a "large snack" and the most expensive.

I've been to Hong Kong Pearl twice and have had pretty much all the dim sums on the carts, everything is good except for the stir-fried noodles that were dry and too salty. What I do recommend is the steamed shrimp dumpling and steamed shrimp roll and these two for me are the classical dishes I always get no matter where I have dim sum. What they had at Hong Kong Pearl that I have not seen anywhere else is the Durian Cakes,a flaky green and white swirled crust wrapping the creamy fruit with distinctive flavor, was recommended by my roommate who always gets at least one dish when he visits.

Do keep in mind when you visit that dim sum is not available the whole day. On weekends it was only available till 2 in the afternoon, so dim sum is kind of like a morning tea thing. At other hours there are other lovely dishes that can be ordered from the menu, but these would not be the small dishes that dims sums are but big, full size dishes.

Other than Hong Kong Pearl here's another dim sum place near D.C. near Rosslyn, my roommates (all Chinese speaking) go there quite often too so I'm sure it's pretty good; I haven't been though, but if you have been there let me know how it is. But since they approve of it, I'm sure its good.

China Garden
1100 Wilson Blvd. Twin Towers - Mall Level, Rosslyn, VA 22209

And just yesterday I learned of a new dim sum place that has happy hour! Dim sum and cocktails? I've never tried that mix but sounds good to me. Ping Pong has two locations in D.C., one in Dupont Circle and the other at China Town. Weekdays 4-7 there's a selection of cocktails and dim sums all for 5 dollars. Not sure how authentic the place will be but its probably good food anyways.

Ping Pong


  1. what is Dim Dum?

    1. Dim Dum is a typo, while Dim Sum are small, yummy plates of food