Living in Hoboken, it's fairly easy to get in and out of New York City. Last week, we visited Delight 28 on Pell Street, Chinatown to sample some authentic Chinese cuisine. Although I have never had dim sum before, I went with some friends that were happy to introduce me to all the different types. Dim sum is a Cantonese style of cuisine in which the dishes are made in small portions. This way, you can share and have room to sample a little of everything! Dishes are brought around in carts by servers pushing them and you can ask for which dishes you want.

Short Ribs (排骨)

One of the first things to grace my mouth were the short ribs cooked with black beans. Although the little bones were intimidating, I found that this fact was completely overshadowed by the flavor. The short ribs were kind of oily, but overall very sweet and a very enjoyable first dish.

Beef Balls

The second dish we ordered was beef balls. The beef balls were pretty self-explanatory; balls of beef with Worcestershire sauce on the side. I've been eating meatballs almost every week my entire life, it couldn't be that different, right? It was pretty different, to say the least. The beef balls were okay, they were oily, mushy, and I wasn't the biggest fan of the Worcestershire sauce. They tasted pretty good, but overall they weren't exactly a life-changing experience.

Tripe (牛柏葉)

Next was the tripe. I've had tripe before and while I don't hate it, I can definitely see where the hate comes from. Although the dish itself was bland, and honestly not very notable; if you've never had tripe before I recommend at least trying it once. Its texture is very unique, almost like a textured meat. Despite the unappealing description, I recommend trying it at least once.

Shumai (烧麦)

Although I'd already had shumai before, I was still excited to order this dish. Shumai are a typical dim sum dish. They are cylindrical dumplings made with pork/shrimp or both. Although they were tasty, I thought they were an awkward size, too small to eat in two bites, but too big to fit in my mouth.

Turnip Cake (蘿蔔糕)

Another dish that we ordered was fried turnip cakes, and the name pretty much explains it all. The cakes were a little salty and very dense. The turnip cakes had good flavor by itself, and the oyster sauce served with it made them 10x better. 

Shrimp and Beef Crepes (腸粉)

The dish we had next was definitely one of my favorites, the shrimp "crepe". This dish is made from steamed rice noodle wrapped around beef, shrimp, or fried dough. It is then doused in sweet soy sauce. Although we got both shrimp and beef, my personal favorite was the shrimp. The texture is smooth, and even though the rice noodle doesn't have much flavor, the soy sauce and shrimp bring a sweet and slightly salty taste. Overall, this dish was probably my favorite.

Har Gow (蝦餃)

Tracy Wong

Similar to the last dish, we ordered shrimp dumplings or har gow. Although the exact filling of these was a hot debate, I'm pretty sure they were just shrimp. They tasted almost exactly like the previous dish but were pretty solid all around.

Chicken Feet

I'm not a very easily intimidated person, however, the last thing we ordered left me a little shook. Chicken feet were probably the only dish that left me confused. I never thought I'd ever encounter a dish with so many bones. Everything about this dish is unique, from eating to texture it was definitely an experience. The foot is filled with several bones that you must spit out, and the texture is almost gelatinous. The taste was okay and can be described as savory chicken skin. Although I liked the dish, I didn't think the effort was worth it

Overall, it was a very unique experience. Many of the dishes served at dim sum have very distinct flavors and how many other types of restaurants let you see and smell the food before picking it? I would definitely recommend everyone give dim sum a try, give the "weird" foods a try... and don't be intimidated by the ladies pushing the carts and trying to push another plate of food onto your table!

Gail Rabasca