Tricotin (Dim sum in Paris)

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

One thing you probably don’t know about me is that I’m half-Chinese. Actually, I’m not officially half-Chinese, but I was unofficially adopted by two Chinese-American sisters, who have told me that I’m Chinese. Being Chinese has a host of advantages, which include learning how to open a métro door without actually touching the knob. And generally assuming that if you’re going out for Chinese food, that you order three or four times what you’re actually planning (or able) to eat, and taking the rest of it home.

In San Francisco, I’ve seen people bring their own plastic containers to restaurants. When the meals is over, they take them out and fill them up. (I haven’t tried that in Paris, but I have been able to go ten years without touching a métro handle.)

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

Another benefit of my bequeathed heritage is a plethora of amazing food. When I go to San Francisco, upon arrival, the refrigerator is stocked with won tons, dumplings, noodle soups, and chow fun. (Thick rice noodles.) And the rest of the time is spent going out to eat. One gets pretty spoiled living in California because there are a lot of great places for Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food. (Although after going to Thailand, I couldn’t eat Thai food anywhere else. When can I go back? And Vietnam, Burma, and Hong Kong are at the top of my bucket list.)

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

But Paris is a lot more international than people think. In fact, we have three quartiers chinois: Belleville, Arts et Métiers (the original Chinese neighborhood), and the 13ème, in one compact little city. So there.

I discovered the 13th arrondissement shortly after I moved to Paris. The first time that I stepped into the giant Tang Frères and Paris Store, I felt right at home amongst the shelves and refrigerators piled up with Asian ingredients. And Chinese jostling felt a lot different – more comforting – than Parisian jostling. So whenever I missed California, I would elbow my way through the store, fill my cart up with candied ginger, tofu, scallions, chili paste, and shaoxing, and bring home the taste of “home.” (Although you can get some of those ingredients in grocery stores, people aren’t as familiar with them in Paris and I had a supermarket checker – a young woman – ask me with great curiosity, what the piece of fresh ginger I was buying was.)

There are a lot of les chinois, otherwise known as Chinese restaurants and take-outs in Paris (and les sushis). Most are forgettable, and simply fill a need of people grabbing something cheap and easy on their way home from work. But there are a number of good Chinese places in Paris. So when my adopted sister from San Francisco came to town this week, it just seemed natural that we go out for dim sum on Sunday morning.

I have assured her that, while it wasn’t Saigon, Ton Kiang, or Hong Kong Lounge II, it was pretty good, as the never-ending line of people waiting for tables at Tricotin, can attest to.

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

First of all, if you’re looking for a pitcher of real iced tea, unsweetened — unlike those cans of peach-flavored, sweetened teas they serve in cafés, with one dinky ice cube melting sadly on top of the tepid liquid — this is the real deal. (Although now that I’m Chinese, I’ve also learned that you should order hot tea, so that you can use it to wipe down your plates before you put food on them, as well as the plastic chopsticks, before you use them.)

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

We had an assortment of raviolis vapeur, or dim sum, which included Ha Kao (shrimp dumplings), Char Siu Bao (pork buns, not shown, which were my least-favorite), Sui Mai, and steamed dumplings with civettes, not the nocturnal animal whose pooped out coffee beans have become a dubious luxury item, but Chinese chives.

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

To me, it’s not dim sum unless it includes my all-time favorite dishes: Lo Mao Gai, or Rice cooked in lotus leaf. It’s not the most attractive dish to photograph…

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

…inside or out.

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

Especially when you’re being jostled in a crowded restaurant and your co-diners are diving in before you have a chance to take a photo. (And really, all you want to do is dive in, too.) But what’s not to love about a wad of browned sticky rice, steamed inside a carefully folder lotus leaf, with bits of lap cheong sausage and sautéed mushrooms to extract with your (sterlized) chopsticks, with the flavor of the rice taking on the earthy flavor of the leaf? Especially those scrappy, caramelized rice bits stuck to the leaves.

