Dim Sum (Nom, Nom, Nom…)

The Grand Total....

While my sister was living in Boston earlier in the decade, she took mom and me to a place in Chinatown…  my first experience having dim sum. We were surrounded by lots of families…some of them seated together while others’ little children ran around trying to avoid staff members pushing carts around (or vice versa). These carts had many small plates/dishes of food, and there was plenty to choose from. Since most of the staff didn’t speak much English and we didn’t speak Chinese, we would just point to whatever looked interesting to us.

For the uninitiated, it’s quite an experience to behold…Not what most in the US would expect of a Chinese restaurant .

Since I moved to this area in 2002, I’d been been searching for a place where I’d have a similar experience. Little did I know that a few years after moving to Takoma Park, I’d find such a place tucked in a shopping center with a Giant: Oriental East in nearby Silver Spring…

Oriental East serves Dim Sum daily, but only from a menu during the week; on the weekends, they serve Dim Sum…quite literally… a la carte.  The lines on the weekend are generally long. We typically arrive 30 minutes or more before the doors open (11 am) and still end up a few places back in line. I’ve heard on some days, the lines extend around the corner.

But once inside, it’s as if I’d never left Boston’s Chinatown…

As pictured above the leadin, my friends and I did more than our fair share of noshing when we visited at the end of July. As I took a lot of shots , they’ll be under the jump….

First shots are of some baked pork buns (char siu bao).  The second shot shows the filling…

Baked Pork Buns

Inside the Pork Bun...

Baked buns were also filled with other things… like Chinese sausage.

Baked Chinese Sausage Buns

We had to get some greens sometime… some Chinese broccoli below.

Chinese Broccoli

Next up, some steamed buns filled with pork (likely baozi); Filipino siopao is based off of this dish. We get a look at the filling, too…

Steamed Buns

Inside the Steamed Bun

Beef Chow Fun : I’d taken so much time with the shot, there was no beef left when I tried to eat some. The rest was still yummy. The noodles were soft but not too soft, unlike some other chow funs I’ve previously had.

Beef Chow Fun

Shumai: a steamed dumpling primarily consisting of pork… Filipino cuisine also has a version of this.

Pork and Shrimp Shumai

Some more steamed dumplings… I forgot what exactly was in them.

Steamed Dumplings

A row of different dumplings on my plate…The one to the right is a shrimp dumpling.

Row of Steamed Goodies

Sesame balls filled with sweet red bean paste; I’d eat those things all day if I weren’t careful…

Sesame Balls

Inside the Sesame Ball

Next, steamed meatballs. There were also steamed shrimp balls, but I wasn’t able to get a shot of them.

Steamed Meatballs

Yes…those are chicken feet. Yes, they’re clean. Essentially, you’re taking in skin and cartilage (very flavorful, I  might add).

Phoenix Talons

Next, fried scallop dumplings:

Fried Scallop Dumplings

A chive and shrimp dumpling and its inner workings…

Dumplings With Chives

Inside the Shrimp/Chive Dumpling

Friends taking a stab at the fried taro cake…

Fried Taro Cake

Victory is mine!

Fried Taro Cake (closer)

Next, a fried meat and shrimp dumpling (complete with a shot under the hood).

Fried Shrimp and Meat Dumpling

Fried Shrimp and Meat Dumpling (inside)

Potstickers below:


Next, a rice noodle crepe filled with pork and other things…

Rice Noodle Crepe

…and last but not least (before dessert), some fried taro dumplings. Both the taro cake and the dumplings had a little meat within them and had nicely crispy outsides…

Plated Fried Taro Dumplings

We’ve now come to dessert (fortune cookie? what fortune cookie?!)!

Below is an almond jelly accompanied by lychees; I hadn’t had lychee in a long time. The dessert was light and cool — perfect on a hot summer’s day.

Sweet Almond Jelly (with Lychees)

Last, one of the egg custards.

Egg Custard

Not only is dim sum is guranteed to make me full for not an insane amount of dough, the atmosphere keeps me coming back for more. A lot of the fun involved with going for dim sum is sharing and chatting with friends (and family, depending on your party); you also get to try a little bit of everything…

Ah… variety…


About A. Random Hapa

Thirty-something. INFP. Librarian. Brain Tumor Survivor. Hobbyist Singer. Amateur Photographer. Foodie. Craft Beer Fan. Unrepentant geek.

Posted on August 13, 2009, in eating out, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I love oriantal east! My husband and i go there everytime we go to the naval hospital in bethesda. It’s sooo yummy and at lunch time everything is the freshest!

    I’d say there’s definitely a reason why there’s often lines to get in right when they open… 🙂

  1. Pingback: chinese boiled dumplings | Hot Recipes

  2. Pingback: Double the Dim Sum (Part 1) « Hapa…Shot the Food!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: