As an American-born Cantonese kid, I never went out of my comfort zone when it came to Chinese food. As a kid, I ate my way from Golden Unicorn to the birth of Ping’s restaurant and I am still eating at Ping’s to this day. Once I found what I considered the most authentic form of Hong Kong styled cuisine, I never took the risk to adventure anywhere else once I’ve tried what I considered the best of the best. Though this year I have dubbed it to be a year to taking adventures and taking risks and even though this is not a MAJOR lifechanging risk but nevertheless a food risk, I decided to give the famous tea parlor in all of Chinatown, Nom Wah Tea Parlor a try.
In case you aren’t familiar with Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Nom Wah Tea Parlor has been dubbed as the go-to spot for any tourist who decides to take a stroll through New York City’s Chinatown when it comes to dim sum. And for what reason exactly? Nom Wah Tea Parlor has been known to be the first ever dim sum parlor/restaurant to ever open at Chinatown so it only makes sense for me especially that it was about time for me to take a leap of faith and make a fair opinion rather than judge a book by its cover.
So, of course, I had to eat the staple items:
Stuffed Crab Claws, Shumai, and Har Gau
I have to say I was content with my experience at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Despite its interior design and rustic vibes, their food delivered. They had great traditional staple dishes from har gau, shumai, and shrimp and chive dumplings to the modern-day favorite: stuffed crab claws.
Though as content as I was with my experience at Nom Wah, there are two reasons stopping me from going again unless a friend asked me. For starters, as much as the quality of ingredients were decent, there wasn’t a fair ratio between the thickness of the dim sum wrapping with the number of ingredients inside which leaves the palate not so stimulated without some hot sauce added atop. Secondly and most importantly for anyone who’s very traditional when it comes to eating dim sum at only a particular hour of the day, you will definitely face double or triple the amount of wait time compared to Golden Unicorn and Jing Fong due to the limited capacity versus those two other venues.
To my fellow foodies and anyone who shares the same or just having a particular taste when it comes to food, what are your thoughts about Nom Wah Tea Parlor? Let me know in the comments below! Sorry for the rambling but I just like run-on sentences.