7370 Sawmill Road
Columbus, OH 43235
While Columbus has plenty of Chinese food of all kinds, it’s harder to find a really good experience for the less Americanized palette of dim sum in the city. But when you get a taste of the more traditional Cantonese meal, you find it quickly grows on you. Sunflower Chinese Restaurant has a following in town, particularly in the close-knit Chinese-American community, for how its food hearkens to a different kind of eating. The spot has a regular menu full of Americanized dishes, but I highly recommend coming in to try something a bit more unusual, because here you’ll find a special liking for it.
Dim sum features many smaller dishes, especially dumplings and meat dishes, served in steamer dishes and meant to be shared among a group. Some of my favorites:
- Cha siu bao: A classic dim sum dish, these buns are filled with barbecued pork, with a delicious and savory sauce. Fantastic.
- Shu mai: A shrimp dumpling, soft with crunchy shrimp. Get two or three orders if you like these.
- Short rib: On the menu as “Pork stomach in black bean sauce,” these ribs are soft and tasty, steamed and served with potatoes. Great.
- Taro dumpling: A crispy dumpling made with mashed taro, a type of plant, and on the inside a ground pork mixture. Crisp on the outside, savory on the inside.
- Har Gow: A dumpling filled with pork or shrimp that is more familiar to western palettes, these small dumplings are delicious, with or without a sauce.
- Chow fun: Crispy pan-fried noodles with bean sprouts and a dark sauce, with your choice of meats. The dish is fantastic, and comes with plenty of crunchy noodles.
- Tofu Fa: While its name suggests the soft tofu snack, this dish is more of a stir-fry recipe, served in a dark sauce with eggplant and green peppers. The tofu is lightly breaded but delicious.
- Chicken feet: A nice hot sauce adds a lot to these. Hear me out! They’re pretty good if you know how to eat them.
- Tripe: Probably better when you don’t know what it is, but still. Interesting texture.
- Pig Ear: This kind of meat is pretty good, and it’s great on its own. Best if dipped in a bit of hot sauce.
- Lemon Tart: Always a popular dessert, the egg tart is a nice, quick finish to a meal that’s probably going to leave you stuffed.
The menu is large and diverse, and of course there are plenty of dishes if you don’t like dim sum. But the specialty kind of dining is served around lunch time in carts that roll around the restaurant, letting you pick out what you like. In off hours, you can still order off the menu, though, though it can take a bit more time.
The restaurant is very affordable, the food comes relatively quickly, and most of the dishes I have tried have been fantastic. I’m a big fan of restaurants that give you the option to really try and enjoy new things, and this is one of them. All in all, well worth a trip.
- Dim sum is the best thing on the menu, served with carts at lunch and letting you order off a menu at dinner.
- If you don’t like dim sum, there is an extensive menu of Americanized dishes.
- Prices are lower here than at many of the other dim sum places in the area, so a very good place to try new food.