In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m Asian. And one of my favorite parts about being Asian is the food. It’s actually one of my favorite parts about being alive. Anyway. I’m quite partial to Mama Ip’s home cookin’ but on occasion, we’ll venture into town for some good ‘ol dim sum. It’s the Asian version of tapas or small plates meant for the individual. One of Portland’s best and most reasonably priced restaurants for dim sum is HK Cafe on Southeast 82nd.
The atmosphere is perhaps my favorite part of this restaurant. Chinese restaurants tend to be older, dirtier and frankly, a little gaudy on the part of decor with bad lighting. HK Cafe takes a simplistic and clean approach while still displaying a few traditional Chinese artistic elements. The service here is fairly quick during dim sum as carts full of food are being wheeled around continuously. You can also special order any dim sum dishes or full menu items such as wide rice noodles or fried rice.
My favorite dim sum items include the sweet egg custard tart, baked BBQ buns, pork balls (all pictured below) and sticky rice wrapped in grape leaves (not pictured). Now, these are most definitely not the official names of the items but hopefully the pictures below will help you order if you so choose to venture over. I only know the Chinese names. Sorry!!
Many dim sum items can have an unusual texture or flavor. My non-Asian friends seem to notice the differentiation in texture of traditional Chinese food versus the Americanized Chinese food items most when they try dim sum with me. Since the portions are so small and reasonably priced, I would say try as much as you can to help you figure out what it is you like and don’t like. My entire family of 4 was able to dine for under $30.00 including tip for this meal.
What are your favorite dim sum dishes? Any other Chinese restaurants in Portland you’re dying to try?