It is about time that dim sum, the Chinese steamed filled dumplings, made their mark on the Brussels food scene. A new place called Dim’s is hoping to elevate their status, following in the footsteps of sushi.
We didn’t need a fortune teller to predict a bright future for dim sum. The Chinese steam-cooked stuffed dough balls have everything people are looking for in current food trends, including exotic flavours that are perfect for culinary “zapping”. They are easy to eat in front of any screen and can be made available in a thousand and one versions.
Strangely enough, however, this speciality has never really taken off in Brussels, even if some places offer fabulous versions of the dish. Dim sum is up against sushi, the golden boy of East-Asian cuisine. The major difference between the rice dish and the stuffed parcel of dough is in relation to temperature. Paradoxically, the cold is an enemy to both; in an industry that is currently dominated by delivery services, that works against the dim sum.
Romain David and Martin Giard have just established a workshop kitchen, located in Sint-Gillis/Saint-Gilles and a collection point in Ukkel/Uccle. Dim’s delivers to all nineteen boroughs in the Brussels Capital Region. The concept consists of a “ghost kitchen” with a focus on “shumai”, cylindrical dumplings that are open at the top, tipping the dough to filling ratio in favour of the latter.
We spent an evening trying the different varieties on offer and were pleased with the result. The only drawback was the fact that the last few that we ate were lukewarm; we know how much effort take-aways must make to ensure that the food arrives at the right temperature and provide a restaurant-quality experience. We were delighted by the festive aspect of the meal, which transitioned smoothly from one flavour to another.
Our firm favourites were the “Beef Ketjap” (€5.80 for three dumplings), which combines sesame seeds, spring onions, carrot, and ginger, and the “Pulled Pork” (€5.90), whose stuffing contains slices of pepper and explodes in your mouth. The “Veggie” (€5.80) is also excellent, with its delicious topping of lemon zest and mustard seeds.
We were also impressed by the sides, which included “edamame” (€3.50), soy sauce with coriander and teriyaki (€1), and a fresh coleslaw (€4.50) made with carrot, cabbage, and soybeans, drizzled with yuzu vinaigrette.