Don't ask me how they did it. At the 18th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, friends RL and IJD each gulped down twenty-five and fifteen dumplings (respectively) in a two-minute dumpling-eating contest. Up against the formidable Floria Lee, who ate forty-three dumplings the previous year and thirty-eight this year, neither of them stood to win first place, but what my friends could do once the contest ended was…eat more dumplings.
Yes, somehow the idea of having dim sum in Flushing afterward didn't make them automatically throw up. And with a name like Perfect Team Corporation Restaurant, what better place to have a post-contest meal? Maybe RL and IJD could each eat enough dumplings there to make it to thirty-eight. Or thirty-nine, for the win.
As soon as we sat, the rest of us—who hadn't been swilling dumplings down our throats—began the mad process of securing food for the table. It was still pretty busy considering it was around two, and the carts clattered by, fragrant clouds billowing out every time a steamer lid was lifted. I love you, dim sum.
The crystal shrimp dumplings, meat-filled fried mochi, and meat-filled fried taro balls were all excellent. The Chinese broccoli, though good, didn't stand a chance against these delicious morsels. It was only there to give us some peace of mind. You know: "Oh yes, this isn't really so unhealthy."
Equally excellent were the meatballs, leaf-wrapped rice packets, and the cha shao–stuffed pastries. That last one might have been my favorite of the whole meal…or no, maybe it was the fried taro balls. Or maybe the shrimp dumplings. Oh hell.
No dim sum meal is complete without an order of shrimp rice noodle rolls. The beef rice noodle rolls were good, too.
Everything was awesome, but by this point, we were getting most of the same carts over and over again. Maybe this place is all about quality over quantity, but I really wanted a bit more selection. It's dim sum, maaaan! We ended up ordering only a few new items and getting repeats of some of the others. Above, the spare ribs with pumpkin and the shrimp-stuffed peppers were nice, but the turnip cake didn't have enough turnip and the lotus-leaf rice packet wasn't nearly as fragrant as the small packets of leaf-wrapped rice we got in the beginning. Sadness.
But we were winding down anyway. And RL and IJD were finally feeling the weight of the dumplings in their stomachs and had stopped eating altogether. I don't know if they caught up to Floria by the meal's end, but one thing's for sure, even when you (don't) win some, you dim sum!