You may be wondering “‘Doesn’t require reservations?’ What dim sum place does?”
The one I tried to go to before going to Tai Wu. That restaurant.
It was my birthday. I had been planning to get dim sum on my birthday for weeks. Generally, the way it works is that you get up and out the door by 10 a.m. on a Saturday in order to beat the rush. First come, first serve.
There have been multiple occasions when I end up hangry by the time I arrive at the dim sum restaurant, only to wait another 30 minutes for a table. It’s just an accepted reality of dim sum: you eat nothing so that you can wait for an unknown amount of time to then stuff your face with dumplings. Regardless of where you are, these rules hold true.
Or so I thought.
We arrived at the dim sum restaurant, and they asked if we had a reservation. At first, I thought “Is he speaking to me in Dutch? Because I don’t think I understood his question.” But he then repeated himself and yes, he was confirming whether I made a reservation.
After telling him we did not have a reservation, he said that he could not seat us. In my hangry state, I muttered something snide and proceeded to leave.
I had previously marked Tai Wu as another restaurant to try, and so we went, hoping they would let us sit without a reservation. To our delight, they sat us immediately.
Tai Wu has a few dozen tables for various-sized parties, but most are large enough to fit a lazy Susan in the center. And while no one was carting around trolleys of dumplings (which is no longer commonplace in dim sum restaurants), there a luxurious chandelier hanging from the high ceiling.
By this point, I was ravenous.
When restaurants still pushed dumpling carts around the tables, it was easier to pace myself. I had to wait patiently for the dumplings I wanted. Now, however, I can order all of them at once, which usually leads to a combination of shameful overeating and a waste of food.
Maybe this article will serve as a reminder to my future self not to order so much. But probably not.
When ordering dim sum from a menu, usually the options are limited. Not at Tai Wu! They had everything I wanted: siu mai, har gao, chicken feet, fried taro, those glutinous rice balls filled with ground meat, baos, turnip cakes…it was a joy.
If you wake up craving dim sum on a Saturday morning, bring your appetite to Tai Wu.
Tai Wu, Mauritsweg 24-26, 3012 JR Rotterdam, Netherlands, +31 (0)10 433 0818