I'm a native Long Islander who idealizes breakfast as curling into a diner booth to order an egg white omelette. What I don't think of it is trekking to Chinatown for dim sum to eat my weight in pork buns and shrimp dumplings.
Two of my friends, one from Taiwan and the other of Chinese and Indian descent, brought me to an authentic dim sum breakfast. I had no idea what to expect but they swore it would be incredible, so I entrusted them with my first meal of the day.
I've never been to China, let alone Boston's Chinatown. It was exciting to explore a new area for me and see another hub of culture so close to school. The restaurant had a small storefront, but was actually huge inside. It also didn't have a menu, rather a ticket with Chinese writing on it.
Carts get continuously pushed around and you point to what you want, unless you speak Chinese and know what you're ordering. Then they put a stamp next to what you ordered on the ticket, multiple stamps for multiple orders. The system is pretty logical and efficient in my opinion.
Also just a heads up, they only serve tea to drink. They have many different types but dim sum means all tea, all the time. The coffee and orange juice lovers out there will have to settle for a new kind of breakfast beverage.
The first thing I tried was a steamed barbecue pork bun. I definitely wasn't expecting to bite into a soft, sweet bun only to get a mouthful of pork. But, I'm definitely not mad about it. Pork buns are sensational.
I would never expect to choose shrimp dumplings for breakfast over Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but after trying the Har Gow, that's a choice I'd make upon return. Definitely try Shumai, as well. It's sort of like a pork dumpling but 1000 times better.
Not everything you try will be a winner, though. Some of it you just won't like, be it for the taste, the texture, or just the thought of eating something like chicken feet.
Growing up my house had a rule, "If you don't like it you don't have to eat it, but you have to try it" I encourage this rule at your first dim sum experience.
Dim sum is a neat experience, but a delicious one nonetheless. As someone who has never been exposed to such a concept, I'd highly recommend it. I got to experience a new culture and see a completely new take on breakfast, which is slowly becoming my favorite meal of the day thanks to steamed bbq pork buns.