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Eat a Whole Lot of Dim Sum With Vincent Lai

BY alisha prakash 03/24/2014

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For Vincent Lai of the bag-and-tie line Skinny Vinny, a weekend dim-sum outing is as much ritual as meal. “Dim sum means dot of the heart. It was originally not a main meal—it was only eaten as a snack and therefore only meant to touch the heart. It’s about the experience—a time to catch up with family and loved ones and have great conversation over great food,” he says. So where does he head when he wants to check in with those near and dear? Visit his go-to in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and see what he orders. 

 

 

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(714 65th St., Brooklyn)

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"Its such a beatiful and calming haven and I am addicted to their waterlemon juice at breakfast. They also have Marmite, which I have a weakness for."
of Skinny Vinny

 

 

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“I go every weekend—sometimes even twice a week. It’s the thing my family does in the morning. They grab breakfast and a newspaper and read and sit there for hours. People have their diners—this is basically that for them. They get there really early, but I stroll in around 9 AM, eat, and catch up with them. This is Mom and Isabella, my cousin’s daughter. She enjoys it almost as much as I do.”

 

 

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“The one wrapped in leaves is stuffed with sticky rice, sausage, and mushrooms. It’s basically a wallet of goodness. You unwrap the leaves and eat the rice inside. It is steamed and gets its flavor from the leaves, too. I also usually order Jasmine tea.”

 

 

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“This is rice wrapped with fried dough inside and soy sauce over it. It’s kind of like a fried doughnut, but not sweet.”

 

 

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“The one that looks like a sushi roll is chicken wrap with soy sauce. They only have it at this place—it’s their own concoction. It’s my mom’s favorite. The giant ball is a steamed dumpling with taro and minced meat. And the other is a shumai, a steamed pork dumpling.”

 

 

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“This is dofu fa, which translates to tofu flower. It’s a Chinese dessert dish—steamed soft tofu served with sweet ginger syrup.”

 

 

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“A Bacon-wrapped fried shrimp ball—a guilty pleasure. It’s not very Chinese—and is one of the more American dishes there—but it’s just too good. I have to get it every time I go with my friends.”

 

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