The Parlor Dim Sum Pop-Up Review – Snag This One Quickly

Last Updated on June 7, 2021 by Jeremy

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The Parlor Dim Sum is a pop-up dinner series by chef Roger Li of Nanban (formerly Ki Pollo and Ki Ramen concepts) and Umami built around Cantonese dim sum meals to be enjoyed at home.

For those who love dim sum, this series is a welcomed addition to the city's dining scene as dim sum options are, in a word, limited

But if you want to check The Parlor Dim Sum out, you better follow them on Instagram for information on the next pop-up and, after it is announced, set an alarm to remind you to place an order the moment they go on sale. These dinners have been known to sell out in as little as five minutes which is both impressive and highlights the sense of urgency you need to have when placing an order.

So to say we were very fortunate to score an order at the pop-up is an understatement- we were fast with the checkout here!

The Parlor Dim Sum Delivers a Delicious Meal

The Parlor Dim Sum Food Order

While the included items in the dim sum box vary from pop-up to pop-up, you can expect to find a mixture of meats, vegetables, and desserts with about eight unique items in total (although this could vary). Each box is large enough to feed two comfortably, but you may only get a few bites of each item such that favorites go down quickly.

For our pop-up series, we were fortunate enough to enjoy the following:

  • Lo Mai Gai – Sticky rice with chicken, shiitake, and quail egg
  • Siu Mai – Open dumplings with pork, shrimp, and shiitake
  • Wu Kok – Taro dumplings with vegetables and seitan
  • Ha Gow – Wrapped shrimp dumplings
  • Tang Jai Jook – Sampan congee with squid and beef
  • Dan Tat – Egg tart in a puff pastry
  • Siu Yuk – Crispy pork belly
  • Bok Choy – Stir-fried bok choy in a garlic ginger soy sauce

Individual Bites from The Parlor Dim Sum

After arranging out a few small bites of each item on our plates, the feast began. Right off the bat, we had a clear winner- the Siu Yuk (crispy pork belly). These small bites of pork were so deliciously tender on the inside but had a firm and crunchy exterior skin that put most pork bellies we've had to shame- both in flavor and texture.

Dumplings from The Parlor Dim Sum

From there, the trio of dumplings were the stars. While we only had three or four of each in total, the just-larger-than-bite-sized morsels were packed to the brim with their respective ingredients and coupled with the spicy dipping sauce made for an exquisite bite altogether. If The Parlor Dim Sum ever became a restaurant, we'd be ordering plates of these without a moment of hesitation (as well as the pork belly) and would walk away more than pleased.

As with most pop-up dinners, some items are not necessarily to our liking, and the congee was likely that item in this one. There was not anything inherently wrong with this dish but was more a personal preference as we just aren't particularly fond of the texture of congee. That being said, we are still happy we got to sample it all the same as it is certainly something we'd not otherwise order on our own.

Parlor Dim Sum Egg Tarts

Our meal ended with a sampling of the egg tart which tasted a lot like a variant of the Portuguese egg tarts we've had in Europe and in Macao minus the caramelized layer of sugar on the top. Soft, delicate, but packing a rich custardy flavor all the same and offered a nice sweet element to conclude the otherwise rich meal.

Overall, despite our wish to have many more servings of the crispy pork belly and the dumplings, we ended up being quite stuffed from everything included in the order. We even had a few bites of the vegetables leftover for lunch the following day. As such, as far as pop-ups with a broad tasting menu go, we were quite pleased and look forward to ordering from The Parlor Dim Sum again in the future (both as a pop-up and, if we ask nicely, maybe one day as a full restaurant to truly go all-out on the amazing pork belly and dumplings).

That being said, if you want to get your hands on this one the recommendations at the start of the article hold. Follow The Parlor Dim Sum on Instagram to watch for the next drop and be sure to put your order in fast. These ones are only going to sell out even faster as word spreads!

The Parlor Dim Sum is a periodic pop-up dinner series by Roger Li. We were fortunate enough to be able to purchase their third box in late 2020. Featured items vary from box-to-box but we've seen some items repeated in various boxes. It is also worth noting that due to the nature of the pop-up, substitutions are not allowed.

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