For most of the ’90s, the sign in front of this Chinese restaurant on West Sahara proclaimed in bold letters: “Chinese Food To Go In Rear.” It never failed to make us laugh…
Since then, this pagoda-like, free-standing building has gone through several ownership changes, but has been Orchids Garden for some time now. At dinner, the place is deader than ELV’s prospects for marital bliss, but things heat up considerably when the sun is shining.
That’s because daytime is dim sum time here. And even if the dumplings, buns, veggies and noodles aren’t in the same league as Ping Pang Pong’s, you can still get your cheong fun freak on with a fairly fine fluent of food.
Don’t expect any surprises from the shumai, har gau, char siu su, or cha siu bao, but all are competently made and delivered with alacrity by the ladies (why is it always ladies?) pushing the carts around.
Dim sum means “to touch the heart” in Cantonese, but the words have become shorthand for the little bites (always served in threes because of that number’s lucky qualities), and small plates taken with tea at a typical Southern Chinese midday meal..
FYI: The best dim sum ELV has ever had was at the MiddleRow Restaurant of the Kowloon Hotel on that peninsula of Hong Kong, where they made all of their doughs and noodles by hand, and you ordered off a picture menu (not a tourist menu, but a Chinese menu with glossy photos), not from carts, and silk-robed, beautiful hostesses served them to you, and the dumplings and noodles were so light, and their fillings so intense with whatever seafood, odd-ball vegetables, ground pork, garlic, ginger and onions filled them that we felt we had died and gone to heaven, and we would’ve spent the rest of our lives just eating off that menu and dying happily at one of those tables if The Food Gal® hadn’t forced us to leave and waste time with things like shopping and sight seeing.
5485 West Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89146