Menya Sandaime: Ramen in Fort Lee, NJ
Best dishes: of 2014. Some were even in New Jersey.

Dim Sum Villa: Proper dim sum in New Providence, NJ

Dim sum villa dim sum

File under: where the heck is New Providence, NJ?

I certainly had no idea. Never heard of it, as far as I can remember. I know the area, but not this New Providence. Luckily I have a map, so I was able to locate this lovely little hamlet and the fabulous dim sum restaurant tucked into its bosom. Dim Sum Villa is the name of the place, and they've got some proper dim sum.

Dim sum villa cart

They've got cart service at Dim Sum Villa. This neither excites me nor bothers me. I really don't care if a restaurant has carts. But it's nice to see the selections up close and in person and do the pointing routine.

Here's a brief rundown of a recent dim sum lunch:

Dim sum villa beef dumplings

I'm never a big fan of the bean curd roll thing. I always think I will love it, but ultimately the deep, rich flavors do nothing for me when I'm eating a dim sum meal. This version was no different. That's not to say there was anything wrong with it, but it just wasn't my favorite.

Dim sum villa tripe

My favorite, as is generally the case, was the tripe dish. I love tripe. I love the balance of sweet and sour. And that texture? My goodness. The only thing wrong with this dish is that I'm not eating it right now.

Dim sum villa shrimp dumpling

Shrimp dumplings were executed to the level of any version I've had anywhere. I love these little shrimp, wrapped in delicate skin. These dumplings are, to me, just the pure, simple essence of dumpling. Oddly, they don't seem to have Chinkiang vinegar (Chinese black vinegar) for dipping, but they were able to bring out a bit of Chinese red vinegar, which I hadn't had before that. Very tasty, but different.

Dim sum villa chive dumplings

Shrimp and Chinese chive dumplings. Get on it! One of my favorites of alllll the dumplings in alllll the world. I love that bit of browning on that tacky wrapper. And they are always just loaded with Chinese chives. Great stuff.

Dim sum villa dumplings

Hey what the hell were these ones here? I'll be damned if I know. I didn't take notes. I did eat them, though.

The website notes that they have dim sum all day, which is clearly awesome. The prices, I thought, are extremely reasonable.

Dim Sum Villa seems to be serving quite good dim sum. It's a bit far afield for me, and if I wanted to go there again I'd have to pass several places that do a great job as well. I have no idea what the similar options are around the New Providence area, but it sure seems like a nice addition to the area. Certainly worth a drive if you're short on options.

Deserted village watchung reservation

When you're done with your meal, walk it off at The Deserted Village in Watchung Reservation. It's pretty damned cool.

Dim Sum Villa : 1260 Springfield Ave : New Providence, NJ : 908.898.0388 : BYOB