Summer 2014 (Vol. 2)

Dim Sum for Dinner

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Dim Sum for Dinner

ARTICLE & PHOTOS BY AMELIA EDWARDS | SUMMER ISSUE

First time eating dim sum? Culinarian photographer and dim sum newbie Amelia Edwards recommends Nom Wah Tea Parlor for a delicious and approachable experience.

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Roaming the streets of Chinatown at 5 p.m. on a Thursday is quite an adventure. People stream endlessly out of the Grand Street subway station lugging bags of groceries and briefcases while shopkeepers outside pawn their wares. Children run around in the park on Grand Street screaming with summer time joy, taking in the remaining day’s sunlight.

With countless restaurants and grocery stores piled next to each other on the narrow streets it can seem daunting to choose just one place to eat. So let’s make it easy: if you’re looking for great dim sum, head to Nom Wah Tea Parlor.

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Nom Wah, which was established in 1920 as Chinatown’s first dim sum restaurant, exudes a homey, well-worn charm with its warm red décor, lively chatter, and mismatched plates. Looking around, you’ll find mostly locals happily eating Nom Wah’s wide range of offerings, from pan-fried dumplings to chicken feet—perfect for both the seasoned dim sum diner and those trying it for the first time. Unlike most dim sum joints, where you order by pointing to dishes off of carts roaming the dining room, at Nom Wah you order off the menu, making it an easier experience to jump into for dim sum newbies like me.

I recommend the steamed vegetarian dumplings—the sticky tapioca starch wrapper encasing a melt-in-your-mouth vegetable filling.

I also enjoyed the “original” egg roll. Your egg rolls are sure to arrive at your table fresh out of the fryer.  The golden brown shell breaks beneath with your teeth with a satisfying shatter, exposing the egg roll’s steaming hot contents of bite-sized chicken and vegetables.

Do not leave Nom Wah without trying the fried sesame ball with lotus paste for dessert, three balls of perfection to an order. Under an exterior shell of sesame seeds, gooey rice flour cake awaits, encasing a center of sweet lotus paste with a peanut butter-like consistency.  It’s the perfect sweet ending to a fun and satisfying meal.

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Nom Wah Tea Parlor is located at 13 Doyers St. For more information, please call (212) 962-6047.

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