Food Porn: Bingo’s Dim Sum House

source: @bingosdimsum

On the corner of Sheridan and North Baily, in the glossy black plaza that houses New Fuji Buffet, Ichiban and 99 Cent City, is a store front with a curse. Tucked, just barely, between the nail salon and Ichiban is a fresh manifestation, Bingo’s Dim Sum House. It used to be My Bubbletea, after it was Bao which was only Bao after Bubbletea. This store front is destined for the gummy drink, so of course, Bingo’s serves it.

I happened into Bingo’s on their second night open, something I didn’t find out until after the meal. What I remember as a plain but cozy interior that I frequented when it was Bao, and avoided at all costs when it was My Bubbletea, was much changed. Actually, for a place called Bingo’s, the atmosphere was surprisingly sophisticated; plush beige dining chairs, large faux marble tables and dimmed lighting perked at each table with a tea light or two.

The menu was tiny and a sort of photocopy, but I didn’t hold this against them as one of the owners explained that they will be making changes (read: adding more things) in the near future once they get the hang of it. As far as the format, it was standard dim sum – for the uninitiated, the selections are checked off and handed to the waiter. Me and my guest checked selected a sampling of items and submitted our meal ticket.

First up were the duck dumplings, which were standard looking dumplings in every respect except for the fact that their translucent wrapper was dotted with orange underneath. Biting in, the duck was juicy and the carrots were just crispy enough to be noticed. It was the succulent bomb every dumpling should aspire to be, and having never seen a duck dumpling on a menu anywhere, I was twofold pleasantly surprised.

Along strolled the spinach dumplings. The combination of spinach, bean curd – which I typically don’t even like – and more carrots was perfect. It was fresh in a way that one cannot imagine cooked vegetables to be, yet not raw in a fresh spring roll sort of way. It was bright and – dare I use the word – zesty. They had a weird sort of epoxy quality, though, which made it very difficult to transfer them from hand to mouth as they often clung to face somewhere in between. The owner informed me later that this is due to the fact that these bright green wrappers are made from vegetable flour which is sticker than usual wanton.

Here entered the dish I was most eager for, because it is probably one of my favorite things to eat in the world: steamed pork buns. A thrill shot through me when I saw these on the menu, and I promptly marked them down without even bothering to consult my guest.

What arrived looked disheartening. The tiny steamer burst forth with a marshamallowy mass of dough that betrayed traces of pork here and there. I couldn’t tell how to eject one; they had all committed pork bun meiosis together. I managed to pull one out and it immediately and shamelessly fell open on my plate. I ate it up anyways; despite the lack of physical integrity and girth, they were everything I love about a pork bun; that soft dough that yields slowly under the teeth to a savory, moist filling of shredded pork. Unfortunately, the order was so small and disheveled that there just wasn’t enough of them for me and my guest. Buns should be large enough to fit in the palm of the hand, but shouldn’t be hamburger size. These were the size of Cadbury cream eggs, with the appearance of being left under a heat lamp.

Finally, the spare ribs showed up. All in all, everything arrived at the table at the same time except for these. These we awaited for a while, but it was worth it. They were – and I will use this word for probably the millionth time – juicy. So juicy. So tender you barely had to ply them with your teeth to get them to sigh off of the bone. I went full-fledged carnivore on these, going so far as to chew the bones afterwards, where more tasty juices were hiding. These were perfect, but dear lord was the bowl annoying. A cheap plastic deal that wobbled under the weight of a breath, I felt as though I were chasing it around the table to get at its tasty rib stash.

On the way out, me and my guest split an almond and taro bubbletea to try and appease the curse of the storefront. It was, of course, everything a bubbletea should be – it tasted quietly sweet and natural, not saccharine or powdery, not tannic and over-steeped.

All in all, Bingo’s certainly has the important stuff down – the food. With everything we had being so tasty already, it was hard not to drool when the owner talked of introducing egg custard and dessert dumplings to the menu. Now that someone is bringing more than tapioca to the table, I think we can safely say that Bingo’s is vanquishing the storefront curse with every steamer full of duck dumplings it slides down the line.
Bingo's Dim Sum House on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “Food Porn: Bingo’s Dim Sum House

  1. Trish

    Golden Duck on Maple Road has been serving true Dim Sum for years!!!

  2. Peej

    A sad place for dim sum or bubble tea. I entertained two guests from China hoping to have a great experince rather than driving to Toronto based on this review. I wasn’t expecting Toronto of course but it did get 2 thumbs up. Starters a very sticky table.The server was not personable or very well informed of the menu items. the male present I assume was the “chef”. The tea offered was pathetic, Tea and dim sum are a marriage they should offer something of mediocre quality. The first wave of horror is brought to the table in a old bamboo basket plopped on the table. We all were unable to release the extremely sticky wrappers from the steamer parchment. Frustrating doesn’t say enough. A lack of a dipping sauce selection, not offering black vinegar a traditional chinese item. The only thing I could say is the decor was as described but everything else was ungodly awful. I will never patronize another restaurant reviewed by Buffalo food critics. Russian roulette is more fun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> 

Comment Spam Protection by Spam Hammer

This site's anti-spam requires Javascript; enable it and refresh this page to continue.

NoScript Users: Whitelist the domain services.wpspamhammer.com and refresh.