Dim Sum is South China’s traditional early-day meal, consisting of a large range of small Cantonese dishes and served with tea. There are over one thousand dim sum dishes originating from Guangdong, also known as the Canton province, in the South China Sea.
Luckily, you don’t have to travel to faraway lands to enjoy the delight of traditional dim sum.
The chef at Dim Sum Kitchen brings the traditional plates of Guangzhou (the capital city of the Canton province) to life at this small but exceptional restaurant. It can be hard to find places that do a decent job at dim sum, but Chef Ming Bo excels at the execution of this tradition.
While many people assume that dim sum is simply dumplings, that’s not actually the case. Dumplings are small balls made from flour dough that are filled with meat or vegetables, while the skin or wrapping of dim sum is often semi-transparent. This is accomplished by using rice or egg.
Most restaurants serve dim sum only on weekend mornings, but Dim Sum Kitchen has it available all day, every day. It’s a small location, so there may be a bit of a wait, but it tends to very quickly. It never took us more than fifteen minutes to be seated and it’s well worth the wait.
After you’re seated, you’ll be handed a card that lists all of the twenty-five dim sum items available, plus six chef’s special items, giving you a total of thirty-one selections to choose from, ranging in price from $3.95 to $10.95 each.
We ordered about six specials plus one or two regular menu items on our first visit and confidently stated that’s all we want “for now”, only to get a big smile and a little giggle back from our waitress. She knew that was going to be way too much food – Dim Sum Kitchen offers larger portions than many restaurants. That became quite obvious when the food started coming out.
The first visit was exploratory. I started with a small bowl of Hot & Sour Soup which had a robust tangy taste filled with mushrooms, tofu, and bamboo shoots. They also offer Vegetable Egg Drop Soup and Hong Kong Style Wonton Soup.
And then came the parade of dim sum plates. Steamed Pork & Shrimp Dumplings (4 pcs.); Pan Fried Chives Dumplings (4 pcs.); Pork Potstickers (6 pcs.); Shrimp Toast (8 pcs.); Shanghai Style (pork) Dumplings (4 pcs.); and Pasteis de Nata/ Portuguese Egg Tart (4 pcs.) plus Chicken Lo Mein.
It quickly became clear we had ordered a ton of food. Every single item was delicious, unique in flavor, and whatever you can’t finish, goes home with you.
We had learned portion sizes by the next visit, but it didn’t deter us from ordering a good number of plates again.
This time, we enjoyed Beef and Vegetable Lo Mein; Scallion Pancake, a savory thin and flaky puff pastry (6 pcs.); Pan Fried Chives Dumplings (4 pcs.); Deep Fried Meat Dumplings (3 pcs.); and Fried Shrimp Balls (3 pcs.),.
We also ordered shredded spring roll spheres; Steamed Pork & Shrimp Dumplings (4 pcs.); and Barbecue Pork (12 slices), which was really tender and came with a sauce that had a touch of sweetness. We walked away very satisfied and with plenty of leftovers.
Dim Sum Kitchen is locally owned by the husband and wife team of Emily Lin and Ming Bo. Chef Ming Bo comes from a lineage of dim sum chefs and was trained in his native country of China.
A story on the wall speaks to his experience and learning for over 20 years to perfect his skills in the traditional pastries and plates served at dim sum.
The couple initially immigrated from China to San Francisco but eventually made the move to Florida, settling in Bradenton. We sure are glad they’re here!
Dim Sum Kitchen is located at 11544 Palmbrush Trail, Bradenton, FL 34202
(behind BMO Harris Bank)
Monday: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm
Wednesday – Sunday: 11:00 am – 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm.