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Dim Sum, Lamar Blvd.

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Does anyone have info on that new dim sum place that is opening on Lamar Blvd. next to Starbucks in the former Panda Express space? I glanced at a banner on the way in from work but didn't get details.

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  1. Is this the one? I don't know anything about it... http://www.getsumdimsum.com/

    1. My husband works across the street and went there for lunch today. He said it was okay, but that he spent the whole time wishing he were at Shanghai. He reckons it'll get better once they work out the kinks, and that the shu mai, shrimp dumplings and potstickers were good, but that he prefers our regular dim sum place.

      1. i checked it out this afternoon. i'm no dim sum expert, but the food was pretty tasty and a the place has an interesting concept. it's owned by a very friendly woman named Foo who also owns Satay. she introduced the chef as the "king of dim sum." he's from Hong Kong by way of San Francisco and is adjusting to making the food in much smaller batches than he's used to. you fill out a checklist-style menu and then place your order at the counter. you can order dim sum a la carte or choose from several combos. one of the combos gives you one choice of dim sum + a serving of the entree of the day + your choice of rice or chow mein. another combo gives you two choices of dim sum + a steamed bun + a sesame ball. both are $7.50. the entree of the day today was red curry, which was okay (could have used a bit more KICK), but next time we'll probably stick to the dim sum. my partner loved her dumplings and I thought the pork bun had a great flavor, even if the sauce to meat ratio leaned a bit heavily towards the sauce. i also enjoyed the spinach dumplings wrapped with bright green skin. the chewy sesame ball with bean paste filling was a nice capper for the meal. since i live in the neighborhood, i'm sure this place will become a constant temptation. hard to beat the convenience of 30+ types of dim sum available from 11am-9pm each day...

        1. Just ate there today. It is a neat concept and I really hope that they do well as it's nice to have some variety to the fast food options around that area. I like to grab lunch before I shop at Central Market (helps cut down on those impulse buys), and I get a bit tired of hamburgers and fast food sushi.

          Keep in mind that I walked in with no great expectations; this is fast food after all and will never reach the quality and variety of Shanghai or Chinatown. I think it was about average in taste, above average in value (less than $10 for a full meal + drink), and above average in service. When I walked in the back door, I was immediately greeted by the manager, who then explained the entire ordering process to me. It's just like Which 'Wich, you check off what you want on a slip of paper and take it up to the counter.

          I ordered the siu mai dumplings and some veggie dumplings to go with the char siu bun and sesame ball. The siu mai dumplings were very tasty with just enough chew to them. I didn't care much for the veggie dumplings, which were way oversteamed to the point of being gummy and gripped onto the little parchment papers for dear life. The char siu bun was tasty and properly steamed; the pork mix had more sauce than others I've had but I like that sauce. The sesame ball was big with a great texture to it of gummy dough and sweet bean paste.

          Even though this is a fast food concept, the manager checked on me and also cleared my plates as I finished them. He seemed to be training one of his staffers to do the same, so I'm guessing they intend to give all diners a little more attention than the usual fast food service.

          The options are a little narrow and very "safe", which I suppose makes sense if they're trying to reach a very broad audience. Mostly dumplings, buns, and rice noodle rolls. There seems to be a standard rotation for the daily entree, since they were all posted on the overhead menu board. Sunday is massamun curry. They also offer a few special off-menu items that they post up on a whiteboard, so hopefully they'll use this to get a little more creative.

          If they could do one thing to help out the dim sum newbies, I would ask them to prep little sauce containers for the dumplings. They offer chili oil, chili sauce, and soy sauce in the back, but options can be overwhelming.

          2 Replies
          1. re: verily

            Just ate there tonight, and I was really pleased. I got splendid service from the manager (great guy), who inventoried the ingredients I liked (no mushrooms, no pork, no shrimp, everything else great) and then ordered for me (he treated me like a princess!) I had their two-dim sum option (one tofu + jalapenos, one chicken), a steamed veggie bun, fried rice, and a sesame ball.

            I'm still very much of a dim sum newbie but am reasonably experienced with Chinese food...and everything I had was great (excellent flavor & good texture, etc.). Overall, the meal reminded me of, years ago, having homecooked Chinese food at the house of acquaintances who grew up in mainland China-- more like generic world "homecooking" than something ethnic. Tonight it was surprisingly comforting when eaten at home as takeout, as if it were long-remembered "comfort food".

            I also got to meet Dr. Foo Swasdee, the owner (and also the owner of Satay). She's one of my favorite people-around-town (her story was a professional inspiration for me, years ago when I needed it; long story). I'm delighted to report that she is extremely friendly and a genuinely lovely lady.

            I'll definitely be back, numerous times-- very good food, stellar management, and convenient!

            1. re: cherilyntx

              I went last night and so curious about the menu, that I ordered nearly half of every item they had. With my work schedule, I am unable to go to the normal Dim Sum establishments, so the concept of 7 days a week is very accessible for me. I will affectionately call this place Dumpling Dynasty. The dumplings have either the wheat flour or rice flour wrappings. The steamed dumplings made of the rice flour have a gelatinous texture- different and delicious.The pan fried dumplings with the vermacelli and veggies inside are yummy also. The Chinese Broccoli was cooked perfectly. I liked also the open faced dumplings w/ veggies and ground chicken. The BBQ Bun was the only item I felt needed improvement. The meat to sauce portion was more sauce - and the sauce looked like corn syrup. I'm not an expert, but I wanted a tad more bbq with a rich bbq sauce. The desserts were authentic and tasty- egg custard tart, coconut roll, sesame balls w/ sweet bean paste (fried), buns with sweet bean paste. I will be back and am so happy this place opened in Central Austin. Every dish was made fresh to order at dinner time and was piping hot. The manager and staff were very friendly and went out of their way to make me feel welcome.