My co-diners insisted on styling the chive dumplings for me, which is one reason you shouldn’t always let people style your food. Unless you don’t mind it comingout looking like a bullfrog trapped in a rice wrapper. Happily, the insides are full of steamed civettes, the green kind, and are quite good. And unlike the take-outs around town, the dim sum here is made in-house.

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

The pile of beef Chow Fun (shown up above) wasn’t as good as versions I order elsewhere, which are normally cooked “dry.” I never realized one had to specify how to cook them in Chinese restaurants, because it always came out that way when I’d ordered it. (Or, quite likely, my friends and family who are Chinese, are ordering in Chinese, and they make that distinction.) Dry-cooking gives the thick noodles a slightly seared color, and they take on the flavor of the wok. Not sure if they will cook it that way at Tricotin. But next time, I’m asking. Well, once I memorize how to say “dry cooked rice noodles” in French.

Paris isn’t a city of doggy bags, although some people are trying to change that, to combat gaspillage, or food waste. And I had to convince my sœur chinoise that we couldn’t do the usual over-order, because we couldn’t take anything home. So we ordered a sensible amount of food.

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

Which meant in addition to six baskets of dim sum, and a big plate of chow fun, we had a plate or roast pork and Gai Lan, or Chinese broccoli, which is done really well here; cooked until still slightly crunchy, served glistening with a slick of chicken fat.

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

However being Chinese, I’m constantly reminded, there’s always room for another course. And while I had to stop my “sister” from ordering a double order, I did notice plates of deep-fried shrimp dumplings being delivered to other tables. So why not get some for us?

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

While waiting for the check (and believe me, busy Chinese restaurants are places in Paris where you don’t wait very long to get one…), we saw a well-fed couple that runs a food concession stand at the Stade de France, the sports stadium to the north of Paris, waiting for a table to eat. A few places behind them, one of the best chefs in Paris was with his girlfriend, who is the chef/owner of one of the best new restaurants in Paris, were waiting in line as well.

Interestingly, they got seated at the same table as the couple with the kiosk at the stadium, which made for a curious juxtaposition of dining companions. (Most people share tables at Tricotin. So only go if you don’t mind menus flung down on the table, and sharing spaces.) It showed the variety of people who like good food in Paris, who appreciate quality food from around the world. Happily, the circle of multicultural dining options continues to widen in Paris. So if you’re looking for good dim sum in Paris, you might want to include Tricotin in your sphere.



Tricotin
15, avenue de Choisy (13th)
Tél: 01 45 84 74 44
(No reservations)



Related Posts and Links

Shang Palace

Sticky Rice Lotus Leaf (The Woks of Life)

Sui Mai

Chinese sausage with sweet soy sauce (Steamy Kitchen)

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad


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67 comments

  • September 1, 2014 11:00am

    “To me, it’s not dim sum unless it includes my all-time favorite dishes: Lo Mao Gai”

    Have I written that ? I’m pretty sure I have…

    Tricotin was already high on my list, but now that you mentioned Lo Mao Gai (which I almost never find in France), it might just be the very next restaurant I will head up to !
    Thanks.

  • September 1, 2014 12:03pm

    Will definitely check this out next time I’m there! Looks delicious – especially the lotus leaf rice!

  • ron shapley(NYC)
    September 1, 2014 1:05pm

    Dave……..There’s a DimSum joint in Fresno that actually has Lo Mao Gai….I was pleasantly surprised……. I didn’t know until now what it was called but I loved it……I haven’t seen it on the menu of any DimSum palace here in NYC……..Is it considered a rare delicacy ?? Wǒ ài diǎnxīn

    • Irene
      September 3, 2014 7:35pm

      Lo Mai (not Mao) Gai, translates to sticky rice chicken, is traditionally made with chicken as the filling. It’s served at almost every Cantonese style dim sum restaurant in NYC, Boston, L.A. and San Francisco. It’s a staple, like Har Gao, the shrimp dumplings. If you don’t see it in the carts, just ask a waiter, but you’ll want to ask for Lo Mai Gai or just the sticky rice in the leaf.

