Ian Anderson 8 a.m., July 4
Dim sum at China Max
The last two times I went to dim sum at Jasmine in Convoy, the carts seemed to disappear before we could get any turnip cakes or chicken feet. This weekend, my sister, her fiance, and I tried China Max Seafood Restaurant (4698 Convoy Street #101) where the service was friendly and efficient (no steamer tin pileups or waiting for the check).
At China Max, there aren't dim sum carts; you order off a menu, which doesn't feel quite traditional, but you also avoid crabby servers manning the carts and the tedious "What's in this one?" routine where the servers uncap tins to show what's inside. Most items are $3-8 and porridge with shredded pork and preserved eggs is not served until 11 a.m.
The three of us ordered chicken feet, shu mai, chicken dumplings, turnip cakes, and baked barbecue pork buns with a honey glaze. The chicken feet was gelatinous, sweet, spicy, and salty; and the turnip cakes came out melt-in-your-mouth hot.
The shumai and chicken dumplings were dense, stuffed with minced meat and shrimp. And the thin rice noodles were cooked al dente, which is slightly firmer than really good dim sum though the barbecue beef was slightly smoky and very sweet.
The bill came out to be about $35. The next time I go, it'll be after 11 a.m. so I can get the porridge.