(Travel + Leisure) Dim sum calls for dumplings, and about 55,000 are sold annually at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. But not classics like shrimp-filled har gow. Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski prefer their dumplings with guinea hen. “Dim sum service offers a slew of freedoms with our cooking,” explains Brioza, whose menu includes steak tartare in lettuce cups.
The pleasure of a dim sum meal also comes from the showmanship and ordering experience. At Seattle’s New Hong Kong, for example, carts glide past diners and attendants raise the lids off steamer baskets, bellowing out what’s inside, whether sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves or garlicky spareribs. It’s all washed down with generous cups of fragrant tea.
Read on for more of America’s best dim sum destinations, and share your favorites in the comments below.
Editor's note: Coinciding with the annual Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament (March 28-30) CNN is profiling parts of Hong Kong in a special series.
Creative new takes on dim sum are a common trend in Hong Kong restaurants these days, particularly at the higher end, with chefs incorporating traditionally Western ingredients such as truffles, foie gras or Maine lobster.
At the same time, many classic dim sum dishes have fallen out of fashion, making them harder to find in the city.
There aren't many people who can claim that their lives have been changed by an egg tart, but chef Raymond Wong - who heads Macau’s Institute for Tourism Studies Educational Restaurant - says when he tasted Macau’s famous local Portuguese tarts there was no looking back.
“I left Hong Kong when I was just nine years old,” says Wong, who grew up in San Francisco and studied at the culinary program at San Francisco City College.
“But when I came back here in 2004, I went to Macau with my fiancé and she took me to a famous shop for egg tarts.”
Presenting mooncakes to relatives and business associates may be an integral part of China's Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, but a new law aims to dampen the spirit of mooncake giving - at least among government officials.
As announced by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency, the Chinese government has announced that officials will no longer be able to use public money to send mooncakes as gifts during the festival.