Dim sum has long been the province of Chinatown restaurant staples like Imperial Inn, Ocean Garden and Dim Sum Garden. But a few new spots are angling for customers craving the traditional tapas-like meal, where diners choose from small plates or steamer baskets of Cantonese food wheeled around on rolling carts.
I Green Dim Sum Hand Drawn Noodle opened in Chinatown at 10th and Arch over the summer, and it’s about to be joined by Nom Wah Tea Parlor, opening this month at 218 N. 13th St., one block north of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Nom Wah is the Philly outpost of a 95-year-old New York spot that focuses on tradition: think bean curd skin rolls and roast pork buns.
On the opposite end of the spectrum there’s Bing Bing Dim Sum, which opened on East Passyunk Avenue on Monday. It’s from Shawn Darragh and Ben Puchowitz, known for their twists on classic Asian fare at Cheu Noodle Bar in Washington Square West.
Expect gluten-free potato dumplings that taste like pierogies; turnip cakes made with matzo meal and bonito flakes; spicy lamb ribs with cucumber pickles; and a pan-fried bao with something you’ll rarely see on any Asian menu: pastrami.
“Just like with Cheu, where we saw that there was a void in ramen noodle spots, we found that there weren’t any new dim sum places,” Shawn Darragh says of the Bing Bing concept.