  • September 1, 2014 1:32pm

    Have I mentioned that I’m half Thai by virtue of my marriage to a wonderful Thai lady. And living in Bangkok I think that makes me at least 1/4 Chinese as well based on the huge number of Chinese who call themselves Thai, but are actually Chinese.

    Of course you come to Thailand for Thai food, but there’s some pretty stunning Chinese places here as well. Next time you’re in town look me up and we can do a Thai/Chinese food tour, in which I assure you we will order far more than we can eat, but will eat it anyway, especially if we have some Thai companions (who seem to be able to eat everything in sight – even if they are female and 40kg soaking wet).

  • September 1, 2014 2:45pm

    Now I know where I’ll be having lunch at least one day this week. Merci!

  • September 1, 2014 3:18pm

    What a cool place. You know, I didn’t have Chinese food in Paris, but I did so in Brussels and Madrid. It’s funny, but I feel there is something very homey about having Chinese food when you are abroad for long periods of time.

  • christine
    September 1, 2014 3:46pm

    I wish you would visit Hong Kong! I can already see the dim sum, cha chaan teng, the small wonton and fish cake restaurants, barbeque shops on your blog. Even though I been many times myself, there’s just something about your photography and the way you write about all the details that increases my enjoyment.

  • Jessica
    September 1, 2014 4:34pm

    You might want to add South Korea to your list.
    Amazing country, amazing food. I’ve been addicted to namul ever since my travel. Not all that thrilled about kimchi though (some people border on obsession, and while it’s nice, I don’t exactly crave it), but there are plenty of other small dishes and namul to go around.

  • September 1, 2014 4:53pm

    I thank the good Lord that there is not a “Tricotin” in my neighborhood.

    If there were, I would make the Buddha look like Twiggy on Slimfast.

    Now you’ve done it, David. I was going to go to a friend’s house for a Labor Day barbecue. But now I think I’ll call them and tell them that my cat is in need of an emergency root canal…and then head to Irvine and find a decent Chinese restaurant.

  • September 1, 2014 5:02pm

    Now I want dim sum. And I think I am going to have to go and get it! :)

  • September 1, 2014 5:06pm

    Thai Spices (7 rue de l’ave maria) was pretty great Thai, the only place I’ve been to in Paris so far to which I am comfortable referring friends – have you been? Right next to rue saint paul.

  • Melissa in Massachusetts
    September 1, 2014 5:17pm

    David,

    Great post, as always, and I’m now swooning at the thought of making my own sticky rice in lotus leaf….but since lotus leaves are in short supply (have sticky rice, have mushrooms, have sausage) I wonder if I could try shiso leaves (growing them on my deck) decoupaged together with some egg white? Shiso is yummy and on hand. Any thoughts?

  • Philip
    September 1, 2014 5:30pm

    Slightly off-topic, one of the best meals I’ve ever had in France was at a Vietnamese restaurant in Albi– le Palais d’Asie. It was a Sunday night, and when I asked the woman at our hotel if it was any good, her response was “how should I know?”

    The place was packed.

  • Terry
    September 1, 2014 5:39pm

    Thanks, now I’m starving. (But that’s usual after reading your posts.) But I am also *very* curious now: could you describe exactly how one “wipes off the plate and chopsticks” with hot tea? Do you use your napkin? Doesn’t that make it pretty damp? And stain it?

  • September 1, 2014 5:39pm

    I’ve been saving your write ups about all the great new restaurants in Paris, really excited to add Ticotin for our one month in Paris starting mid September!

  • September 1, 2014 5:46pm

    I love beef chow fun and was fortunate enough to have Asian friends show me that ordering it ‘dry’ was the only way to go. The last time that I ordered it, though, I forgot to specify ‘dry’ and I kinda got a little panicky when I realized after several minutes (far too late to request that they make any changes) that I screwed up. Somehow they knew and they did prepare it ‘dry’. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods! I’m definitely filing Tricotin away for my next visit to Paris.

    PS Sticky Rice in lotus leaf is the bomb!

