F Dimsum USA - jeepneyjinggoy

Dimsum USA

The search for comfort food in NYC on a cold winter day ended in Chinatown.

The cold of winter, the overcast sky, the occasional shower of flurries, somehow the heated the posh boutiques can't seem to be warm enough, not even with your shopping bag in tow. You know you have step out into the cold -- again.

Times like these, the champurado and tuyo or the binigit would the perfect dish to have. I just have to look up and wonder where in this Western cosmopolitan city will you find this so-Pinoy kakanin. New York City may be the melting pot of culture and cuisine, but to search for this comfort food to sate this craving is just impossible.

Everyone in the group ran through their list of what to eat next and voila- dimsum! It's the next best thing to remind us of home. No, we are not the bit of Chinese, we're just neighbors, and this cooking is far more accessible than ours. China is out to dominate the world! With their cuisine, that is. What their next move will be is yet to be seen.

Chinatown is just about in every city you can visit around the globe. In the Big Apple, it is by the lower East Side of Manhattan and it is not like any other Chinatown. The look may be the same to you but you just have to dig deeper into what meets the eye and be amazed.

The Big Apple's Chinatown has one of the highest concentrations of Chinese people in this side of the globe (read: the Western Hemisphere). Not only that, it is one of the oldest ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia with its first permanent immigrant, a Cantonese cigar businessman by the name of Ah Ken, arriving in 1958 in New York City.

As we say, it starts with one. Now this section of the city is a thriving community offering just about anything, the cuisine being the most popular. From take-away, delivery or dining in, who doesn't crave for the no fuss and tasty cuisine of this Asian country?

Well, we found our comfort food. Soon enough, the bamboo steamer baskets are piling as high as the Empire State we visited a few days ago. And "we were not too hungry" when we came in. Yeah right!

Maybe that's how tasty the food was. It was one of the most popular in the area. "Best to reserve in advance" or "come before the lunch rush" were the suggestions from the locals. The sudden surge of guests was enough proof that it is a sought-after restaurant.

It may not be the Pinoy comfort food we were after, but gorging on all the variety of dimsum was great! It seemed that our huge round table was the constant stop of the dimsum carts. The smiling faces of the Chinese ladies can be read in so many ways. I would like to read it as "look at the way they go at it...eat guys, with each bite our tip gets bigger".

Nice alternative to Pinoy comfort food- Hakaw.

Sated, warmed and made the servers happy with their large tip. We went out to the cold NYC climate once more and moved to our next destination, SOHO. Shopping again.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 24, 2011.