Ready, set ... dive the heck in. Clockwise from top left, pea shoot and crabmeat dumplings, har gow, black caviar and mushroom dumplings, and beef dumplings.

One of the first places I visited upon landing in Houston last year was Maba Pan Asian in Midtown. It was a blast, and though I didn't really have a baseline for Vietnamese, I knew it had to be better than most.

Then Maba Pan Asian closed, another victim of a restaurant location that has never been very successful. I'm talking about the shopping center at Brazos and Webster, and more specifically, the space at the end of the center (abutting Webster) that has to share parking with a freaking Buffalo Wild Wings, among other places. When visiting Maba, I circled the parking lot thrice before giving up and finding a spot on Webster. Parking is a regular complaint for people visiting whatever restaurant is at this location, and that continues today.

So things aren't set up perfectly for One Dim Sum, but we can only hope the restaurant hangs around for a while. It offers Cantonese-style dim sum (small plates like dumplings, pork buns, and other goodies), plus a separate menu with large-plate items like sweet-and-sour pork, salt-and-pepper tofu, and Peking duck. But you're going for dim sum—it's in the name.

I recommend One Dim Sum for the newbie who wants to better understand the food that typically comes in the meal. There aren't carts here, so you won't feel the pressure of "Should I get that?" as someone rolls past with a steaming dumpling or cake. Also, there is tea here, but you can get a soft drink or coffee and not feel bad about going against tradition. And finally, there's a sense at One Dim Sum that you can stop by for a quick bite. 

(For example, this writer's first dim sum experience came as an adult at a more formal dim sum restaurant in Flushing, Queens. It was a rush that I recommend to all, but some diners may want to ease into it.)

Some of my favorite bites at a recent meal included the beautifully silky black caviar mushroom dumpling, and the hearty beef dumpling. The curry chicken puffs looked like pears and had wonderfully juicy flavor, and the barbecue pork buns kept a nice tangy bite with superb flakiness.

One Dim Sum hits its marks. If I'm jonesing for har gao and siu mai and don't have the opportunity to head to a place like Fung's Kitchen, One Dim Sum will work just fine. I just hope it gets a chance to hang around for a while.

Filed under
Show Comments