Tom’s Dim Sum, Philadelphia PA

Tom’s Dim Sum is a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Dim Sum Factory mini-chain of restaurants serving Shanghai & Cantonese style dim sum.  In 2015 Tom’s took over the location of the Dim Sum Garden in the 11th street tunnel under the Convention Center, when the later opened a new location on Race street.  Turns out there is a long and litigious history between Tom’s and Dim Sum Garden and another Tom’s Dim Sum out in the suburbs (described here). 

I had seen a couple of really positive posts about Tom’s on Instagram and decided to try it out for a Saturday brunch.  Tom’s is not a classic Dim Sum palace where you choose dishes from carts that are pushed around the restaurant, but rather you order dishes from an extensive menu.  On the afternoon we were there the service was very slow and our noodle dish was delivered to the wrong table and promptly eaten by those patrons, who I guess had gotten hungry waiting for their own order to arrive.  Shortly after our noodles went astray we were delivered someone else’s Bok Chow.

The Dumplings:  We got the Pork Soup Dumplings which Tom’s is well known for, and steamed vegetable dumplings and the Shanghai Shumai.  The soup dumplings were the best of the trio, they were really flavorful and each had a full spoon of soup inside.  The soup was opaque and creamy, like a good Tonkatsu Ramen broth.  The dumplings were steamed close to perfection, the wrappers were soft and supple and stretched to the point I thought they would break open and spill their soup as I picked them up, but just maintained their integrity.  Unfortunately, the Shanghai Shumai were not as expertly steamed, they were over cooked to the point that the wrappers had started to dissolve.  The dirty rice and pork filling of these Shumai tasted great, with a full blast of umami, but I couldn’t get over the poor cooking technique.  The vegetable dumplings had a bright emerald wrapper and were stuffed with finely minced greens.  With a little dipping sauce they were pretty tasty.

The Location:  Tom’s Dim Sum is in the dank 11th street tunnel that goes under the convention center, right next to the China Town bus station.  Going there has a bit of a Blade Runner feel.

This entry was posted in Bao, Buns, Chinese, Dim Sum, Philadelphia, Pork, Shumai, Soup Dumpling, Steamed, Vegan Recipe, Vegetarian, Veggie Dumplings, Xiao Long Bao. Bookmark the permalink.

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