We went to China Pearl for some dim sum on Wednesday (luckily they do dim sum all day until 9 pm!). I think it had been at least one year since either of us had dim sum because I think Tony went with his coworkers from Eaton Vance before he left last December, and I can't remember ever going since then (which is kind of sad).
I guess with my food allergies I was always hesitant about going out for dim sum because I don't know what ingredients they use to make the dumplings, etc. I played it somewhat safe this time (especially after just getting over whatever it was that bothered me during the Christmas holiday) and stuck with mostly shrimp dishes like har gow, and of course, shumai. I couldn't resist eating one of the lo mai gai (lotus leaf wrapped rice and meat) bundles, especially after Tony opened one up and the fragrant smell of the leaves and sticky rice enticed me.
Two days later (and even the day after), I felt fine so I think my fears have been calmed. (Woo hoo!)
They didn't have the egg custard tarts (dan tat) that we both love, so we stopped at the Hing Shing Pastry store on our way back to the car to pick some up. We normally stop at the Eldo Cake House but we parked in the opposite direction this time and thought about trying out a new place. I'm so glad we did!
Hing Shing is small and there are no tables and chairs to sit down at to enjoy your pastry purchases, but they have a large variety of things to choose from both sweet and savory. There were a couple of people ahead of us in line so we patiently waited while the one woman working the front tended to orders and a bunch of men in the kitchen were busy baking and talking.
This rack of pastries caught my eye and come to find out, they are sponge cake. They looked like popovers to me but sure enough, they are sweet and really light and fluffy in texture.
We laughed a little bit when we saw these "big walnut cookies". They were huge! And full of whole, large walnuts.
The woman had just put out a fresh batch of the dan tat so we were pretty psyched.
So we took our pastries, headed back to Somerville and to Bloc 11 for some coffee. I'd say that the dan tat and lattes were quite a perfect combination.
The dan tat were so yummy! I love the crunchiness and flakiness of the crust, and how the egg custard is not overly sweet. I found a recipe to make them at home on Jen's blog, so I might muster up the courage to try it out some day. But making a trip out to Chinatown for some makes it all that more special in the end, and this time I promise I won't wait a whole year to go back!