Hit On The Head

A couple of months ago, when I mentioned to a friend that I wouldn’t know a Dim Sum if it hit me on the head, said friend asked me if I would like to be.  Hit on the head by a Dim Sum that is.  But of course!  Dim Sum is food, right?

Today, my days of Dim Sum virginity came to an end.

Destination: Seattle’s International District, aka Chinatown.  Finding Chinatown was easy…go down the hill on Jackson & turn left.  Parking in Chinatown was a breeze…at 10:38 am when I showed up.  Parking in Chinatown was a bit of a ‘mare by 12 noon, when my Dim Sum Mentor arrived.  I am reliably informed that on weekends that is always the case.  It’s when large families go out to eat Dim Sum, en masse.  That’s a mass of people eating a mass of Dim Sum.

 Since I had already {just} had my first brunch of the day, I wasn’t ready to eat again at noon.  And that was just fine, for at least a couple of reasons:

1. It was my first foray into the International District, so there was lots of new stuff to see & experience, outside of anything that involved eating.

2. My Dim Sum Mentor and I never have a hard time finding stuff to talk about.  If we’d just sat in the park all day long we’d have undoubtedly talked the hind legs off several donkeys.  And laughed a lot.  A lot.

When it did get around to nosh time, we headed to Purple Dot Cafe on Maynard Ave.  I had checked out the reviews a few days ago, and I gotta say, they are all over the joint.  Some people love this place, some people just don’t love it at all.  Some people think the food is great, some people just think the food is not good at all.

Given that I’d never eaten Dim Sum in my life, I was completely clueless.  I learned this week that Dim Sum is not the only thing that I am completely clueless about, but it is certainly one of them.  My Dim Sum Mentor likes to eat Dim Sum at Purple Dot, so, since I was entirely at my Mentor’s Dim Sum mercy, in we trotted.

The inside of Purple Dot is *particularly* purple.  I am pretty sure that I have never been in such a purple place.  Ever.  We schmoozed our way into a window table & in very short order a tiny lady arrived wheeling a big old cart of baskets.  That’s when I got a clue that Dim Sum is pretty much the Chinese equivalent of Tapas.  OK, *now* I am starting to get it.

This is probably a good moment to mention that my Dim Sum Mentor requested that I not write the full-deal review based on this visit.  Bearing in mind that the whole point of mentors is that they know more & give you good advice, I was more than happy to respect that request.  I have it on great authority that the service & the Dim Sum were nowhere near as good as they usually are during the week.  A re-run was in order.  Hey, I will never have an issue with the opportunity to eat more food.   Especially with someone so fun & entertaining.  Not to mention smart.

So I am not going to give you my thoughts on the food.  I am just going to give you a few shots.  Then, when the re-run rolls around I’ll be sure to give you the full monte.  Mind you, it took us 2 months to get around to this Dim Sum moment, so it might be a while.  Just sayin’.  There’s a gazillion other way more important things to do than eat Dim Sum with a crazy English girl.

 Funny little dumplings packed with prawns.

Dim Sum come in all sorts of shapes.  And colors.

Fascinating-looking foodstuff.

“The key to Dim Sum is mixing the chili paste with the soy sauce, for dipping…super tasty.”  Dim Sum Mentor

My Dim Sum Mentor was bummed that this didn’t turn out to be a red-letter day in my little foodie life.  To which I say…there is never a need to apologize for an experience.  Any experience is good.  Every experience is good.  That’s what makes life interesting.  That’s how we determine what we are going to do again & what we’re not going to do again.  Experience: it’s what helps make us who we are.

Just because the Dim Sum didn’t totally rock my world, the rest of my time down in the International District did: wandering around discovering the streets of Chinatown, checking out the Higo store & all it’s cool arty stuff (gotta go back for that little blue dress!), finding a wall calendar devoted to ferrets (really?), sitting in the park in the warm sunshine, trying to figure out how to pick up a steamed Dim Sum with a pair of chopsticks (slippery little suckers, those Dim Sum), looking at all the crazy seafood & gazillion packets of strange teas in Uwajimaya, seeing the beautiful tropical fish at the pet store.  Heck, just hanging with my buddy rocked.

It’s not all about the food.  It never is.  I had a {really} great few hours down in Chinatown.  And I am {seriously} looking forward to my next Dim Sum moment.  Whenever that is.  Stay tuned.

Purple Dot Cafe on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Neil Enns - Three words: Sun Sui Wah. Next time you’re going to Vancouver, stop at the one in Richmond, BC, and have delicious dim sum!

cb - I’m on it!

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