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The husband and I teamed up with Ashley and Stephen to tackle the next eatery in Pinetree Plaza… Dim Sum Heaven. We were excited to have another dim sum place to review, having only ever been to Canton House (several times, and loved it every time) for dim sum in Atlanta.
The interior is pretty standard for Buford Highway, both in style and in wear and tear. We wound up in the second, slightly set apart part of the restaurant, away from everyone else, but with a table with a lazy susan, which is critical for sharing a number of small plate dishes, like dim sum.
After we got settled, we perused the menus for a bit. We considered ordering both from the regular and dim sum menu (and by regular menu, I mean the takeout menus that were provided), but so many of the dim sum photos looked interesting, and the name of the restaurant is Dim Sum Heaven after all. So we went all dim sum.
We were so excited about dim sum, we came up with two waves of things we wanted to order, so that we could get through the first wave first and then see if our eyes were too big for our stomachs before ordering more. Good thing, too…
The very first dish let us know we were in trouble. The shrimp and chives balls, or dumplings (or whatever they were) were very difficult to eat, having a sort of freezer-burned quality about them. But hey, maybe that particular food item just wasn’t for us. Right?
Oh no. These buns were awful. There is no polite way to say that. They looked unappetizing and they tasted equally unappetizing. The barbecued meat did not taste like meat or really anything in particular, much less barbecue. And the buns was drenched in honey, presumably to dress them up? But basically we ate little pre-frozen honey-covered dinner rolls. Not good.
A few things were fine, but nothing was amazing, and our trust in Dim Sum Heaven was already broken. Even the better things were still unremarkable. We were already making the obvious quips about being stuck in Dim Sum Limbo, or Dim Sum Purgatory.
Then the peach buns arrived… what had initially seemed novel and fun now seemed questionable at best. But they weren’t bad, just unremarkable.
Radish cakes, lo mai gai and the little crimped shrimp dumplings are three of my favorites at other dim sum joints, so it was a sorry state of affairs to slog through these three remaining dishes. It was mostly just very bland and nothing really had the good, fresh texture we’ve come to expect.
Needless to say, we decided against ordering our planned second wave of items, and called it a night. We retired back to our house to play board games, but sadly both Ashley and I fell ill and it took both of us a while to recover. Nothing dramatic or life-threatening, but enough to start up the Dim Sum Hell jokes. It certainly didn’t add to an already lackluster experience.
Here’s Ashley: “The food was bland for the most part, sometimes overheated (reheated?). For a restaurant that is named for dim sum, it fails to be anywhere near impressive at dim sum. I felt sick afterward and it took over 24 hours to feel normal again. I would not recommend this place to anyone. 1.5 stars.”
Here’s Stephen: “Underwhelming at best, and potentially sickening at worst, Dim Sum Heaven is basically the same price as much more appealing dim sum restaurants. Not a good value. 2 stars.
Adam also gives this place a 2, and being one of those who got sick, I’ll follow Ashley’s lead with a 1.5. We saw other people in there, and it’s entirely possible that the entrees at Dim Sum Heaven are fantastic – they have to stay in business somehow after all. But since the place has dim sum in its name, that’s what we went with and we’re in no rush to try again any time soon.
Dim Sum Heaven
5203 Buford Highway
Atlanta, GA 30340