CHINATOWN, NYC | One of the many things I keep forgetting to do, food-wise, is enjoy genuine dim sum service on the day of the Chinese New Years. (I also forget to cook a goose for Christmas). And maybe I've decided on an occasion or two to not bother with the trip downtown or the crowds when I get there. But it was still always something I felt (self-)obligated to experience.
So it was far more serendipitous that a dear friend happen to catch me when I had a free couple of hours and—volunteering to drive—invited me downtown for some early afternoon dim sum at the long-established and frequented Grand Harmony Restaurant.
I've of course had dim sum items before, including any number of staples such as steamed pork buns, crispy rolls, and sticky rice balls. But I had never made myself privy to the tableside administrations of picking from carts that amble their way past tables throughout service.
So on this occasion I/we took full advantage of the far-more-than-commonly extensive menu, mixing up traditional choices with some far more unusual (yet indigenous), such as fried tofu skin and braised chicken feet.
What I ate I liked, the items I've enjoyed before being better versions than offered at most of my local Chinese restaurants, and the first-time items satisfying, though not having any past experience or knowledge to compare to.
Which is why I've made concrete plans—with other people as well, to help remind me—to go to Jing Fong (Grand Harmony is reportedly now closed) on New Year's morning, in just two days, to broaden my dim sum experience.
I look forward starting 2016 in grand style, and reporting my newest experiences soon after.