China Pavilion opens at 10:30am on Sunday, and within the hour, it’s packed. Tables are filled with mostly Chinese families feasting on delicious dishes like barbecue pork buns, crispy fried taro and pan-fried noodles. The lively atmosphere is more reminiscent of a Chinatown hangout than a Pembroke Pines storefront. The bustling restaurant is one of only a few in Broward known for authentic dim sum, served until 4pm daily. Considering that Thursday ushers in the Year of the Rabbit on the lunar calendar and it’s practically Valentine’s Day — dim sum loosely translates “to touch your heart” – it’s the perfect time to try the beloved bites.
China Pavilion doesn’t use carts to show off its dim sum, but the menu has pictures of most of them, and you check off your choices on a sheet listing 73 items. (Don’t expect much in the way of advice or explanations from the busy servers, some of whom speak little English.) After devouring many delectable dishes here, we’ve barely made a dent in the lineup. Generous dim sum dishes arrive one at a time, and there’s often a short wait in between. If you’re not sure how much to order, don’t worry; you can add items if you catch a glimpse of something that looks good at another table. There are plenty of familiar choices, such as spring rolls and steamed dumplings, and since most items are under $5, you can afford to be adventurous.
- Steamed shrimp dumplings
- Baked barbecue pork buns
- Steamed pork siu mai dumplings
- Homey congee, a Chinese comfort classic of rice porridge with steamed pork, strips of potent ginger and black bits of preserved egg that tasted a little like a fine cheese
- Crunchy fried rolls filled with chunks of mango and shrimp served with a citrusy, mayo-based dipping sauce
- Stuffed bean curd skin
- Flavorful, albeit too cold, duck & roast pork rice paste
- Rich baked egg custard tarts
What Didn’t Work
- Too bony and gelatinous steamed chicken feet