We spent a few days exploring Austin by foot. The Greenbelt, a beautiful park smack in the middle of the city, snakes along the Barton Creek. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon strolling outdoors. We caught sunset atop Mount Bonnell, a popular destination—we had to fight for our own space to watch sunset. We visited Barton Springs Pool, a natural bottom pool fed with warm water from a natural spring. Leisurely strolls along Congress Street and the upscale downtown area around Sixth Street ignited our senses with smells from curbside restaurants. However, what made our Austin trip truly exceptional was our dinner at the city’s next best restaurant-Lin’s Asian Bar and Dim Sum.
Austin’s Best Dim Sum
Lin’s Asian Bar and Dim Sum Restaurant hasn’t been on Austin’s food scene for long, but this charming restaurant is already making waves. It’s a bustling spot attracting hipsters and traditionalists alike. In addition to dim sum they have a full menu of Asian-inspired dishes. Everything from the soup dumplings to the desserts are handmade with the same meticulous attention to detail and passion for quality.
What sets this place apart, aside from setting your taste buds into a frenzy, is the love and dedication Lin and her husband have for creating a space that honors traditional with a contemporary spin. There are stories behind many of the dishes and decorations that give a nod to Lin’s roots. In fact, much of the décor is sourced from Lin’s hometown in China like the intricate hand-painted umbrellas that adorn the entrance way and the delicate seaweed rice baskets in which ‘Grandma’s rice’ is lovingly served. Each dish is plated with the utmost care and consideration; no detail escapes this couple.
A quiet, modest pride exudes from the husband-wife duo who source the ingredients locally, selecting the freshest and purest meats and vegetables. The quality of the ingredients shine as Lin devotedly cultivates complex flavors. It is clear that for Lin, cooking is an expression of love.
The dishes satisfy the stomach and the eyes; they are exquisitely plated, almost too beautiful to eat. Each dish we ordered was perfection; the airy cloud-like tofu, the decadent and crispy sautéed angus beef with foie gras, the flaky scallion pancake with perfectly paired curry dip, and the handmade chocolate mouse subtly infused with jasmine. What’s truly not to miss, however, are the soup dumplings.
No meal at Lin’s Asian Bar and Dim Sum Restaurant would be complete without these doughy soup-filled bundles. The broth that fills the dumplings is carefully prepared for hours to coax the maximum amount of flavor, resulting in ultra tender bites of meat. Carefully pour the side of vinegar over the soup dumpling and enjoy as the flavor evolves from salty to sweet. Additionally, plenty of vegetable-centric dishes make it a vegetarian friendly option.
Lin’s ability to blend textures and create dynamic flavors from the freshest ingredients with a deep respect for her culture makes for a simultaneously belly-filling and heartwarming meal. Lin and her husband are commitment to using local ingredients to create food that is steeped in culture and rich in passion and flavor.