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Jan 29, 2008 04:48 AM

Asking for hot dim sum.

On the steam carts - sometimes they take the top container which is open to the air and lukewarm - Sometimes they lift the top one off and take the one underneath which is always hot. I prefer when the ladies take the containers from the lower parts of the steam carts. How can I say this or motion to the ladies that don't speak English so they understand what I am asking for. I am usually in Flushing or NYC Chinatown if that makes a difference.

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  1. Point to the one you want. Gestures work fine. They may give you a look, but that would be b/c eventually they need to sell that top one as well. Usually, if the place is good, the top one is only shown once or twice before being placed on a table.

    1. I'm puzzled - in Boston there's always a cover on top of the top steamer, so none of them are actually open to the air and cooling off. Is it really not that way in New York?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Allstonian

        A lot of places in NY keep the top layer open so you know what the ladies are carrying without having them show you.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          I remember having dim sum in NYC once and the place actually had signs on the front of the carts w/ pictures, english & chinese of what they had so you could see them from afar and know if you wanted to bother or not. It was a great idea (except when you'd get your hopes up that the one thing you wanted was coming toward you, only to zig another way).

          As Allstonian said though, here in Boston they're generally all kept covered (not 100% true though, varies item to item). You gotta kinda keep your eye out as the carts are coming around and watch them a table or two before they get to you.

          1. re: Miss Needle

            Huh. Odd. In Boston they keep the stacks of steamer baskets covered and happily show what they've got in the cart.

            (It's true that some things are not kept covered, such as deep-fried items and so on, but those aren't in stacked layers anyway, so every dish is equally likely to be only lukewarm.)