  • September 1, 2014 5:50pm

    Starving for good Chinese food now! But I’m curious…how DO you get into the metro without touching the knob?

  • September 1, 2014 5:55pm

    Be still my stomach. I think I am part Chinese as well, but I am an orphan Chinese in search of a guardian to teach me the methods of sterilization and door knob cleaning, as I have had to perfect my own methods and certainly they aren’t as efficient! Loved this post!

  • Kathleen
    September 1, 2014 5:56pm

    I’m with Jennifer — Korean food is wonderful! No matter what one orders in Korea, it invariably comes with numerous little side dishes, banchan, that are as interesting and delicious as the entree. Pickled beans, quail eggs, seaweed, seasoned tofu — these little sides are a meal on their own. And the “main” dishes — bibimbap, heavenly seafood pancakes, sprouted barley pancakes made while you wait in one of Seoul’s markets. Korean food is a delight yet to be fully appreciated.

  • Kathleen
    September 1, 2014 6:01pm

    Whoops — Jessica, not Jennifer, on the S.Korean food comment.

  • September 1, 2014 6:02pm
    David Lebovitz

    Jessica and Kathleen: Korea is definitely on my list, especially since a friend of mine from Switzerland moved there. (Although unfortunately, he doesn’t like Korean food!)

    Terry: You pour boiling tea on the plate and wipe it clean with a (clean) paper napkin.

    Jayne: There are a couple of techniques. One is to pull the sleeve of your sweater or shirt down, to cover your hand. Another is to wrap a metro ticket around the knob, which I’ve not done, but a friend of mine does. Or you can use the back of your hand or a knuckle, if it’s a push button. I have (another) friend who won’t touch ATM numbers – she uses her knuckle, too!

  • Ran
    September 1, 2014 6:06pm

    Well.. How do you open a métro door without actually touching the knob???
    :)

  • Francois
    September 1, 2014 6:34pm

    Looks great. Anyone knows how it compares to Royal China on Queensway (London). For me the best dim sum, this side of Eurasia? Especially for Sunday lunch.

  • Julie
    September 1, 2014 6:34pm

    My husband must have some of the same kind of Chinese genes as you do, preferring dim sum most of all. Whenever we travel to Paris–or anywhere else for that matter.–he insists on at least one Chinese/Asian meal . Since we travel to Paris more than anywhere else I keep searching for new places to try and will definitely check out Tricotin next time we’re there. However, we most most often stay in the 5th (frequenting Au Coin des Gourmets there and Chez Vong in the 1st) so I am interested to learn of the substantial Chinese presence in the Arts et Metiers area which would be closer than the 13th or the Belleville area or going to the 16th, to Shang Palace. Would you be so kind as to divulge some of your favorite Chinese/Asian spots in the Arts et Metiers area? Thanks.

    • Jayne
      September 1, 2014 7:00pm

      Good bahn mi at 7, rue Volta in the Arts et Metiers area. Not sure it has a name; take-out only.

      • Jayne
        September 1, 2014 7:06pm

        Apparently the bahn mi place moved to 81, rue Turbigo since last spring!

  • Yetty Sudarman
    September 1, 2014 6:35pm

    The last time my late husband and I were in Tricotin was 2003. Glad it is still there. We did not know there was Lo Mao Gai otherwise we would have ordered it. It was my husband’s favorite. We also loved to go to Le President in Belleville. A lot bigger place and you do not necessarily have to share a table. We would buy a bunch in NYC Chinatown to freeze in order to have them for snacks whenever he had a Lo Mao Gai munchie attack.

  • Chandler in Las Vegas
    September 1, 2014 6:40pm

    OMG, the same ubiquitous plastic oval serving plates. This IS a small world.

  • Elizh
    September 1, 2014 6:58pm

    I feel lucky to be living in Seattle. We had the identical dim sum menu yesterday, with the addition of the fried sesame balls “Jin dui” and the fried footballs “”hom Sui gawk” and even an order of the bra used chicken feet (!) all obtained hot and ready to eat from a nearby Chinese BBQ deli nearby! We brought this spread home, and I’m looking forward to the leftovers for breakfast. The rice in the leaves thingies reheat especially well in the microwave.

