Nom Wah Tea Parlor is a historic restaurant on Doyers Street in Chinatown. The place started out as a tea parlor and a bakery, and dim sum was just a secondary thing, but nowadays, it’s the dim sum that Nom Wah is known for. Through the years, Nom Wah has managed to maintain its vintage charm, but does the dim sum still hold up after a century in business? I ventured inside to find out.
I got a nice table by the window, and ordered the Rice Rolls with Spareribs, Turnip Cake, House Special Roast Pork Bun, and Phoenix Buns for dessert. The Rice Rolls with Spareribs were tender, and I really liked the sauce. What I didn’t like so much was that the spare ribs topping was mostly bones, and no meat. The turnip cake was a bit to the oily side, which some people don’t like, but which I don’t mind, and I liked the generous dollop of sauce it came with.
The House Special Roast Pork Bun was a pillowy, bun with a scrumptious filling of roasted pork in a sweet barbecue sauce. The bun was so big, you couldn’t hold it with chopsticks (I tried), and so filling, you’d probably only be able to finish half of it. The pièce de résistance, however, were the Phoenix Buns (egg custard buns). These soft, fluffy buns were filled with sweet, runny, egg custard, making for an excellent finale.
The dim sum at Nom Wah may not be mind-blowing, but the food is authentic and satisfying. There’s also something magical about dining at a place that has been around for so long, bridging the gap between past and present, while fulfilling your dim sum desires. After all, a century in business kind of speaks for itself.