If you want some really good siu mai this weekend, but don’t want to wait for hours for a table, you’re in luck. Or, if your friend who’s somehow always free at 2pm during the week invites you to get some excellent pork buns, that’s possible too. That’s because D Cuisine, a small BYOB Chinese restaurant in Lincoln Park, serves these things all day. And while there are other dishes too, the condensed dim sum menu is really why you should come here - regardless of the time of day.
D Cuisine doesn’t have a lot of tables, but it’s rarely crowded, so if you and your annoyingly carefree friend walk in, you shouldn’t have to wait. And since there are only about 30 dim sum dishes to choose from, it’s the type of place where you can be out in a half-hour (because you have to go back to work). Or you can spend that extra time discussing exactly how your apparently-unemployed friend can afford to live in a Lincoln Park brownstone.
You’ll find a range of hits here, like steamed buns, siu mai, and perfectly chewy sesame balls. But the most impressive things are baked, like the BBQ pork buns, which have a sticky, sweet glaze. Or the egg yolk buns - soft and warm, with a gooey sweet filling that we’d put up against any cream-filled donut in town.
There are a few things we don’t love - like the bland taro puffs or the dry Guangzhou roasted chicken - but larger entrees like the chow fun and string beans with pork floss are solid, and can help to round out your lunch or dinner (they’re open from 8am-11pm). But our favorite reason for coming here is to eat reliably good buns and dumplings with a friend. And unlike your friend who mysteriously disappears for days at a time, then shows up with a black eye and a pocket full of cash - you can count on the dim sum here any time of day.
The baked pork buns are one of our favorite things at D Cuisine. They’re the perfect mix of sweet and savory, coated in a sticky glaze, and taste like they just came out of the oven every time.
These have the same great pork filling as the baked buns, but in a softer, doughier package. Definitely order these too.
The wide, pan-fried noodles are chewy and have crispy edges, and come with beef and vegetables. It’s good, but nothing you’ll be thinking about after you leave.
The siu mai are perfectly steamed, and every springy bite has a nice balance of shrimp and pork.
This dish of slightly spicy, tender string beans with bits of crispy pork is a solid companion to the plethora of dumplings you’re about to eat. Make sure it’s on your table.
These are chewy and delicious - we wish we had a few in our pocket to snack on throughout the day.
The roasted chicken is one of the daily specials from the full menu, and you can skip ordering it. The skin looks crispy but it’s actually just dry, and the meat is bland.
Another thing you can skip. These don’t have enough flavor to make up for how dry the filling is.
A warm muffin filled with molten egg custard, and something you definitely want to end your dim sum meal with - no matter what time of day it is.