Brunch is great and all, but I think dim sum might be my new Sunday staple. My dim sum dining partner, E.J. Friedman (of Loudersoft) and I checked out Asian Palace over the weekend.
Asian Palace is like Golden Coast's more chaotic, populist little sister. Golden Coast is the girl your mom immediately likes, Asian Palace is the girl you'd probably have more fun with.
The dining room is bigger and much less formal and the crowd is ethnically and socially diverse – when we were at Asian Palace, there was a solid mix of huge families, couples having lunch and people trying to recover from Saturday night.
The quality of Asian Palace's food is about the same as Golden Coast, but it's less expensive (we spent about $30 for enough food for a small army). Since E.J. is more experienced with dim sum than I am, I let him pick our food from the carts that the staff was pushing around the restaurant. I also forgot to snag our menu on the way out, so I don't have the technical names of the things that we ordered – next time, I'll do better on that.
One of the problems with letting someone else choose the dim sum is that in a few cases, I'm not entirely sure what I was eating. There were chicken feet (and I still don't like them) and a plate of amazingly tender, crispy pork belly. Imagine the best bacon you've ever had and add to that and you'll have an idea of what it tasted like.
We also had some taro cakes that were only mildly sweet and sort of the texture of a chunky potato cake (not a bad thing). There was sticky rice and spicy pork wrapped in giant leaves, green beans and a thin sleeve of pressed bean curd stuffed with shrimp that tasted kind of like a delicious, buttery perfect omelet.
My favorite thing, though, were the taro pastries. They were sweet and a little gelatinous (sort of like mochi) and had taro paste in the middle.
Asian Palace is open daily for lunch and dinner. They've got a full menu and they serve dim sum all the time, but if you want to get your dim sum from carts, you'll have to go on a weekend.
5266 Summer Ave #65
Memphis, TN 38122