The reviews on Yelp indicate that Windsor Dim Sum Cafe is the best Dim Sum house in Boston’s Chinatown, and my informal polling of people on the street in Chinatown seems to back that up. The Windsor doesn’t provide the traditional Dim Sum experience of ordering food from little carts that are pushed by the staff from table to table, instead the waiters provide cards listing all the dishes and you put check marks next to what you want. The restaurant helpfully supplies a menu with pictures and numbers that correspond to the check boxes on the card.
The Dumplings: As would be expected in a Dim Sum house the Windsor has an extensive list of dumplings. We tried the pork with peanuts steamed dumplings, the shrimp with spinach dumplings and the steamed juicy pork buns.
Pork with peanuts steamed dumplings – These dumplings were really delicious, although I am not sure if they actually contained any peanuts. Instead the filling definitely included big cubed pieces of seasoned water chestnuts that provided an enjoyable crunch. The rice flour wrappers were a little gelatinous and I found them tough to pick up with chop sticks. But the flavor was worth the struggle so I recommend you try these.
Shrimp with spinach – These proved to be another great choice; the fresh tasting shrimp and spinach were a great taste combo. The spinach filling also made these dumplings an efficient sauce conveyance. The wrapper, again was made of rice flour, but held together better and was much easier to work with than the pork with peanuts dumpling wrappers.
Steamed juicy pork buns – I was fairly disappointed with these soup dumplings, there was minimal soup and the filling didn’t have much flavor at all. In fact I was so indifferent to these buns that I let my my buddy eat my half of the order. I don’t think the Windsor really focuses on this dish, the waiter didn’t initially provide us with soup spoons to eat them with and only did so begrudgingly when we asked for them.
The Dipping Sauce: There are bottles of soy sauce and tubs of ground up hot red chili peppers in oil on each table. Be warned the chili oil was much hotter than I usually expect at a Chinese restaurant; my buddy’s face turned bright red and he grabbed for water after trying only a tiny dab of the oil and seeds. The steamed juicy pork buns came with the traditional black vinegar with slivered ginger.
The Location: Boston has a small Chinatown in the downtown central business area near the Boston common. The Windsor Dim Sum Cafe is located in the heart of this area on a strip of restaurants and Dim Sum houses.