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Restaurant Review: Dim Sum at Yummy House

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(Read also our review of Yummy House's regular menu.)

Although the quality of Yummy House’s everyday food is the new restaurant’s biggest draw, the dim sum service has also generated a buzz.

Dim sum is classic small-plate dining at its finest, featuring an extensive menu that focuses on individual portions of a wide array of foods, many of which are well outside the usual Chinese restaurant repertoire. At Yummy, that means fried chicken feet, pork buns, shrimp dumplings, barbecued duck, steamed Chinese broccoli and much more, all sized perfectly for sharing and at prices that encourage you to fill your table with the tiny plates. On weekends, however, you may be encouraged to fill your table more from fear of hunger.

Yummy House is busy, and never more so than on Saturday and Sunday, when the restaurant’s dim sum service moves from a list of items on a slip of paper to wheeled carts that wend their way through the dining room. One is stacked with plates topped by gleaming metal lids, which the server whisks off with a flourish to let you choose your favorites. The other has glass doors that allow you to peek at sundry baked goods, some filled with meat, others coated in honey and sesame seeds.

Problem is, the carts leave the kitchen less frequently than you’d hope. And when one does, all eyes follow it, wondering which way it will turn, estimating how long the wait before their table gets a chance to choose. Sometimes, it can take a while.

So when it does finally arrive, you stock up, loading your table with everything that looks worth a try. And with most plates under $4, it’s a relatively safe strategy.

Brave the delays and your envy of tables earlier in the delivery cycle and you’ll be rewarded. Yummy’s steamed pork buns are ethereal, the airy dough melting in your mouth as you hit the sweet and salty barbecued pork tucked into the center. Shrimp stuffed inside a gooey shell are more elegant, the damp dumplings infused with distilled shrimp essence.
Balls of steamed sticky rice come wrapped in bamboo leaves, the white grains speckled with bits of barbecued meat.

Seaweed salad features a burst of brine, salt and sesame oil, while steamed Chinese broccoli comes doused in rich oyster sauce. And if you find anything with XO sauce – one of Yummy’s specialties – grab the plate, especially if it’s the tender rice noodles made in-house.

You may have trouble finding options if you are a vegetarian, since Yummy uses meat as a seasoning in most of its dishes, but decadent egg tarts and deep-fried taro cakes will sustain you, along with the occasional rice roll studded with vegetables instead of pork.

There are also a few sweets, like bean cakes flavored with coconut, or buns doused in sesame and honey, but the savory dishes are the stars.

And if you get tired of waiting for the carts to roll by, you can always order from the regular menu.

Yummy House
3232 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Open daily, 11 a.m.–3:00 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.
351-1688

OTHER LOCAL RESTAURANTS THAT SERVE DIM SUM
Gold Dynasty
4195 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
822-0288

Lucky Star
4462 Cortez Road, Bradenton
794-3198, luckystarbradenton.com

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Brian Ries

Brian Ries is the editor of ticketsarasota.com.
Last modified: September 13, 2013
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