800 3rd Street NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
First of all, let me say that this is NOT a review for Sumo Sushi (AmerAsia’s sushi joint next door). From my experience last year, Sumo Sushi is pretty good, and some place that I will have to review soon.
However, AmerAsia does not have a similarly glowing reputation, at least for me. Having eaten there last year when I was on the Michelle Lujan Grisham congressional campaign, I was not terribly impressed by their version of Dim Sum. Granted, I had gone there near closing so I may have not had a fair sampling. Therefore, I was willing to give AmerAsia another chance to wow me, especially given that some acquaintances have suggested their food.
I sat down and ordered some water and hot green tea. After about 5 minutes, the hot tea arrived (not green tea but generic low-grade restaurant Jasmine tea) and the water. This, of course, should have been the first sign of deja vu. After another 5 minutes or so, a waitress came out with carts of Dim Sum items. I chose spareribs, siu mai, potstickers, and steamed fried bean curd, all things that could be found in more traditional Dim Sum parlors.
Unfortunately, that was the only tenuous connection to a traditional Dim Sum parlor. The spareribs were very dry and nearly devoid of flavor except the pieces near the bottom with some black bean paste. There “siu mai” was filled with tiny bits of chicken and sticky brown rice. It was mushy and not pleasant to eat, at least not compared to succulent pork siu mai I could get at, say, Ming Dynasty. The bean curd was also relatively lacking in flavor and overcooked becoming mushy instead of having a slightly crispy, chewy outside texture. The potstickers suffered from the same ailments of the spareribs, with thick and bland skin and a very dry and not very tasty pork and ginger filling. Not even pouring some hot chili oil saved it. Near the end of my meal, I decided to get a small item of spicy noodles with beef, the one decent item I remembered from my previous trip. That item was decent, though very oily.
To add insult to injury, the tab came out to $19.50, far more than what I would pay at Ming Dynasty for better prepared and more authentic items. The service also continued to be slow, with my water refilled only near the end. While I do applaud their attempt to bring Dim Sum to Albuquerque, their attempt is sub-par and deceptive. If Burquenos truly want to try some Dim Sum, please go to Ming Dynasty – which is as close as authentic Cantonese style Dim Sum as you’ll get in the Land of Enchantment.