My daughter Rachel turns five today. We’re having a kids’ party for her tomorrow, mostly with girls from her pre-school class, but we had to do something fun for her birthday today. So last night I asked where she’d like to go. She shrugged her shoulders.
“What about dim sum?” I asked.
So we packed ourselves into the car this morning, minus number one son who’s away for the weekend at a youth group retreat, and drove 20 miles up to Chinatown.
There aren’t too many restaurants in Chicago that still use dim sum carts, so we picked one of them, which happens to be the kids’ favorite. We’ve been going there for so long that the dim sum ladies recognized the kids and even asked about Jake. They also know I speak Mandarin, so we conversed in that. For good measure I threw in some of my uber choppy Cantonese.
But the carts don’t go out on the floor until 10am, and since we arrived at 9 we chose dishes from the menu. We all had a say in ordering (about a dozen dishes in total).
Rachel started with shrimp rolls, one of the kids’ dim sum staples.
Martin ate more than any of us.
He also drank several cups of jasmine tea (I usually order oolong, but it has more caffeine than the kids should probably consume).
When the kids were done, and Tom and I were finishing the last of a chicken and rice bowl, Martin announced, “Go home now.”
“Mai daan,” I said to a waiter, asking for the bill. We paid, dressed the kids in their winter coats, and headed back out into the snow flurries.
Rachel seemed to enjoy an excellent birthday brunch!