Dim Sum with the Alley

Dim Sum with the Alley

As one of the UCCs (Upperclass Counselors) of my House at Caltech, I take my alley (hallway) off campus once in a while for edible excursions. On Saturday I decided to do a dim sum trip to Full House Seafood Restaurant in Arcadia, California. Our little group of 6 that could make it had dim sum experiences ranging from none (Karim) to “first and only time last summer” (Sarah) to “have been 3 times in the last 3 months with various groups of people” (me). It would be a lunch outing ripe with adventure and shared experiences.

There is an unfortunate dearth of cars in the alley this year, so we ordered an Uber for transportation. As Arcadia is fairly close by, the one way trip would cost about $14 for the six of us. Standing around sharing our histories with dim sum in the picture below are, from the left and going clockwise, Surya, Gyu Bin, Sandra, Sarah and Karim.

We made it to Full House in good time and stood around waiting for our table to be called. After maybe 15 minutes, we were let in to the sight of crowded round tables draped with white cloths and steaming carts of dim sum being pushed around by the staff. Over the course of the next hour, we proceeded to eat our way through plates and bowls of:

Sugar cane shrimp (A) - crunchy fried shrimp-and-fish-paste balls with a stick of sugar cane through the middle; Pork shu mai - the classic ground pork wrapped in a layer of yellow flour skin, with tidbits of shitake and shrimp; Sesame snow-topped buns (B) - sweet breads topped with a milk butter crust and filled with sesame; Custard pineapple buns (C) - sweet breads topped with the tradition pineapple-patterned egg milk crust and filled with custard; Steamed pork short ribs with pumpkin - savory and delicious; Chang fun, or flat rice noodle rolls, with shrimp (D) and ground beef (E)- served with a light, sweet and savory soy sauce; the shrimp is one of my favorites; Egg tarts (bottom right corner); Cold, fried slices of pork (F) - served over peanuts; Chicken feet - hot and steaming in savory marinade; Fried tofu - crusted with chili salt; Vegetarian fried noodles; Steamed tofu wraps; Fried mochi with red bean; Steamed char siu bao - steamed buns filled with char siu pork; Steamed red bean buns.

Hopefully I’m not forgetting anything else.

Candid of people eating:

Gyu Bin and Sarah posing:

Karim and Sandra:

Karim was trying chicken feet for the first time:

He said he didn’t like it too much, he thought.

“Join the anti-chicken feet club!” Gyu Bin cried, to which Sandra interjected, “That’s only because you can’t get over the fact that it’s feet!” “…though I have eaten goat brains before,” Karim added, which sparked a conversation on the craziest foods we had ever tried. This included freshly dead squid that still flailed around on the plate when you added salt, intestines stuffed with meat, and pufferfish.

Afterward, we went for some boba at Ten Ren next door:

We took leftovers home, where I partitioned them into bowls for the people who couldn’t make it today. Usually one gives goodie bags filled with sweets, but I think goodie dim sum bowls after an alley event can be even better…

Full House – would recommend for dim sum. Till next time! Anita