Creatively Enhancing the Art of Dim Sum || Eat Seeker


– The art of dim sum has
thousands of years of history, but I think there’s still
a lot more creativity out there in this world of dim sum. For me, I have the mindset
of change is inevitable. It’s gonna happen. You either roll with it,
or you get left behind. I always saw operating this restaurant in a Chinese diner format. In 2011, we did a little
minor construction. We just reopened, and it really
got the place back alive because it’s got 80, 90 years of history, and it just brought everyone
back out of the woodworks. Old timers, new folks — you
name it, we had them in here. Traditionally, dim sum is
something that you kind of eat with your eyes and in all
those big banquet halls there’s the push carts, and you
kind of smell it, you see it. I took a page out of dim
sum dining in Hong Kong where you kind of order
dim sum off of a sheet. People were amazed that we had a menu, and it had pictures, it had descriptions. That kind of took on like wildfire. (egg sizzling) One of my favorite dishes,
is the original egg roll. My uncle swears that he invented it. (laughs) It’s made with a crepe of egg so we’re almost making omelets, and in this crepe of egg,
it’s mixed vegetables, we use chicken, and it’s
rolled in this crepe. When someone orders it,
we lightly batter it, and then we pop it into the fryer. The result of this item
is this very aromatic, fresh, light, airy egg roll. Everyone knows what an egg roll is. It’s synonymous with any Chinese-American takeout restaurant, and there’s hundreds of variations to it. Ours just happen to have real eggs in it. Roast pork bun that we sell here is slightly different than
what’s out in the market. Our chef here has this
formula from my uncle Wally for over 30 years. We use a dough that has
yeast in it that rises, and it gives this extra kind of texture and airiness and fluffiness. And the pork, it’s our
custom formula. We marinate and roast the pork in-house, and it’s mixed with a
house-made char siu sauce and caramelized onions; it’s
a labor-intensive process. Chicken feet is actually not that scary. My parents always told me the
more chicken feet you eat, the stronger your own legs will be. The process of making the chicken feet is giving it a quick fry to
kind of get some structure to it, and then it’s marinated,
and then it’s steamed. After it’s steamed, all
the skin and the gelatin and the knuckles, they
really kind of melt together. I guess to some people,
it’s a acquired taste but I actually, personally,
really like it. It tastes great. It’s a chewy, springy, a
little salty kind of item. Dim sum actually came from the south where merchants traveling
along the Silk Road will stop off tea houses and have a snack, and that’s how dim sum really originated. It’s just a subcategory of Cantonese food. “Yum cha,” drinking tea, is kind of synonymous with having dim sum. The tea actually works
really well with dim sum. It really cuts down the natural
fats that’s in the dim sum. You start the whole digestion process, so you can actually go and eat again. Trying to balance the old and the new is actually really really hard to do. This restaurant has over
90 years of history. My family started working
in this restaurant in 1950. Everywhere else you look,
there’s a lot of development — and it’s a scary word, gentrification. Chinatown is in the
brink of massive change, and I think it’s one of
the only neighborhoods in Manhattan that had
this resistance of change. Nom Wah Tea Parlor is this
tried-and-true OG place. I compare it to one of the originals. It’s a brand that’s moving forward and trying to innovate and
staying really New York.

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