We have been eating dim sum for more than thirty years, always in Chinatown, first at Hong Min of blessed memory, then at several others that also are no longer in business, and more recently at Triple Crown. We discovered Hong Min's two-story restaurant a couple of years ago, and it became our go-to dim sum place. So one can imagine how happy we were to hear that they have opened a suburban location, since we live a long way from Chinatown.
We've been to the new place six or seven times. The restaurant is beautiful; the owners spent a fortune on Chinese porcelain and sculpture. It's a big, bright room, with handsome dividers that create private spaces for families and cut down on the noise. Tableware is stylish, and they even have their own ceramic chopsticks! On weekends, the place is full of multi-generational Chinese families enjoying the food and each others' company. During the week it's not as busy.
To the food: We have only had dim sum here, but they do, as in Chicago, have live seafood to serve family-style at the table. Our favorites have been the shrimp dumplings, with fresh, sweet shrimp and delicate translucent dumpling skin, and sweet, slightly chewy water chestnut cake. We usually order jellyfish from the menu on the back of the paper dim sum menu, and it is cool, spicy, toothsome, and fresh. Tonight we had two items we hadn't had before- vegetable crepes in tofu skin and steamed oysters with black beans or ginger and green onions. The oysters were obviously cooked to order, since the meat was still attached to the bottom shell. I had the black bean variety. The oyster was huge, salty, and plump, and you could taste it over the delicious black beans and shredded greens. I like tofu skin, and it gave a chewy/crispy wrapper for fresh Chinese vegetables.
Be sure to have something sweet, like the red bean or coconut pudding, and the sesame balls, while typically on the greasy side, are a guilty pleasure.
Ming Hin is making some stabs at fancy service, such as swapping out fresh plates mid-meal, but most of the service is efficient and well-intentioned but a little awkward. Sometimes there is a language barrier, but if one is polite and patient there's no problem for non-Chinese people. All in all, this is a terrific addition to the food options in the Northwest suburbs, and I recommend it highly, especially for those who are familiar enough with authentic Chinese food to appreciate what they do here.
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