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BITE US: Cart optional (closed)

Care not how the dim sum from Lobster House gets to your plate

The Lobster House adds to the delicious sum that is Tacoma's Lincoln International District.

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At the newly opened Lobster House in Tacoma's International District a range of Chinese dishes can be had; radish cakes, congee (rice porridge), chicken feet, salt and pepper squid, chow mein, walnut prawns, hum bao, chow fun and the hot ticket item of the moment: dim sum. Think of dim sum as small meat and vegetable filled pouches, or even simpler as Chinese dumplings.

I first had dim sum and hum bao (steamed buns filled with barbeque pork) in an old part of Oahu, Hawaii. An ancient-faced petite woman wheeled a cart to our table and lifted lids. The escaping scents were enough of a sales pitch, as language mastery on either side was non-existent. Ordering consisted of pointing, smiling and nodding. Tearing open buns and dumplings and sampling mystery sauces felt like Christmas morning. While I identified some on taste alone, I'm still unsure of everything I ate.

The big debate is whether dining room cart service nods to authenticity or just expected tradition and ritual. Cart service doesn't equal fresher dim sum or decrease food quality. While the lack of cart service at Lobster House does detract from the overall experience, let the flavors deliver that. If the dim sum is good, who cares how it traveled to your plate?

[Lobster House, 711 S. 38th St., Tacoma, 253.471.8982]

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