China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in The Hague

I heard that a new Chinese dimsum restaurant has opened in The Hague and last week, I went to check out the China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant (not to be confused with the China Town restaurant in Rotterdam!). I was with the family in a group of four and in the room close to the entrance were many four person tables. It is sometimes a bit uncomfortable to occupy a large round table when you are having dimsum with only a few people, so it is nice that they took that into consideration. In the larger room next to it, you can find the larger tables, which are big enough for a family of three generations.

I kind of liked the less crowded area near the entrance of the restaurant. It was nice and quiet and there was enough space between the tables to have a private conversation. We ordered a pot of jasmin tea and took our time to look at the dimsum sheet. There were many traditional dimsum and Cantonese dishes on the menu. I didn't want to order the same things all the time, but I always seem to end up with my favorites.

First, we had the deep-fried soy bean sheet roll with shrimp filling (百花腐皮卷). I really liked the juicy shrimp filling and crunchy wrapper. The sauce was a strange vinegar-soy sauce mix, which I didn't like too much, but it was well seasoned enough to eat it without any sauce. You also get quite a lot of pieces.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag 百花腐皮卷 deep-fried soy bean sheet roll with shrimp filling

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag deep-fried soy bean sheet roll with shrimp filling 百花腐皮卷 close up lettuce

It sounded interesting, so I tried the fried mango-shrimp roll (香芒明蝦筒) for the first time. It has a very crunchy fried batter crust and a sweet-sour mango-shrimp filling. I recommend eating this, while it is still hot, as the oil flavor of the crust can be a bit stronger after it cools down and of course, it becomes less crunchy. There is a mayonnaise dip on the side, but I liked it without sauce more. 

China Town dimsum & grill restaurant The Hague fried mango-shrimp roll (香芒明蝦筒)

Next, there was the deep-fried soy bean sheet roll with bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, shrimp and pork filling (鮮竹卷). It is one of my favorite dim sum dishes, so I had eaten this many times. I have to say that this wasn't the best that I had. The wrapper was thick and close to burned and the filling was on the dry side. The vegetables inside were not crunchy and it was a bit hard to distinguish the individual flavors of the ingredients in the filling. The shape was also rounder than the usual flat rectangular shape that I am used too. I prefer eating a crunchy and freshly fried roll with a little bit of the oyster sauce poured on top. That way, it will have the half crunchy, half soggy texture that I like. 

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag deep-fried soy bean sheet roll with bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, shrimp and pork filling 鮮竹卷

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag deep-fried soy bean sheet roll with bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, shrimp and pork filling 鮮竹卷 close up

I didn't realize that I only ordered fried dimsum, so I was happy to see the basket of shark fin dumplings (魚翅餃) arriving at the table. I got hooked on these ever since my last two visits to Chinese dimsum restaurants in the Netherlands. It doesn't contain shark fin nowadays. I just like the shrimp and coriander filling a lot. The dumplings tasted great, although the coriander flavor could be a little bit stronger for me.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag shark fin dumplings 魚翅餃

As it was a late brunch and early dinner almost, I was starving, so we picked out a meat dish too. We took the stir-fried black pepper beef (黑椒牛柳). I didn't really like it, as the flavors were a bit one-dimensional, just beef and black pepper. Others at the table did seem to like, so most of it went to them.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag stir-fried black pepper beef 黑椒牛柳

Again, I ordered my two all time favorite noodles: yi mein and stir-fried beef rice noodles.

I wanted to try something different, so I ordered the yi mein with abalone sauce (鲍汁伊面) instead of the usual enoki yi mein. Afterwards, I wished I got the usual, as I really liked the firm and chewy texture of the noodles. The lackluster (not bad or good) sauce was a bit disappointing. It was also really salty at the bottom, where the noodles have soaked up the sauce. So, I will definitely come again to try the yi mein with a different sauce.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag yi mein with abalone sauce 鲍汁伊面

The stir-fried beef rice noodles (乾炒牛河) was amazing. The rice noodles were wide, relatively thick, and very chewy. The stir-frying technique of the chef must be excellent, as the noodles were not too oily or too salty from too much soy sauce and the beef flavor was absorbed in the noodles. The large beef pieces had a strong grilled beef flavor and they were tenderized in the Cantonese way. If I really needed to nitpick, only the beansprouts were a little bit not up to standard.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag stir-fried beef rice noodles 乾炒牛河

Out of all the dishes, the two noodle dishes were the most special. To me, it is worth going all the way to The Hague just for them.

My mom's former boss, who also happens to own this restaurant among others, spotted us and suddenly brought two desserts to our table. We were really full by that time, but it was a nice surprise. I am impressed how he guessed what our favorite Chinese desserts are, out of all the desserts available. Or maybe, he just randomly picked a few and it happened to be the ones that we really like.

These are Hong Kong egg tarts and I always get many of them - fresh out of the oven-, every time I visit Hong Kong. They are a bit more petite sized and the crust is quite thick, but the hint of vanilla in the custard filling was nice and it is not too overly sweet or too heavily custard flavored. It is great for people who like a light dessert with an airy and flaky crust.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag

The chrysanthemum jelly cubes (桂花糕) have a nice flowery flavor with a not too strong goji berry flavor, which is great. It is also not too sweet or too bitter. I like the texture, as it practically melted in my mouth. It was however difficult to pick them up, as I didn't get a spoon. The trick is to use your chopsticks, stick them into the jelly cubes with a little bit of space between them, and lift them in one swift movement.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant in Den Haag

We really enjoyed our meal, but when we asked for the bill, the waitress told us that the boss and his wife treated us. We felt that it was already enough that they treated us to desserts. I really don't like taking advantage of someone's kindness and generosity. It is for that reason that none of us siblings or my dad ever went to any of the establishments of my mom's former boss, while she was still working for him. I didn't want people to think that we want free meals or want to get free things with our meal or purchases. I could tell that some of their employees seem to do that very often. Trying to get free meals, discounts, or freebies and asking for red envelopes during Chinese festivities. So, I pushed my mom to walk to the cash register to pay the bill. But the bill was already removed from the system, so nothing could be done. All we could do was to kindly thank them.

While she was walking us out, the wife of the boss told us that she was happy to see us and to treat us to a meal, as the last time was about ten years ago and we were still like little kids. It really made me think about it differently. There is nothing wrong about wanting to treat an employee, who had been working diligently for over a decade for you, to a meal. It is the same as me feeling happy to treat friends to the food that I made. If they rejected it, it would make me feel bad. Maybe, they enjoyed having employees coming by with their children, as if felt like having extra (grand)children wishing them health and prosperity for the new year. Going there often with our family, colleagues from work, and friends also brings them free publicity and potentially, new customers. It is still nice of them to be so kind to us, although my mom has already left for an early retirement (I am not sure how long it will last, as although she doesn't have aches anymore and became less tired, she is starting to get bored).

The wife of the boss also made me think differently about gossiping. I used to hate it, as it ruined my life when I was a little kid and it made people who I have never met before hate me and try to hurt me without any reason. But she showed me that by gossiping, you could also use it to connect people and make them feel good. During our meal, she showed me the art of hospitality by striking up a conversation at every table and making people laugh by telling jokes and interesting pieces of news about people. I am sure this is one of the reasons what made loyal customers keep coming back.

China Town Dimsum & Grill restaurant
Wagenstraat 100
2512 AZ Den Haag
Opening hours: 12:00-23:00 

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