Savory Steamers

By: Karen Dybis | November 8, 2019
Dim Sum

Photo Credit: Robert Calandro

Small pleasures are often the best kind, like little gifts that we give ourselves when we’re tired, overwhelmed or hungry. Perhaps that is why people gravitate to Dim Sum – a meal that provides a wide array of comfort foods to share with friends or family. 

Metro Detroit and its Canadian neighbor, Windsor, has well-loved Dim Sum restaurants. In fact, one of the most popular in Detroit’s Midtown and West Bloomfield, Shangri-La, was founded in part because owner Cholada Chan said she herself got tired of going to Windsor for Dim Sum and wanted a place locally that offered these dishes all day. 

With traditional Dim Sum, each dish is handcrafted, giving you a bit of the chef’s skills and flavors. Typically, people who are Dim Sum experts say to order three to four dishes for each person at the table. Because they are smaller servings, you’ll enjoy sampling the many kinds on the menu and everyone is encouraged to share what they ordered with the group. 

If you’re looking to try Dim Sum for the first time, there are a number of great restaurants that serve these dishes around town. Dave Chow, a local teacher and graphic artist, said he has three go-to places that he tells first timers to try.

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“May Wah Inn in Windsor, East Lake in Troy and Shangri-La in West Bloomfield have always been our family’s choices,” Chow said. 

Here are a few more options for going out for Dim Sum:

Golden Harvest 

This Warren restaurant has been a cornerstone of the community in terms of local restaurants that offer dependable comfort foods. What is does best when it comes to Dim Sum is provide classic dishes with a modern twist, taking fresh and local ingredients and turning them into little dishes of deliciousness. 

Shangri La 

Whether you go to its locations in Detroit’s Midtown or its more revered West Bloomfield site, you will get a taste of the best Dim Sum in Metro Detroit, experts say. Chan provides a well-rounded selection of dishes that reflect her Cantonese heritage. Look for a selection of foods from Thailand and China, giving tastes of curry, Thai basil and more.

East Lake Chinese 

Head to Troy for this local favorite, which offers a menu with some of the most interesting dishes around. If you want to take a walk on the wild side, check out its Deep Fried Pork Intestine, Jelly Fish or Pork Shank for your tasting menu. There are many traditional favorites on its menu as well for those who want a special dinner or mild-mannered lunch.

Cheng’s Restaurant 

It may seem a bit far flung out in Rochester Hills, but locals know where to find the best in Dim Sum, so it likely is worth the drive. Check out the seasonal specials as well as the fresh seafood offerings here. Plus, you can get a little creative with some of the menu offerings, which include Fried Silver Anchovy, Jelly Fish with Shredded Chicken and Fish Maw with Crab Meat Soup.

Shanghai Bistro 

Get your passport ready because those in the know say that the best Dim Sum around comes from Detroit’s neighbors to the North. Windsor is home to what are some of the best dumplings around, and much more within its small baskets of tasty treats. Look for bamboo steamers filled with greats such as the pork-skin dumplings or the soup-filled dumplings with crab and pork.