So, my friend Marin had told us about Lucky Star. This place is in the college area on University. It's Chinese food and they have big band night on Thursdays. The bluehairs dress up and dance. Oh, and they have dimsum. My food emailling buddy My Halfway told me about dim sum there.
So yesterday morning, we were hungry. The FP was in the mood for dim sum. We talked about Emerald. Then I remembered Lucky Star. I looked it up online, and thank my lucky stars, it opens at 9 am. So off we went, around 8:40 am. We were the second table there.
So if you've been to Jasmine, or that Vietnamese place down University from Lucky Star, they all are kinda similar. Each is asian, and all three are "banquet halls" with a stage and dancefloor. Although, Lucky Star has the most elaborate lighting set up I have ever seen in any bar or club. There are like 6 fog machines and four of every lighting device I've ever seen. I would love to go there at night during a party and see what it looks like all set up. And of course the sound system looks way bigger than what they need for the space. They also have a metal detector, I guess for when they have parties with those punky asian gangster kids.
We were quite impressed. So the carts started coming, and seeing how at first there were only 2 tables, we got hit with a lot of choices. But that's the key to dim sum - you gotta keep your cool. Don't jump the gun. If you feel like you're not really dead set on getting a dish, don't get it, another one will come along. I promise. So, I think overall we chose pretty well. I think we got seven dishes.
Let's see if I can remember without looking at the pictures first.
First, we got the bean curd filled with shrimp and mushrooms. This was excellent. It came with a brown sauce clinging to the tender beancurd. I love bean curd, but sometimes it's just stuffed with shrimp with not really any flavor. This had flavor, and the mushroom made it even better.
Second, we got shumai. I thought she said with egg, but what the hell, we thought we'd see what it was. These were the largest shumai I have seen to date. They were big orbs, big as golf balls, not those bite sized ones. They had that pork paste in them, flavored with cilantro. That's standard. But what made these the most bizarre shumai I have ever tasted was the egg on top. I'm not sure what they did to them. The FP thought they were quail eggs, but they were too circular looking - I thought they were egg yolks. But the weird part was that the middle was like a creamy center, not boiled, but custardy. I don't know how they did this. It looked like they soft boiled an egg and then extracted the yolk. Then maybe they plunked it on top of the shumai and slow steamed them? I really don't know. It was so strange though. When I first bit into one, it was creepy - like biting into an eyeball. But the flavor and texture was really so uniquely tasty.
We also got the beef ball off that cart. Pretty standard. Garlicky. Except they had a skin on the bottom that we had to peel off. That was weird.
Then we got the chicken feet. That standard kind of bbq sauce. They were nicely cooked - you could bite the skin off and suck on the bones and get the flavor out of them. They did have those cold white chicken feet with the nuoc mam type sauce. We've never tried them, but I don't like the look of them at all.
Then we got the pork knuckle. Yum yum. These came with the jalapeno slices, but they really had one flavoring component. Garlic. Lots of it. I mean tons of garlic. I liked it though. I don't use as much garlic as I used to when I first started cooking (yeah, I got that from Emeril - but that was prelive cooking show audience complete with band Emeril. Back when he was just trying to do a humble cooking show.). These were succulent little bites that we sucked on until all that was left was the cartiligenous parts.
Then, thank god, the rice in lotus leaf showed up. I was getting pretty full just looking at all the food we had on our table. These were those 2 small heavy packets in the steamer container. They were heavy. The rice was really sticky and wet. The meat was the scraps, pork, chicken, dried out chinese sausage. There was like a brown sauce that oozed out of it. It was okay, but it was heavy and I was definitely getting full. I ate about half my packet, but the FP saved the day and finished it for me.
But of course, I had room for dessert - baked bbq pork bun. I knew it before as a savory dish, but this one was on the dessert cart and it definitely looked like dessert. It was glazed with a light shiny coating of simply syrup, and the bbq pork was so sweet, that if you didn't focus on the fact that it was pork, you would never think of it as a savory dish. I loved it. Pork for dessert. It can't get any better than that. It smelled like a doughnut, with the glaze and the yeast smell when I bit into it. I swear. It smelled like a Krispy Kreme. And I know that's a chain, but man, do I love Krispy Kremes! They are just great. I could go for one now..... IThe pork bun though, was a little too much for the FP, which I understand. I'm not sure how many Americanos would go for this - but I loved it. I ate 2 and took the third home. It's in the fridge, but I'm not sure how to eat it. Maybe microwave it for a few seconds at a time?