At long last, Gainesville finally gets a proper Cantonese restaurant that serves Dim Sum. Which is why I could not wait to eat at Yummy House when they finally opened this past Friday. I have mentioned it a number of times before, but if you’ve never had Dim Sum, it’s essentially Chinese tapas, created by the Cantonese in the Guangdong province of China. These small plates of food are meant to be shared amongst the table, with a wide range of savory and sweet dishes. Chinese people eat this stuff for breakfast and/or lunch, with a hot cup of tea and usually amongst family. Growing up, I’ve eaten at countless Cantonese restaurants almost every weekend, so it’s a little slice of home.
One thing to point out here is that Yummy House actually has a master Dim Sum chef (who are revered amongst Cantonese as the most skilled type of chef). All of the dishes are made fresh every day, and once they run out, they run out. Some of the other places in town that claim to serve Dim Sum, serve it out of a bag and microwave or create some jumbled mess on a dish and tell you it’s Cantonese. I wouldn’t feed that crap to my dog, and he enjoys the taste of sweaty feet. If you like that stuff, then I would say A ) I’m sorry and B ) you’ll probably REALLY enjoy this place. I will go on record to say this is the best and only Chinese restaurant you should be eating in Gainesville. No questions, nothing else remotely comes close.
All of the traditional favorites are here, and every Dim Sum dish is reasonably-priced between $2.95 and $3.95. Simply sit down, have some tea, and watch as carts of goodies are wheeled right up to your table. You’ll find items like Honey Glazed BBQ Pork Buns, Shu Mai, Steamed Chicken Feet In Black Bean Sauce, Steamed Rice Rolls (with beef, pork, shrimp, or scallops), Fried Taro Cakes, and my personal favorite, the Hong Kong Egg Tarts. This sweet egg custard pastry is a must-have dish that is the true measure of a great Dim Sum chef, and is probably one of the most delicate dishes to prepare in all of Chinese cooking. I’m happy to report that the Egg Tarts (“Dan Tat” in Cantonese) at Yummy House are absolutely divine and definitely rank amongst some of the best I’ve had.
The regular menu items are very good as well, and available during both Lunch and Dinner times. So if you’re not feeling the Dim Sum, you can get yourself a big plate of food (their portions are huge!) all to yourself. Most menu items are priced between $8-$15. Some of my favorites include the Beef Chow Fun, Hong Kong Style Pan Fried Noodles, Sizzling Short Ribs in Black Bean Sauce, and the Mandarin Pork (a better version of sweet & sour pork).
My only complaint is the location is a little difficult to get to. Westbound traffic has to pull a u-turn to get into the parking lot, and is almost impossible during Newberry Road rush-hour chaos. But trust me, it’s worth the road rage.
Yummy House (located at 7605 W Newberry Road) occupies a space that formerly housed KFC, but you would never know it, because they’ve done a fantastic job of renovating the grease hole that once served the Colonel’s chicken. Dim Sum is served from 11:00 AM to 3 PM, and dinner is served from 5 PM to 10 PM every day of the week. The staff is incredibly friendly, and do a great job of recommending dishes to those who have never had proper traditional Cantonese cuisine. So don’t be afraid, and trust their judgment, they will not steer you wrong. You will find me here often, because at long last, I don’t have to drive to Orlando to have proper Cantonese cooking!
If you want to eat some truly wonderful authentic Chinese food, this is the place to go (tell them I said “Hi!”). If you want to eat Orange Chicken and Fried Rice, save me the frowning face and just go to Panda Express.
(Disclaimer: I like Panda Express, I fully accept it as the best shitty fake Chinese food…and it’s cheap and I don’t feel sad eating there alone. But eat Yummy House.)