Dim Sum Extravaganza at Dolo

chinaBrunch may get a lot of press in the US, but give us dim sum any day. We can’t think of any better way to take in a leisurely weekend morning, than by sampling a huge variety of small, cheap tapas-like dishes. Plus, it is good for groups – the more people there are, the more fun dim sum is – because you can taste a wider variety of dishes. With this in mind, we booked a dim sum experience at the newcomer Dolo (2222 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616) on Mother’s Day. Unlike the other Chicago Chinatown dim sum favorite Ming Hin Cuisine, Dolo takes reservations. However, when we got there, even though we had a reservation, we were just placed on a general waitlist with everyone else so, YMMV. Thankfully there wasn’t much of a wait, so we were soon on our way to dim sum.DoloThe dining room at Dolo is upscale with cute round booths and cushy seats, decorated in a modern rather than a traditional style. The dim sum process at Dolo may be intimidating to the dim sum newcomer: you mark your choices on a paper menu with pictures and names (no descriptions), flag down a waiter and give them the menu, and before long your dim sum dishes will be brought out in the order they are prepared. Unlike dim sum places with carts, the dishes are all prepared fresh to order, which we like! Dishes are listed on the menu in whether they come in small, medium, large or extra-large sizes (with each price being assigned by size from $2.89-$5.15), which are vague delineations, but most dishes seemed to have 2-5 pieces. If you need a second (or third) round you can get another paper menu and go through the process again. The whole experience is designed for sharing, so get ready to pass a plate and dig in!DoloDimSumWe did our best to sample across the menu, getting a variety of crepes, congees, dumplings, XLB (soup dumplings) and sweet dishes. Everything came out of the kitchen hot and fresh, and while we had a few major favorites, nothing was a complete miss (which I consider a dim sum success). Hits included savory and perfectly-coiled scallion pancakes (maybe the best thing we had), slightly-sweet char siu BBQ pork rolls, toothsome corn fritters, and perennial-favorite crispy pan-fried pork and chive pot stickers. There were even a few options for dessert, which pleased those of us with a sweet tooth. We sampled the must-have egg custard tarts, a descendant of our favorite: the pastel de nata in Lisbon, which were delicious. Another surprising hit was the tasty custard cake roll, chosen a random from the menu. DoloDimSumDessertWe had a great time sampling Dolo’s dim sum, we loved the modern atmosphere, the fresh food and the extremely reasonable prices. We ate like queens! We especially appreciated that all the food was made fresh to order, and you could really tell the difference. If you are not in the mood for dim sum, they also offer a full menu of entree-sized seafood, noodles and meat dishes. Looks like we aren’t the only ones who like Dolo, it was named as one Esquire’s best new restaurants for 2015!

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