Thursday, January 8, 2009

At night, you pay the price: Dim sum at Red Egg

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Red Egg, which opened only about half a year ago, bills itself as Peruvian-Chinese, but the menu looks more like straight Chinese with a few Peruvian dishes thrown in. The main draw for my brother (who suggested eating there) is the dim sum, which is available both day and night and steamed to order. Above, shrimp dumpling, beef balls, braised chicken feet, and assorted seafood dumplings. We also tried the taro cilantro dumpling, sui mai, and a few others that were all quite good.

The thing about eating the dim sum here at night is that the prices are nearly double the daytime dum sum menu. With the "regular sum" starting at $4 and running to $7 for the "house special sum," even regular items like the shrimp dumplings cost $5.25 each. Compared to regular dim sum prices, this is a huge jump, and I don't feel that the level of increase in quality quite justifies the raise in price.

The other problem with dim sum at night (and especially when it's a place that's part bar/lounge like Red Egg) is that you end up eating dumplings in the dark. And taking dark, blurry photos of the food. Personally, I like being able to see what I'm eating—turn up the lights, yo!
The curry bread bowl looked interesting, but what arrived was a giant loaf sodden with okay-tasting curry. There were some interesting additions to the curry, such as okra and blue crab, but I wouldn't bother with this one again.
Chinese broccoli with "black olive sauce." I couldn't detect any taste of black olive here, but it was a tasty dish regardless.
The "Peking Duck Sliders" were carved and assembled tableside and the remaining "duck rack" (the remaining bones and meat) whisked away, unlike most other Peking duck places that leave this on the table for nibbling. On our request, though, they were nice about bringing the rack out again, cut into manageable pieces and dressed with cilantro on a new plate. The "sliders" themselves were good but nothing special.

Red Egg's dim sum is half off at the bar during their happy hour, which makes it a great deal given the quality of the goods. At full price though, I probably wouldn't choose to go again—not where there are so many other places to get good dim sum for cheaper. I'll just have to settle for dim sum in the day.

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