          2. I love this place. I've never had such authentic dim sum in Austin. This is real, tasty and fresh! I love that Get Sum does not use MSG, has so many vegetarian options and so many chicken options (for those of us who are not fans of pork).

            I love that every item is seasoned to perfection. For example, at dim sum places around town, the shrimp dumpling is bland. At Get Sum, the shrimp is actually seasoned (imagine that!!).

            The place is clean! The staff is friendly! Check it out!

            1. I'm not at all a fan of the normal dimsum experience. I don't like the noisy, crowded atmosphere and I don't like playing choose your adventure pulling random dishes from carts. It's just not for me. So, getsumdimsum was an absolute pleasure. I love the ordering process. You know exactly what the options are and you can order exactly what you want, when you want it. The dishes were freshly prepared (not sitting on carts for 30 minutes) and quite good. The atmosphere is typical fast casual - comfortable and pleasant, especially compared to the alternatives. It's probably not the place to go when you have a large group, but I think it's perfect for a quick lunch. I'll definitely be back.

              1. I will say at the start that I know absolutely nothing about dim sum except what I have seen on the Travel Channel, and I was always intimidated by the carts and loud calling out what you want (how do you do that when you don't know what you want?). Anyway, I ate at Get Sum Dim Sum today at lunch and was pleasantly surprised by how friendly everybody was and how easy they made the experience. I still am not sure what I had exactly, but it was very tasty and I would go back. I know that purists may have a problem with the fast food dim sum and sushi places, but they are certainly far less intimidating to newbies like myself. I also look forward to going back to Maki and trying out some more sushi.

                7 Replies
                1. re: danny_w

                  What's weird about the "purist" idea of requiring push carts is that I've eaten at multiple dim sum joints in San Francisco and Oakland where there wasn't a white guy for blocks and they were order at the counter places.

                  I wonder if the cart thing is an American addition?

                  1. re: achtungpv

                    I've had dimsum in Hong Kong and in Guangzhou and didn't see any carts. I'm told that carts are a little old fashioned and few places do it that way anymore.

                    1. re: orb

                      yeah the owner told me she got a chef from hong kong and a chef from san fran. i'm guessing they've seen it done cartless before. i've only had dimsum once before, but i know good food and thought it was worth the price. look forward to going back

                      1. re: orb

                        I have had dim sum in hardcore Cantonese places in Singapore and they give you a dim sum menu and you order fresh, or there are some places that have carts moving around but also you should order from the menu. The Singaporean based dim sum chain near to my home also does the off-menu thing and does not have carts at all. It is basically the same stuff on the carts. Being fresh makes it all the more excellent, but I don't discount carts as part of the yum cha experience.

                        1. re: luckyfatima

                          Hey y'all - let's not forget about this place. I've been four times so far, and I've had great dim sum each time.

                          Here's a review from the Chronicle - I might have never ordered "turnip cake," but because of this review, I did, and it was great. Same with the steamed pork filled buns.

                          Anyhow, it has seemed a little slow the last few times I was there. Pop in for a little snack of dumplings if nothing else. Parking is easy.

                          1. re: rudeboy

                            The mister and I went a couple months ago and wish we could endorse the place. It's like kiddie pool dim sum in that it's not terrible, but it's nondescript. I'm a noticer and I can't remember anything except that it wasn't awful and the steamed dumpling skins were awfully thick and chewy. I can't imagine why anybody would be encouraged to get to know dim sum further after eating here.

                            Why not try T&S Seafood, Fortune or even Chinatown on Greystone instead? You have to go on a weekend at brunch time, but it's worth scheduling into your life.

                            1. re: agoodbite

                              I've been to T&S, Shanghai, Tien Hong, many places in San Francisco, and "Northern Sea Fishing Village" east of LA (it's actually called, in English, "Ocean Star") which is supposedly the place to go.

                              And I love them all. I've had DIm Sum too many times to remember. And it isn't about schedule, because I could have DIm Sum on Sat and Sun and still want more during the week if I'm having that craving. No, you can't get tripe, duck feet, or chicken feet at Get Sum, unfortunately, but most everything I've had there was at least comparable to the other Dim Sum places I've been to.

                  2. Get Sum Dim Sum does exactly what it's meant to do: Offer very quick Dim Sum any time of day or night, without having to round up a bunch of people to join you.

                    The prices are reasonable. I ordered off the a la carte menu and was happy with what I got.

                    The Pork Siu Mai was good, the chicken spring rolls were crispy, and they have plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

                    Overall, I recommend it if you want inexpensive dim sum for one or two people, or you need something quick at lunchtime.

                    1. We tried "Get Dim Sum" for the first time today for luch and were very pleased with the food and quick service. Any questions are answered quickly and politely The atmosphere is "clean and pleasant fast food" and the food itself is good, probably about a B+ in my book. Not a place for a great night out, but for a quick pick up or a Sunday lunch, I think this place fits the bill well.

                      1. this place baffles me. the chef is supposed to be some acclaimed guy from san fran, but i can't imagine this food hacking it any city of size.

                        the steamed pork bun was really doughy, but probably the best part of the meal. the special today was a black bean beef thing. not good. was the meat steamed? pretty bad. i had some pork and shrimp dumplings that were bland and texturally odd. i think they had been sitting on a steam table for a while. the chow mein was edible.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ieathereforeiam

                          finally. i was begining to fear that no one in Austin knows anything about dim sum.

                          i ate the most disappointing dim sum meal of my life here. truly disgusting. everything tasted generic, frozen, and overly salted and overcooked.

                          even the bok choy with oyster sauce was inedible.