Awake and Ready to Snack
Welcome to Beantown! The affectionate moniker for Boston comes courtesy of baked beans, one of its signature dishes. The Diostar Dumplings team is here to whet your appetite for the city’s best food. We are constantly on the prowl for the best dim sum spots, tea shops, and where to find them. We are officially FOB (fresh off the bus) after a 6-hour trek from Philadelphia, we arrived at the South Station bus terminal. After the long bus ride, we were simultaneously sleepy and famished. Conveniently, Chinatown is a few blocks away from the station.
Boston’s Little Beijing
The quaint neighborhood felt like the of streets in Beijing and was dotted with cafes, where intoxicating smells wafted from all directions. Along the way, you can glimpse a group of retired gentlemen playing Chinese Chess in the park and have a peek at some fine arts from East Asia.
Great Taste Bakery: That’s for Sure!
Great Taste Bakery and Cafe was the first to catch our eye since we barely can resist the lure of dim sum. We happened to be two weary, lucky travelers to stumble upon (and into) the delightful spot. The menu features unique, traditional Chinese teas to accompany a vast array of the sumptuous dim sum, noodle rolls, cakes, rice soups, hot pots (meat and seafood), and works. The bakery opens at 7 am, and the dim sum restaurant starts serving at 8 am.
A Taste of Hong Kong
Described as a typical Hong Kong-style eatery, its menu is a far cry from typical. We opted in for the unique dim sum, which tasted unlike any of the dumplings we have tried in Philadelphia, DC, or New York. There were no hot steaming carts with pre-made dishes, but instead a dim sum and congee menu. Simply check off the dish that you want, and the chefs steam it for you, on the spot.
A Unique Take on Familiar Flavors
Great Taste offered us Cantonese cuisine that was fresh out of the steamer or wok and onto our table. Every item came out almost as soon as we ordered it. The spread was evocative of familiar tastes from our favorite dim sum spots like Ocean Harbor in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, but each morsel was as unique a pocket of flavors as we have tried. Our lunch consisted of crabmeat & vegetable dumplings (top left), tofu skin roll with oyster sauce (top right), crab meat seaweed roll (middle left), shrimp rice noodle rolls (middle right), custard tapioca tarts (bottom right) and shrimp & chive dumplings (on next image). These dishes were unique and the best dim sum we ever tried, besides in Hong Kong and China.
Mouthfuls of Umami
Crab and vegetable dumplings were bursting with sweet and salty fibers of crabmeat, together with juicy pea pods, crunchy chives, and tangy scallions, The result was an umami bouquet in a gossamer rice flower envelope. If you like summer rolls, these morsels are summer pillows of goodness.
Even Hardcore Carnivores Love It!
Likewise with vegetable and chive dumplings, which were fragrant, smooth, translucent and succulent enough to satisfy even a confirmed carnivore like Anthony Bourdain. The rich, vaguely earthy flavor of the crab meat seaweed was complemented by a crispy crunchy fried batter. (Look what you made me do, Zimmern!)
The jewel in the crown of our dim sum meal was the shimmering pillow of ethereal tapioca pearls. Biting through the cluster, you are hit with a silky egg custard. The smooth and spongy texture melts in your mouth!
Great Taste, Great Price
The best dim sum in Beantown can be a bold statement, but Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant does live its name. As we stumbled upon this pace, we saw a throng of local friendly customers piling in. They were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, buying up the pastries. Great Taste Bakery and Cafe is definitely a must-visit destination if you are a dim sum devotee like we are.