I love dim sum but there aren’t that many great places to get it – or if there are, I need to be made aware of it! My brother recommended Stack in Edinburgh, so I decided to try it out. It feels a little off the beaten track, but it’s just off of the very busy, Leith Walk. The area has quite a few good Chinese supermarkets and so many different restaurants you might miss Stack tucked away in the sidelines, but it’s certainly worth a visit.
Dim sum has become a lot more trendy over the past few years and is a great way to share food with friends. I first tried dim sum in Australia of all places! The restaurant, in Brisbane, was called New Shanghai and had a great reputation for dumplings and other treats. That’s certainly where my love of dim sum began, but it’s not for everyone. A lot of people find the steamed dumplings to be slimy but I love them, dipped in some salty soy sauce and filled with pork, chicken or beef.
Back to Edinburgh and Stack Dim Sum Bar! We walked in and there was no one else in the tiny restaurant – not the best thing to see, but it was 4.30pm on a Thursday afternoon. We sat down and had a look at the menus, trying to decide how many was a good amount between two people. In the end we settled for two dishes each; I chose the Char Sui Buns and the Cantonese Pot Stickers, while my friend chose the Duck Spring Rolls and the Crispy Beef Won Tons.
Once again I was faced with the prospect of eating my meal with chop sticks. There was no cutlery on the table, just a set of sticks and a bowl. This is, really, what you should see when you sit down at a Chinese restaurant and although I picked up more than a few items with my hand, I’m close to conquering those tricky chop sticks!
First to arrive at the table were the won tons and when they said crispy, they meant it. The won tons had obviously been deep fried and were super crisp and not at all greasy. The beef inside was moist and flavoursome, and accompanied by a light chilli sauce on the side.
Next to the table were the spring rolls, accompanied by a soy based sauce. Again, the exterior was lovely and crisp. The inside was full of that great Chinese duck flavour and went well with the salty sauce. The spring rolls were shortly followed by the Char Sui buns – a steamed bun filled with char sui style pork and a caramelized sauce. I was looking forward to this one.
There is something really adorable about the appearance of these buns, and I think perhaps because I had similar ones at Loon Fung which were spectacular, that I expected more or less the same here. The filling was really delicious and you could really see and taste the caramelisation, what I wasn’t so keen on was how sweet the buns themselves were. The dough was light and fluffy but just a bit too sugary sweet to go with the already sweet pork filling.
Our final item were the Pot Stickers, which I love. The dumplings are partly steamed and then finished off on one side in a pan to brown – yum. These ones were filled with a cantonese style pork and served with a really thin but tasty ginger and lime dipping sauce. The pastry on the dumplings was silky smooth but had a little bit of texture and crunch on the fried side and the pork inside was moist and went perfectly with the dipping sauce.
After these four plates, we were surprisingly full and decided not to order any more. I regret that a little now as there were a few other things on the menu I would really like to try – guess that gives me an excuse to go back!
The bill came to around £16 – very cheap as each dish is around three or four quid each. This is a cheap meal with very well made dim sum and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back and experience more of their menu. I am particularly interested in a sweet dim sum dessert that they posted on their Facebook page recently.