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Hot Plate: Pork Belly with mustard greens at Dim Sum House

You won’t be able to keep your hands off these buns.
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Dim sum is the ultimate comfort food. With staples like soup dumplings and steamed buns, the Chinese cuisine is fluffy yet sustaining — giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling minus the dreaded food coma.

When I heard about the opening of Dim Sum House in University City last week, I had to check it out for myself, partly because of the impressive space (seats 225 people) and partly because I’ve been craving dim sum like crazy with the chill in the air.

Being on the hungrier side, I decided to order a more substantial dish — the pork belly with mustard greens. The waiter described it as a build-your-own-slider sort of situation, with generous portions of tender pork belly atop a bed of pickled mustard greens, alongside steamed bok choy and, of course, those adorable bao buns.

As I waited for the dish to be prepared, I snacked on egg-custard bao and leisurely sipped a pot of oolong tea — a subtly sweet start to a savory meal.

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When the pork belly arrived, it was an impressive sight to behold, with the bright green of the bok choy surrounded by a reddish mountain of meat and four waxen buns. I immediately dug in to build my first “slider,” picking up the delicate bao bun and filling it with buttery pork belly and the tangy mustard greens. (I was told to eat my bok choy separately, given its chewiness.)

After one bite, I was hooked. The doughy, marshmallow-like texture of the bao bun and the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly matched perfectly with the earthy tartness of the mustard greens.

Dim sum? I think this stuff should really be called dim “more.”

Dim Sum House is located at 3939 Chestnut St.

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