SGV: Yes, There’s Vegetarian Dim Sum at Fine Garden
Yes, there’s vegetarian dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley! I checked out Fine Garden Vegetarian restaurant with my veggie BFF last weekend. Keep in mind everything is vegetarian and don’t get freaked out when you see words like pork and shrimp.
At Fine Garden, you can order dim sum off a double-sided photo guide. The dim sum are steamed fresh to order so it’ll take about 20 minutes to get your food. They recommend other dishes from their main menu to pass the time.
We got the BBQ pork bao. In all honesty, I don’t really eat buns or BBQ pork so getting the veggie version made me laugh because I liked these. They’re basically sweet buns with the BBQ sauce everyone loves.
The hallmarks of dim sum for me and just about everyone else are siu mai and hargow. The pork and shrimp (veggie, duh) dumplings looked just like the non-veggie ones but once I bit into one, I discovered it was a mushy mess. I think maybe using a firm tofu that’s chopped up might help.
It turns out the shrimp dumplings (har gow) had that same mushy filling. I’d skip these next time. My friend didn’t like these too much, calling them too sweet. A liberal dousing of chili sauce saved the day.
My favorites turned out to be the fake shark’s fin dumplings. Ever since California banned shark’s fin, very good faux versions have surfaced. These would be great on the side with an order of noodles.
I also really loved the bean curd wraps. The all-veggie ones weren’t too far from the original. These however have things like diced baby corn and didn’t have have an alluring sauce.
As mentioned, it may take a while to get your food so we passed the time nibbling on the chicken nuggets which are soy nuggets. They’re deep fried with basil and eaten with rice. We opted for brown, of course.
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