Originally uploaded by lools.
I so badly want to experience pure vegetarian dim sum, the little Chinese delicacies that are meant to "touch the heart". Unfortunately these small morsels which look so enticing and are supposed to be filled with vegetables are also filled with foods I'd rather avoid like minced pork and shrimp :(
A large group of us landed up for brunch yesterday at H.S.F Dim Sum in Chinatown. A few early warning signs should have screamed at me that this was not a place that understood the concept of vegetarianism.
The entrance to the restaurant has large fish tanks in which crabs, lobsters and an assortment of other creatures hang around biding their time. The staff, with the exception of the hostess and a few managers, spoke only Mandarin and Cantonese. Most of the patrons were Chinese families enjoying a leisurely Sunday lunch.
Anaka, Naval and I waited patiently as plate after plate of shrimp har gow, pork dumplings, fried egg rolls,chiu chow fun gor, steamed spareribs etc were brought to the table. We momentarily got excited when Aditya swore that we should try the fried taro cake but Sonya quickly confirmed that it was stuffed with pork as well!
We tried to order some vegetarian side dishes, not part of the dim sum fare. Forget that! Firstly, these side dishes are never a priority at these cheap dim sum places. Secondly, they take a long time to show up. And most importantly, they'll never be edible anyway! The eggplant in spicy sauce that we ordered came on a bed of shredded chicken. Even Buddhist's Delight (a medley of freshly steamed vegetables) misled us into thinking that we would be spared beef broth!
I kept dreaming of how delicious vegetarian dim sum could actually be. If any of you know of places in Manhattan where I can enjoy a meal, please, please, let me know!