The chefs at Dim Sum VIP have over 30 years of dim sum making experience in restaurants from Hong Kong to New York. Their restaurant is a narrow, bare bones storefront joint, seating maybe 50 people at small tables and a counter. The dining room has none of the typical red and gold decor of the large dim sum palaces and is too narrow for the dim sum to be served from carts. You order from among 37 choices by marking your dishes in check boxes on a paper menu. Dim Sum VIP doesn’t serve beer, but features freshly brewed house Puer tea, which is a type of fermented tea.
The Dumplings: The menu has too many dumpling options to fully list here, but we tried the Crystal Shrimp Dumplings, the Steamed BBQ Pork Bun, the Pork Pot Stickers, the Football Dumplings and the Vegetable Buns. Overall I thought Dim Sum VIP’s dumplings were serviceable but not great.
The Football Dumplings were probably my crew of dumpling eaters least favorite dish. They were air filled, deep fried, football shaped puffs with a few scrawny pieces of mildly seasoned pork rattling around inside. The Pork Pot Stickers fell a little flat; I thought they tasted fine and were well fried, but they were not really memorable. The Steamed BBQ Pork Buns were an improvement on the Football Dumplings and Pot Stickers, they had a really light fluffy Chinese bread bun which I liked. But my dining companions thought the bun bread was too soft and sticky and made the buns hard to eat.
On the better end of the spectrum, the Crystal Shrimp Dumplings had thin, slick rice flour wrappers and firm, fresh, slightly sweet shrimp inside. These crystal dumplings were good. We also enjoyed the vegetable buns, which were steamed and then crispy pan fried on both sides, sort of like a veggie Shen Jian Bao. Other than pieces of water chestnut that gave the bun filling a great crunch, I am not really sure what the filling was made of and the waitresses weren’t forthcoming. Other foodie blogs suggest there is a mushroom based filling in these buns. But whatever was in these buns, I enjoyed them quite a lot.
Dipping Sauces: Dim Sum VIP doesn’t provide much in the way of dipping sauces, there is just a bottle of soy sauce on each table. The lack of sauce options was a disappointment.
The Location: Dim Sum VIP is in NYC’s Chinatown on Mott Street between Canal and Bayard Streets.