This new addition, off the Plaza Santa Ana, has hit the ground running and for very good reason. Dim Sum, similar to the Spanish tapa is a small plate of food, usually meant to share amongst a group of people at the same table. All of this seems great in theory; it’s the sharing part that can be a bit difficult at times. One bun is never, ever enough.
Why dim sum? Why not dim sum– that is the question. First off, it’s a party on your palate. There are many people here in Madrid who may or not be familiar with the diverse flavors and textures that often play protagonist roles in Asian, and in this case, Cantonese cuisine such as combining sweet and savory in one dish, fermented black beans, lotus leaves, taro or algae. For those of you who find yourselves a bit hesitant, we say, don’t worry, that’s the beauty of dim sum, they’re small, and most portion sizes are individual or come in pairs so if you don’t like something, you can try something else.
Dim Sum Market on C/ Príncipe is so very unsuspecting. The décor is very simple and there are only about 4 tables lining the wall and some stools and bar area further back. The kitchen is the centerpiece of the entire establishment, as it very well should be. Some things we noticed on our first look-over: the chef was cheffing, oops, we mean cooking, like actually cooking, not just re-heating. They advertise very plain and clear that their dough, their buns: all homemade.
Second thing we noticed is that this is not a fusion restaurant; it’s one of the most traditional places we’ve come across in Madrid for dim sum. They do however offer take-away if you’re in a hurry, but we recommend staying and eating your food while it’s hot and fresh on the table. When something arrived lukewarm, we kindly asked them to give it a minute more, and they did it with no problem at all.
The third thing we noticed is the price. It’s hard to compete because on the same street there’s a 100 Montaditos, and an Eat is Wok (a cheap, fast-food Asian-style noodle restaurant) but the managed to make a space in the market to call their own.
Let’s dive in, shall we? We started off with the miso soup and the won-ton soup. Disclaimer: we’re fully aware that miso is Japanese; however, we still wanted to give it a try. The soup was served piping hot, and the wakame or seaweed was beautifully cooked. There was a strong fish taste, so if that is something you’re not fond of, keep it in mind. The won-ton soup was fantastic. Again, it appears that the broth may have been fish-based; however, this did not take away from the perfectly prepared dumplings of the soup. They are stuffed with pork and made out of dough. We highly recommend it, and for 4,50 it’s not a bad deal at all.
We ordered the 12,90 sample menu for two people in order to try as many things as possible. It’s filling and economical, and a great crash course into the art of dim sum. It included pork gyoza that were crispy and delicious, spring rolls, prawn shumai and barbeque pork buns. That’s quite a lot of food for the price. They also have a variety of Chinese beers.
Overall, we like what we’ve seen here. Although we’ve never been to China, it was very nice to have a tiny taste of this rich culture right here in Madrid. Thank you Dim Sum Market! Keep up the good work!