I’m probably the biggest dim sum fan you will ever meet in your life. Since I ate it for the first time I keep on finding better and better ones. Already tried dim sums in many places in Hong Kong, south China and now we’re driving around East Bay with chopsticks in our pockets. I just really, really hate those big plastic chopsticks people use in restaurants, whenever I use them I feel like bringing shame to my husband and I can kill someone trying to get closer to us in a chopstick accident.
Recently every weekend in the morning we go out to try a new dim sum place – in some time you will get a review of places like Asian Pearl Seafood Restaurant in Richmond or Kay Cheung Restaurant in SF, Chinatown but I will start from my biggest dim sum disappointment of last half a year. Or maybe my expectations about this place were bigger than the reality.
Aberdeen Cafe – 46831 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont
We bought new Sing Tao Daily and headed up to a place my husband calls ‘the most crowded place in Fremont duringovertime at work’. So many people cannot be wrong, can they?
It’s located in Little Taipei shopping mall along with 99 Ranch (Chinese chain shop), some milk tea places… give me a mahjong table and I could stay there.
Aberdeen Cafe is not a typical dim sum place, they serve mostly Hong Kong/Cantonese style food, but ‘dim sum menu’ is very limited. Every item on the menu dim sum menu is really cheap, only 2.38 USD, some additional items like lotus rice dumpling, congee etc. can also be found at the other part of the menu, but it’s more expensive than ‘Big’ and ‘Medium’ items in most of dim sum restaurants. You think you save money? Not really.
After a debate about shangainese-dumplings we made our order:
- preserved egg & pork congee
- shangainese steamed soup-dumplings
- chicken feet
- shu mai
- shrimp steamed rice dumplings
- barbecue buns
Since it’s not mainly dim sum restaurant all the items are made for order and we had to wait around 20 minutes to get our food, but that’s
OK. Dim sum is not a place to rush. We drinked our tea when whole place suddenly started to get busy and loud. For me – even better. At that time our ‘pork century egg’ congee was served. I never been really a fan of congee but that one stole my heart. Even thought it was made with chicken, not pork but that’s even better. It’s probably first congee I ever liked – it was salty, had a lot of century egg and chicken. Rice in congee had really a proper texture, not too soft not like ‘rice soup’.
Second dish that appeared on our table were shanghainese dumplings. We had a discussion about them for like 10 minutes
Are those with soup? Can you ask?
No, you ask, I’m Chinese.
I should know that Cantonese people in Cantonese restaurant won’t make you a proper Shanghainese dumplings. If you want you can ask, I will lose my face.
I can see my husband suicide after that dumpling-shame and dishonor he brought tous, our children, our grandchildren, greatgrandchildren… Back to the dumplings – yes, they had a soup inside, but very little and they were just warm. What I’ve been told is that soup should be so hot that it burns, then bite skin a little and suck up the soup slurping and hoping I will still be able to taste things. Taste was OK, nothing special – of course I didn’t believe they can be as good as the one I had in Shanghai but it didn’t blow my mind. Believe me, if they did my husband wouldn’t get a bite.
Finally all the rest items arrived. Comparing to shangainese dumplings all of them were very, very hot. I’m not a fan of chicken feet especially served in a spicy sauce so my husband is the one responsible to vote for them. His verdict: very good sauce, chicken feet by itself tastes as usual. I guess that’s hubby approved.
Barbecue buns were little bit smaller than usual, the filling inside had a nice sweet, barbecue taste but I had a filling it’s too dry. I like it when the meat is little bit soggy so I can feel the sauce it’s been in. Too bad. I mean, they weren’t bad but just didn’t match the way I like them to be served. Shu mai and shrimp dumplings were OK, but the skin of shu mai was too soft, even thought we tried it right after serving us. On the other hand shrimp dumplings were actually the first one in 3 weeks that skin didn’t stick t another dumpling and just collapsed – we had that problems in few other places with white carrot dumplings.
For everything with the tips we paid 29 USD for 2 people. It’s an average price we pay in other places with the tips but for 7, not 6 items. As I said at the beginning – even thought dim sum special items are cheaper than in other places if you want to order other things that are also served as usual in dim sum restaurants you need to pay more.
Well, maybe I overreacted and I just had too high expectations after all the reviews and ammount of people waiting to be seated but I wouldn’t go there again for a dim sum and I would recommend you to go somewhere else. Price doesn’t match the quality. Unless you want to order just a congee, for the rest of the items I wouldn’t pay to eat again.
Have you ever been disappointed with your dim sum? Why? Where was that? Share your experience (so I can feel better I’m not the only one!)