Sunflower Chinese Restaurant & Lounge (Facebook)
7370 Sawmill Rd. (map it!)
Dublin, OH 43235
Open Mon-Thurs, 11:30a-11p; Fri, 11:30a-12a; Sat, 11a-12a; Sun, 11a-11p
(smaller dim sum menu served daily; full dim sum served Sat & Sun, 11a-3p)
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.
Oh, it’s been too long since we’ve been to dim sum at Sunflower Chinese Restaurant & Lounge. Sadly, there aren’t many places for dim sum around Columbus now (the nearby Lee Garden closed a couple years ago). While there are a plethora of Chinese restaurants around town (some the Americanized, some very authentic), there aren’t many that serve authentic dim sum.
Quick background, in case you’re not familiar with dim sum. Dim sum is essentially Chinese brunch. It’s a late morning/early afternoon meal that’s typically eaten as a group. The meal consists of tea and mostly small plates meant to be shared.
In the true dim sum experience, the small plates are served tableside from carts. Different servers wheel their carts from table to table, allowing you to select plates that interest you. A typical dish is already divided into pieces for easy sharing.
The carts come quickly at first, so your table will fill up in no time. I remember the first time we had true dim sum, at a place called Jing Fong in New York City. The carts came at us so fast that we barely had time to react. The experience is a little more subdued at Sunflower, and the servers are all very polite, so don’t feel bad if you decline a plate. And don’t hesitate to ask what’s what.
We started with a lot of dumplings, some steamed and some fried.
The dumplings are loaded with things like shrimp, pork, and veggies.
They’re steamed in metal or wood containers that stack on the carts, and the servers deposit them with tongs.
There are also plates with stir fries of rice noodles and veggies. Our boys loved these.
This dumpling (I don’t know what it was called) had a delicate and flaky exterior.
I also love these rice noodles, filled with shrimp and doused with a sweet soy sauce.
These dumplings were similar, filled with shrimp.
These fluffy steamed pork buns were a hit, too, with a big, pillowy breading surrounding sweet and rich pork.
One dish includes chicken, rice, veggies, and a quail egg steamed in a lotus leaf.
Here’s the interior of the lotus leaf, complete with quail egg.
There’s a cart with drinks and desserts, too, so you can supplement your tea with cold bubble tea and finish off the meal by indulging your sweet tooth.
At the beginning of your meal, you’re given a card listing the general categories of the dishes. As you select plates from the cart, the server will mark the appropriate line with a stamp or initials. Then at the end of your meal, you take the card up to the cashier and they add everything up.
The dim sum experience at Sunflower is delightful, especially if you go with a large group and enjoy the company while sampling dishes. We were pretty conservative with our choices (because this was a first experience for our boys), but there are more adventurous plates, too, like fried chicken feet.
Is Sunflower the best Chinese restaurant in the city? Probably not. Is it one of the only restaurants serving dim sum? Yes. And a very fine meal it is.