The MSG150 crew had our last street crossing for the official MSG150 route today. We still have three sides of this final restaurant packed block to do, but the end is near. To mark the occasion we sacrificed Rob. It was sad to lose Rob, I hope his family will understand, but it's comforting to know that the various ID gods will shine upon us during the final days of our journey. Today's target is the Purple Dot Cafe. The one eyed baby dinosaur logo that greeted us as we entered did very little to explain the odd name.
More press today: Caroline Li, a writer for the Northwest Asian Weekly and Mastermind & Founder of Earthwalkers Magazine, joined us to expose the faces behind the elusive MSG150.
Family Style Dishes
- 2 x Pan Fried Sesame Shrimp Dumplings
- Fried Shrimp Ball
- Shrimp Stuffed Eggplant
- BBQ Pork Pastry
- Green Pepper w/ Shrimp
- Ginger Pork Bun
- Pork Pastry
- Steamed Shrimp & Pea Vine Dumpling
- Steamed Shrimp & Scallop Dumpling
- 2 x Shu Mai
- Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf
- Egg Custard
- Rice Noodle w/ Beef
Luncher: EmmettLunch: Family Style - $10.00
Purple Dot has a strange logo, an odd color scheme on the wall, and has an enormous menu. I guess the logo portrays a dragon coming out of an egg, and has some weird eye patch on it. Another fact: It's one of the few restaurants open past 2 AM in the ID, so on Saturday night's you can get your drink on and then eat Chinese until you explode. I've seen lines out the door to get in at 2 AM. For lunch, however, this place doesn't quite fill up.
On my previous lunch excursions, I've not been particularly impressed. However, Purple Dot delivered some good food. I'm wondering if our recent coverage in the news has let the cat out of the bag, and these places have anticipated our arrival. Not a big deal, if we get some delicious food out of the deal. This place pretty much mimics the other dim sum places in the ID, serving all the same dishes. Nothing particular stood out, but everything was fresh and tasty.
Luncher: GearyLunch: Family Style - $10.00
I have been to Purple Dot for Dim Sum before, but it has been over a year. Today was similar to my previous experiences although it was a bit more crowded than I remember. Today it was only about half capacity, but the carts seemed to be moving well and the food was still warm when served. We started out with a couple buns and dumplings while we tried to explain to Caroline why we were doing this. I suspect she figured out that we are nuts. The small Ginger Pork Buns were great. I usually avoid the buns because I'm not a big fan of the typical sweetened BBQ pork they usually contain. The shrimp ball and shrimp dumplings were typical. They could have been hotter though. The real standouts were the Steamed Shrimp & Pea Vine Dumplings and the Steamed Shrimp & Scallop Dumplings. The Shrimp & Pea Vine Dumplings were an amazing green color with pea vines baked into the dough as well as mixed into the shrimp stuffing. The Shrimp & Scallop Dumplings were the best I've had with flavorful scallops mixed throughout. We ended with a Beef Rice Noodle Roll. It was good, but not as flavorful as the Beef & Cilantro Roll at Jade Garden.
Luncher: AdamLunch: Family Style - $10.00
Dim Sum. OK. I think this is the last one. I'll be happy to not going to Dim Sum for a while. Dim Sum is like visiting your Aunt that lives in Kansas: she's fun to hang out with a couple times per year; not once-a-week.
This was standard Dim Sum. No shining stars here. The food was warm, not hot.
- The dumpling that was in a green-wrap was pretty interesting. It was tasty, and I hadn't seen one before.
- The rolled noodles were a late comer to our lunch. Geary saw another table get them and forced them upon us (a very Rob-esque move). Good call.
- Shu Mai, etc - all good and standard.
The decor of this place has been updated... its quite nice. This would probably be a good place to take a first-time-dim-sum-er to because its very clean looking.
Luncher: JoeyLunch: Family Style - $10.00
I had no idea Purple Dot had dim sum. I wasn’t really expecting much to be honest. In fact I was tempted to get my own order and opt out of dim sum altogether, but I didn’t want to be a party pooper. When we got there it wasn't very busy, which for dim sum usually is a bad sign, because the food is more likely to be lukewarm since it’s sitting on the carts longer. I was pleasantly surprised by the courteous service we got from our waitress, which was in stark contrast from many of the harsh comments I read on yelp beforehand. Maybe they knew we were the "MSG150 guys" and they put on their best behavior.
The food came quickly and was hotter than I expected. It could have been hotter, but I wasn't complaining. My favorite dim sum were their scallop dumplings and the pea vine shrimp. They were decent sized, the seafood seemed fresh, and the temperature was satisfactory. Everything else was average, but overall it was a satisfying meal.
Luncher: JaredLunch: Family Style - $10.00
Luncher: MichaelLunch: Family Style - $10.00
I've always liked the Purple Dot. That cute little dragon busting out of his egg. The clean modern interior with happy bright colors. And tasty food. It's a fun place to go for lunch.
The food here is as tasty as any other dim sum in the neighborhood. I really enjoyed the scallops, the green dumplings, and those tasty rolled noodle things we got at the end.
It seems to me that much of the dim sum in the ID is similar - and good. So you have to pick your lunch spot on other criteria. In the future I'm going for this little fun dragon.
VIP Luncher: Caroline Li from Northwest Asian WeeklyLunch: Family Style - $10.00
Caroline Li's Review
Purple Dot is always a favorite of mine because you can always count on having your traditional dim sum items and try some new ones as well. The constant flow of dim sum carts keeps you engaged in your meal so you won't find yourself filling up on tea or playing with your chopsticks. Unlike some "next generation" dim sum spots, Purple Dot doesn't trying to do it all. You won't find portions of their dinner meal on the dim sum cart, just to keep the picky people happy. The restaurant serves enough variety of the real stuff that there's something for everyone.
Purple Dot Cafe PhotosPurple Dot Cafe
Purple Dot Cafe Logo
Shrimp on Green Pepper
Ginger Pork Buns
Martian Green Shrimp & Pea Vine Greens Dumpling
Scallop & Shrimp Dumpling
Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf
Rice Noodle w/ Beef