  • JessicaM
    September 1, 2014 7:04pm

    David,

    Could you mention the nearest Metro station when you list addresses?
    Merci!

  • September 1, 2014 7:07pm

    Hmmm, I’m Chinese and you may be my cousin. We like the same food! I never thought of looking for Chinese food in Paris. Thanks for the metro tip.

    I remember making the sticky rice with a long narrow leaf; I don’t know if it was bamboo or reed or? Each leaf imparts a different taste. @Melissa I don’t think shizo would be the right taste!

  • September 1, 2014 7:10pm

    you are so lucky to live in paris where the chinese food is such high quality, and to have chinese sisters! i am half chinese and you have been properly trained to enjoy good cantonese food. i cannot believe you were served fried gau-gee in Paris! it is so hard in america now to find it, and to find good quality char siu pork. i always drag my hubby to the 13e when we are in paris. it’s a happy place.

  • Sue
    September 1, 2014 7:21pm

    Phil in France – now you tell me! I had a birthday trip to Paris last Thursday and was as close as rue Saint Paul. Thai food would have made my day!

  • September 1, 2014 7:25pm

    I think I’ve led a sheltered life. And I know I need a tutorial on how to open a Metro door without touching anything and how ordering hot tea will clean your plate. I imagine you could dunk your chop sticks in the hot tea but then would you drink your tea? If you did it to clean your chop sticks and plate I don’t imagine you’d want to drink the hot tea. See?? I am totally at a loss.

  • Daniel
    September 1, 2014 7:38pm

    I grew up in Hong Kong, but have been living in Northern California for the past thirty years, and have often missed the really delicate but complex Cantonese cooking, especially now that every other Chinese restaurant in the States seems to be a Hunan or Sichuan. One time a couple years ago I dove into what I think is an independent Chinese take out place on the South side of the Rue Saint-Antoine, somewhere along a stretch going toward the Bastiile where they have groceries bakeries, and pastries. It was one of those restaurants that have different trays of food under the counter and you point to what you want. I got an order of what appears to be roast duck that they then re-stir fried with sauces and veggies. I didn’t recognize it, and would not be surprised if they made it up. But it was really good. I remember thinking that I wish we had good Chinese take out like that in California.

  • September 1, 2014 9:09pm

    Yay….I have been craving dim sum!!! Love that there’s another address to add to my next-time-in-Paris list.

    Now if I could only have a Thai place around the corner.

  • shelly
    September 1, 2014 9:26pm

    I love all your posts, but this one made me feel positively faint!

  • September 1, 2014 10:30pm

    When I went to Hong Kong, about 30 years ago now, my joy was discovering places where we could eat American food, which was new to me – I had not then visited the USA. There were, of course, excellent Chinese restaurants, and we went to them.

    I don’t think dim sum had reached Paris when I lived there – there were plenty of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants, especially the latter, but I don’t remember Thai ones. Recently I went to a Chinese place in Namur, in Belgium, which was superb!

  • suzanne vadnais
    September 2, 2014 2:24am

    DAVID, YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS ARE SO EXCEPTIONAL. THANK YOU.

  • September 2, 2014 4:11am

    Hi David, We met a few years back @ the Lenoir Marché on a Sunday. Did you ever know Barbara Troop of China Moon when you were in SF? I still use her books and often am amused with her anecdotes from her years in China with her ‘adopted’ Chinese hosts. Best, kyle

  • Rebecca
    September 2, 2014 4:56am

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the recommendation. But really, how to open a métro door without actually touching the knob??

  • September 2, 2014 6:32am

    Er… yes… Rebecca has asked the million dollar question. How do you open a metro door without touching the knob? (Do you just pull your sleeve over your hand? I’m hoping it’s more exotic than that)

  • September 2, 2014 8:12am

    If you are visiting Sydney, whistle me up so we can organise the best of Chinatown.. it is booming and hand picked venues are superb

  • September 2, 2014 8:50am
    David Lebovitz

    Kyle: Yes, I knew Barbara and she was a lovely woman. Very much missed..

