Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Whither Mr. Dim Sum?



NextPittsburgh opined today that Pittsburgh really needs a dim sum place.
Pittsburgh has a lot of great Chinese food. Squirrel Hill, in particular, seems destined to add every regional style and flavor at some point, and we’re all for that. But for some reason, we’re a bit light in the dim sum department. If you’re not familiar, dim sum involves lots of little dishes of dumplings and a huge range of small, bite-sized, perfectly snacky things, usually brought to your table on a cart. It’s not entirely absent — I’ve had dim sum in Fox Chapel at Jimmy Wan’s (though their website currently makes no mention of it). But there’s nothing like dining in a place with an all-dim sum menu, where you can keep requesting bamboo steamer baskets full of goodness until you’re happily full.

A few years ago we almost got one. When Pink Box opened in Squirrel Hill in 2014 a second location in Oakland was soon to follow on the spot of an old house behind K-Box on South Craig St. A 2014 Post-Gazette article said the new location would be four times the size of the original. The owners of that house on Winthrop St. also run Pink Box, Ramen Bar, Rose Tea Cafe, Sun Penang, and the building that houses K-Box.

The same family also operates Foodrunway.com, a delivery website that services a number of restaurants throughout Oakland and Squirrel Hill. Interestingly there is a listing at 4527 Winthrop St. for "Mr. Dim Sum & Boba Tea House." It offers a pretty substantial menu of dim sum, teas, and drinks, though the restaurant has yet to open.

It is not clear how close to fruition the idea really was. The dim sum logo atop the page was designed in 2015 for a dim sum place in California, while the panda comes from a now-defunct Boba Tea House in Mexico.