The Carpe Diem team had invited us to try out the menu for the Dim Sum festival at Shizusan. This is the third festival hosted by them, the others being the ‘Around the world in 9 Sushi’ and ‘The Ramen Festival’. The Dim sum festival is special as Shizusan completes one year in Pune! Continuing the celebration, Chef Paul Kinny has curated a special Dim Sum menu inspired from flavours across Southeast Asia including Korea and Philippines. The vegetarian dim sums are priced at Rs 295 and non vegetarian at Rs 325. They reduced 12 different types of dim sums and each one is different in many ways from the other. There is no repeat of flavours.
The Chef has done a fabulous job here. Most of the vegetables here are what I generally wouldn’t even eat, but i can vouch and say this out loud – The vegetarian options were a notch higher in everything that the non-veg options.
The presentation of each dish was just beautiful!
Lets move on to what all we tried.
THREE MUSHROOM ROLLS Spinach wrapped, black bean sauce – That black bean sauce was just fabulous and great on the tastebuds. Black bean sauce or douchi is a classic example of the use of fermented black soybeans in Chinese cuisine.
SEA BASS ROLLS Spinach wrapped, yellow bean sauce – All that flavour did not overpower the taste of the seafood. The yellow bean sauce or huáng jiàng is most popularly used in Zhajiangmian i.e. fried sauce noodles.
FRIED PEKING DUCK SPRING ROLLS With pickled cucumber, spring onions and hoisin – Did you know that spring rolls were also a part of the dim sum family? That fact I didn’t know. So the different ways of preparing dim sums are fried, pan-fried and steamed. This is my first time trying out duck, though its regularly prepared at home. At Shizusan, i can experiment as there is a guarantee that the flavour is going to be great!
PAN FRIED KIMCHI & TENDERLOIN MANDOO
In Korean cuisine mandoo generally denotes a type of filled pan fried, half-moon shaped dumpling similar to the Mongolian buuz and Turkish manti. The meat was to die for. The vegetarian mandoo was filled with such amazing flavours!!
LOTUS ROOT LACE DUMPLINGS With broccoli tossed in sambal – This was one of my personal favourite. These dumplings were so crunchy inside. The Chinese believe that lotus root cools the blood and it was also used by ancient medicine practitioners to stimulate appetite.
MISO AUBERGINE & MUSHROOM BUNS: Basket of 3 buns first steamed then pan fried with sesame – this is a fabulous option for those who love baos. The bun was semi-sweet and the sesame added an extra crunch and flavour on the bun. These are wheat buns and honey is used for sweetness.
STEAMED PRAWN & LOBSTER MONEYBAGS -Filled with prawn and lobster spiced with garlic, chillies and lemongrass
Again the vegetarian option was fantastic. The meat in the non-vegetarian option was soft! There was no spice but a mouthful of fresh flavours.
STEAMED ASPARAGUS & CORN DUMPLINGS in a bowl of Malay coconut yellow curry. This was the star of the show! Our bowls were slurped clean. The asparagus maintained its crunch even after being dipped in the curry.
ADOBO PORK BELLY BUNS Basket of 3 buns first steamed then pan fried with sesame – wheat buns with a slightly sweet flavour and pan fried with sesame. We did not try this as neither of us eat pork.
Chef Paul has done a fabulous job as usual in creating these 12 different dim sums. They are all inspired by various Southeast Asian cuisines using traditional techniques and signature ingredients from each country. For example from China, where dim sums supposedly originated, we bring the Spinach Rolls with Black Bean / Yellow Bean Sauce both showcase the different ways the Chinese use fermented soybeans in their cuisine. The crispy Peking Duck Spring Rolls are inspired from Beijing’s most popular dish.
What are you waiting for? Head over to Shizusan to get your hands or chopsticks into these good looking delicacies.