    Rebecca and Msmarmitelover: I answered that just above.

    Rea: I’ve been to Sydney and the Chinese food is great! The only issue I had was when I went to take a photo of the food, the entire floor staff descended upon me, showering attention on me, and really – I was just there to eat, and enjoy the food, and share the experience. So next time, no pictures! :)

    Marion: It’s certainly not fancy but it’s a chance to see/experience the Paris version of Chinatown and a Chinese restaurant. If you go, just up the street is a huge store of housewares called Kawa (89, Avenue de Choisy), which is worth a look as well.

  • September 2, 2014 2:12pm

    I will definitely have to check this out. I am always in need of good Chinese food.

    Have you tested any good barbeque places here ? Being a southern american, that is definitely something I miss living here !

  • September 2, 2014 6:43pm

    I’ve been debating whether or not to give this place a try for the longest time. Being a a fellow Chinese person from California I have pretty high dim sum standards as well…plus when you’re used to pigging out and over ordering for under $30, imagining the bill in euros to eat that well and much is kind of scary.

    Two questions: do they have lo bak gou (turnip cake) and chang fen (shrimp or beef wrapped and steamed in rice noodle)?? Because if they do, and if they do it well, I’m hopping on a bus straight to the 13th to get some!

  • Jamie
    September 2, 2014 9:07pm

    @ Tess, not sure about the turnip cake but they do have Beef wrapped and steamed in rice noodle (rêpe de riz au boeuf à la sauce de soja). As a Chinese, it is not yum cha without Cheng Fen! You must go and get your fix :-)

    @ Francois, for London, my pick would be Royal China Club (though the other Royal China restaurants in the group as also good). You may also want to try Princess Garden in Mayfair for the dim sum but I found the standard of their dishes (noodles, rice etc) aren’t that consistent.

  • Mark Ikin
    September 2, 2014 9:21pm

    Get to Hong Kong, go to City Hall for the best Dim Sum experience! Also for good Thai food in Paris try Thai Vien (56 av de Choisy) not far from Tricotin.

  • Annie
    September 2, 2014 10:15pm

    It’s surprising easy to make a lot of the dim sum favorites at home. I’ve made lo mao gai, steam bbq buns, and black bean spares ribs (haven’t tried my hand at har gow since I’m not that confident with my pleating skills) and they are really easy and as tasty as the restaurants.

    That said though, there’s something special about the ritual of going to dim sum with family & friend, pointing to what you want (from the carts) and ordering far more than you really need.

  • September 2, 2014 11:44pm

    You must try Shanghai style Lo Mao Gai, no idea what the proper name is and I’ve only found the Shanghai style once at 99 Ranch but my grandmother used to order it from a Chinese lady she knew and the rice is a very glutinous brown kind and inside all you have is fatty shredded pork. When it heats up the edges of the rice caramelize like in a bibimbap bowl. AMAZING.

  • September 3, 2014 12:48am

    I can’t wait for you to cross Vietnam off your bucket list and post about all the delicious food there. Vietnamese food is my favorite!

  • mab
    September 3, 2014 3:24am

    Heya David

    The beef stir fried thick flat rice noodles we call it Hor Fun, and like you described, it is cooked 2 ways – the dry fried version you had called Gorn Hor (Gorn means “dry”) while the other regular (unspecifed) one would be smothered in a light cornstarch thickened gravy.
    Both equally yummy :)

    • Irene
      September 3, 2014 7:52pm

      I’ve always grown up with Gorn Chow Ngo Hor (Dry fried beef rice noodles). I didn’t taste the wet one, Sup Chow Ngo Hor until I was an adult and found that they are completely different dishes, only common thing was the beef and noodles. Gorn Hor was made with bean sprouts and some places add onions and Sup Hor was made with Yu Choy, which is what’s photographed here. Sup Hor is disappointing when not made well, when the sauce is just doused over the heated noodles. But I’ve had it in L.A. where they dry fry the noodles and beef first and then at the very end add the sauce, best of both worlds, great wok hei and silky sauce!

