Monday, 28 September 2015

Dam Sum (parvis de la Trinité)

As previously demonstrated, I like dumplings of all kinds. A lot. So it's not surprisingly that I take every opportunity to eat dim sum that I get. One day I'll go back to Antwerp's mini Chinatown and review this place, where I had an unexpectedly good dim sum-based meal back in the summer, but for now let's stay in Brussels, on the genteel outskirts of Châtelain.

I'm not sure any restaurant in Brussels dares to serve dim sum alone, and despite its name the newish Dam Sum offers a selection of fairly standard noodle and soup dishes, but the dim sum are at the head of the menu and the dim sum are what we had on a busy Saturday night - they don't take bookings and after putting our names down we'd been sent away for an hour (not a great hardship in this part of Brussels) before being called back. The Bonhomme kindly indulged my passion for doughy morsels and let me order five of the eight types of dumpling on the menu (all about 5E for a shareable portion).
These ranged from the famous soup-filled xiao long bao, to pillowy pork buns, translucent har gao filled with prawn, Japanese-style gyozas and crispy tofu rolls with prawn. They are clearly all made on site - earlier in the evening a chef had been busy rolling out dumpling cases in a sort of glass cage in the middle of the dining area - and on the whole we were impressed.
They weren't quite top  of the range: the pork buns were rather doughy and the barbecue sauce filling rather too sweet and innocuous for my taste, and the broth inside the xiao long bao wasn't as piping hot and fragrant as it could have been (on the plus side, that made them easier to eat). The Bonhomme found the har gao rather bland, but I love plain prawns and enjoyed the simplicity of the seafood inside the smooth casing. The gyozas were tasty, and not at all greasy, while we both found the crispiness of the tofu rolls quite addictive.
I know that in most Chinese restaurants desserts tend to be best avoided, but something made me try the sesame ice cream (5E - it was made by a external and quite high-end supplier but sadly I didn't note the name) and it was one of the best decisions of the evening: smooth and creamy without an ice crystal in sight, sweet without being sickly, and with a pleasing graininess from the sesame seeds. A good end to a good value (without the dessert we paid about 15E a head, with a beer each) and more than decent meal.

Dam Sum
11 parvis de la Trinité
1050 Brussels


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