| 4 min read
If you like dim sum or healthy Chinese food, you’re about to discover your new favorite spot in Brussels. This restaurant stands out thanks to its high quality food and large selection of dim sums. Typical of Cantonese cuisine, these are some kind of ‘Chinese ravioli’ served in small steamer baskets or on a small plate. You can combine these small bite-sized portions of food like tapas or have them as starters.
A Dam Sum Aperol for the wait
I had arrived a bit early, so while waiting for my company to arrive, I killed time by sipping from my Aperol Dam Sum, their specialty cocktail. A personal touch is given to the traditional aperol by adding Yuzu liquor. To be honest, I had no idea what that was, so I looked it up and stumbled upon this beautiful description: “Yuzu is a fragrant Japanese fruit that can be described as the love child of a lemon and a mandarin with traces of grapefruit.” (The Daily Mail)
The famous dim sums
When my partner arrived, we ordered some dumplings, which were served in a matter of minutes. He had the N° 3 Xiao Long Bao Crab & Pork, with soup inside, while I went for N° 7 Har Gao, one of the two fish dumplings on the menu. Apparently, this "crystal shrimp" dumpling is the most popular dim sum around the world, which obviously raised my expectations. Both of them were delicious and left us wanting for more. All the dim sums are cooked on traditional bamboo steamers, which preserves all the nutrients within the vegetables and keeps it healthy. For a moment, we regretted not having ordered multiple dim sums to create an Asian-style tapas menu. They dumpling contain differs ingredients and are prepared in different ways, going from steamed, pan fried to deep fried.
That was soon forgotten when we received our main dishes: the N° 21 Sweet and Sour Pork for him, and the N° 19 Gom Bao Chicken for me. Simply looking at our plates made me happy, as they looked so nice and colorful. And the flavor didn’t disappoint either. My Gom Bao Chicken was slightly spicy, and full of flavor. The perfect combination of spicy oil, peanut and wok fried chicken in one dish.
With my food, I had the classic homemade ice tea, somehow made me feel nostalgic. It tasted like a particular kind of violet candy, which -along with a slice of apple- was put on top of the glass to top it off. I couldn’t help of thinking back of my grandparents who always gave us these candies when we were kids.
My partner tried the Dam Sum IPA. The beer was too bitter for me, but he definitely enjoyed it and gave it a decent rating on his favorite app Untappd :-)
The setting of the Sainte-Catherine restaurant
Finally, let me tell you something about the setting. Dam Sum has a restaurant in Châtelain and recently opened a new one on Place Sainte-Catherine. We tried the latter, which is a large colorful restaurant, with bright windows and thoughtfully decorated. The first thing that caught my eye were the three tables against the wall on the left, which totally recreated a typical street food scene with a street-art looking wall painting. Then I gazed up to the ceiling which was covered with dozens of strainers.
They have an open kitchen, so if you sit on the left side of the restaurant, you can watch how some extremely agile cooks carefully fold the dumplings by hand.
All in all, when you start combining dishes and drinks, it can get a bit expensive. But given the location and the high quality of the food, it’s good value for money.
- The address: Quai du bois a bruler 51, 1000 Brussels OR Parvis de la Trinité 11, 1060 Ixelles
- You can't make reservations in this place but if you arrive at 7 PM, this is not a problem. Afterwards it gets more difficult.
- The price for a basked with 3 dim sums ranges between 4,50 and 7,80 EUR. Main dishes are around 11 EUR (medium portion) and 17 EUR (large portion), and are best when ordered with an additional portion of rice or noodles.
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