    • Irene
      September 3, 2014 7:58pm

      Btw, all the Chinese restaurants I’ve been to in my short life has always made beef chow fun using the dry method, they only make the wet version when it’s specified by the diner.

  • Mary
    September 3, 2014 6:36am

    Oh David, you have Chinese sisters and I have a Chinese son and now a daughter-in-law as well, how this happened before I turned 40 is truly miraculous. I spent a year in China in a small town which was at the south of a small city, on the coast from Beijing. My “son” was a student at the college where I taught and there when a mid 30s woman befriends a 19 year old it seems that you are immediately his mother!! So, I have a town in China to call home, a village where I really am home and an entire family including Grandparents to belong to when I go back! Thank you for writing about Chinese food and your fantastic family – it makes me homesick for that amazing country!
    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed good Chinese food here in Sydney – we are lucky in that regard!

  • rebecca
    September 3, 2014 9:34am

    thanks, david!

    very useful tips :)

  • tunie
    September 3, 2014 11:19am

    Wondering how the rice in Lo Mao Gai caramelizes in a steam box…: “When it heats up the edges of the rice caramelize…”? It looks caramelized in your photo too.

    On a related note, I really enjoyed the book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, which describes the rise of Chinese food around the world, esp. in the US. It’s an entertaining and well-told story.

    • September 3, 2014 11:21am
      David Lebovitz

      Perhaps the sugars or starches in the rice, when they get really hot, darken. Those are the best parts!

  • Margie C.
    September 6, 2014 1:11am

    David, have you seen the NYPL’s digitized menus online? They need help transcribing them, too–something you can do in your “free time.” http://menus.nypl.org/menus

  • Leila
    September 7, 2014 7:18pm

    Dear Mr. Lebovitz,

    Apologies for contacting you via the comment section. I was unable to message via your Facebook page, and due to the verify image being unavailable on your contact form, unable to send you an email.
    Please let me know the best way to contact you.

    Thank you,

    Leila Aljarah

    There is a glitch that my web person is working on fixing. Apologies. You can contact me on Twitter @davidlebovitz – thanks, DL

  • September 8, 2014 2:19pm

    I m feeling nostalgic about the last time I was there!

  • September 8, 2014 3:25pm

    I love your post, you ordered the exact same dishes my parents would order in Australia and I love how you knew what else you can do with hot tea..!! Definitely must try Tricotin on your recommendation, especially when I’m feeling homesick and miss Mum’s cooking (also because judging on what you ordered, I know that you know Chinese yum cha well!). Do you have a favourite Vietnamese place to recommend as well? (I am half Chinese half Vietnamese so it only makes sense to address the other half of my cravings too!)
    Cheers, Nhan

  • Joe Story
    September 10, 2014 2:42am

    Please tell me that you didn’t really wash your plates and utensils with hot tea! That’s something Chinese villagers used to do, and less educated Chinese still do, but there are now dishwashers that use very hot water to clean.

  • Joe Story
    September 10, 2014 2:45am

    BTW, I think the apparent caramelization in lotus leaf-wrapped rice comes from soy sauce, not heat.

  • Lisa
    September 10, 2014 8:05am

    David, if you like Thai food and are a frequenter of San Francisco, you must try Lers Ros. I find it is often better than the food I had in Thailand!

  • September 22, 2014 3:39pm

    Thanks so much for the heads up about this place. I was France for the last two weeks. A week in the Dordogne, near Sarlat and had lots of wonderful Foie Gras – and then a week in Paris. By the time I made it to the city I was ready for a break from French food – I had made a note about Tricotin and rode the Metro out there and was blow away by the wonderful food and super service!! Living here in SF I’ve had some really good dim sum and Tricotin’s was right up there with the best here. Thanks again!!!

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