Saturday, March 5, 2011
Full Kee - Dim Sum
Full Kee is the only authentic Chinese (Cantonese style) restaurant in Richmond that serves dim sum. Dim Sum is basically small dishes to share, think of it as Spanish tapas.
Drinking tea goes hand in hand with eating dim sum. When you first sit down they'll ask you what kind of tea you would like. I ordered the chrysanthemum tea, it's dried mum flower tea. They also offer other popular tea like jasmine, oolong and so on.
With chrysanthemum tea, they'll give you a bowl of rock sugar for you to dump into the tea pot and mix into the tea.
Dim sum carts are pushed around by your table, you just pick what you want. Usually dishes will come in 3 pieces of whatever you order. Ideally you want to have multiples of 3 people so it's easier to share.
Dim sum dishes vary from friendly vegetable dumplings to hardcore stuff like chicken feet (AKA phoenix talon) lol. I've ordered a small handful of dishes from different range levels.
Chive and shrimp dumpling. The dumpling skin is almost translucent, very sticky, tender, and "Q" (Chinese/Taiwanese use "Q" to describe the sensation of food bouncing back when you chow down on it). The chive and shrimp filling is a classic combo.
Shrimp dumpling (if you watch Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show, the Hong Kong episode, you would know this dish as har gow). Shrimp is very sweet with sticky and tender dumpling skin.
Pork dumpling (Xiao Long Bao), one of my favorite dishes but Full Kee's version is not very good. I still always order it since I love Xiao Long Bao so much. The best Xiao Long Bao I've ever had was in Taiwan's Din Tai Fung. Xiao Long Bao is supposed to be tender minced pork wrapped in a thin chewy dumpling skin filled with hot broth.
Black bean sauce over tofu stuffed with minced shrimp. Tofu by itself doesn't really have a whole lot of flavor but, when pairing it with the black bean sauce and stuffed with shrimp it's quite good.
Roast pork, this is not the red roast pork you are used to in Chinese restaurants. This is serve at room temperature. The skin is super crispy, almost like eating pork rind. Meat doesn't have a whole lot of seasoning. I usually dip it in some hot sauce.
Chicken feet, yes I know it looks scary but it's very tasty. The texture is like eating the tips of the chicken wings. It has small bones wrapped with tender gelatin/cartilage, there isn't really meat per say . The sauce it's cooked in is very very tasty.
Sesame seed balls with red bean filling. This is desert, Asian people in general eat red bean (kidney bean) as desert. The outside of the ball is rice cake dipped with sesame seeds. Inside filling is sweet red bean paste then deep fried. I mean come on, anything deep fried is good.
Here is a shot of what the inside looks like.
They also offer a soft tofu soup desert with sweet ginger broth. Most people wouldn't know to order it, since they don't push it around by the tables. I was too full to order this but it's very good. The wooden bucket you see in this picture is where the tofu sits.
I've had dim sum from Asia to NYC, Full Kee's dim sum is actually pretty decent. One tip I can give you is get there around 11:35 a.m., that's when everything is fresh, nice and hot.
6400 Horsepen Rd
Richmond, VA 23226