With locations in Tampa, Sarasota, Ocala, Gainesville, and Orlando, when people on Florida’s West Coast or Central Florida ask me where to go for Chinese, especially dim sum, which means “hearts delight” (once you sample the array of delicious little dumplings, you will understand), my response is Yummy House.
The name definitely suits the restaurant–the food is indeed Yummy, and is above and beyond typical Florida-style Chinese food which often consists of buffets with food languishing under heat lamps, and carry out places. Yummy House takes transports diners as close to Chinatown or Hong Kong as you’re going to get in these parts and delivers consistently good quality food (dim sum is available off the menu everyday at the Sarasota location, and they offer traditional “brunch style” cart service on weekends), a popular part of Chinese culture, where groups of family or friends get together around a large table and continually select from the carts that parade freshly steamed dumplings and other more exotic fare around the room, lifting the lids from the steamer baskets to tempt you.
Perfectly steamed Shanghai Dumplings (filled with pork and ginger) with hot chili oil is one of my favorite dim sum items at Yummy House. Swirl a little soy sauce on your plate. Gently dip your dumpling in the hot sauce- if you like–then swirl the dumpling around on the plate with the soy sauce–the flavor is great–not too hot, not oily, just right!
The regular menu features a huge selection of traditional Chinese favorites, as well as items that can be considered more “American-Chinese,” so there is something for everyone. Personal favorites include the huge tureens of soup (Seafood Hot and Sour, and Egg Drop are favorites), anything eggplant, the Grouper and fish dishes, all their veggies (I especially love the Chinese Broccoli with black bean sauce– the sauce tends to be on the salty side so you may want it on the side), and of course dim sum! The restaurant’s staff is friendly and accommodating–especially once they’ve seen your face a few times, but a word of caution–even after being open several years in the N. Trail location not far from the Ringling College of Art & Design and Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, loyal locals line up, especially on weekends (if you’re not there by 11:15, good luck getting a table–and this is summertime), and despite being several miles removed from the downtown business district and major tourist attractions, Yummy House is one of the busiest restaurants in town for weekday lunch, it is nearly always packed by 12 noon. My advice is go early- especially if you don’t like waiting or are crunched for time. The fact that Yummy House remains so busy and has such a loyal following is a strong testament to the quality and authenticity.
John Zhao and Tommy Tang are the founding partners and owners of Yummy House Tampa (pictured above). Both from Toishan, China, they share the same passion and devotion to the highest quality and standards of Chinese culinary skills. They believe in satisfying the customer at all times, and educating the consumer as to what “authentic” Chinese cooking is all about. This same passion and commitment to quality has extended to other locations across Central and West-Central Florida over the past several years. The restaurant serves beer and wine and offers a modest selection of decent labels sure to complement your meal.
Dim Sum is available daily, with cart service on the weekends. Yummy House Sarasota opens at 11am, and there is typically a line on weekends!
Shanghai style dumplings with pork and ginger are a favorite!
The soups are amazing! Here is the egg drop– enough to serve 6 people a cup or more each (only come in the large bowls), but you can always take it home or enjoy a second cup– it’s great for the rare cold day in Sarasota, also if you are under the weather 🙂
Yummy House has been awarded the Fred Bollaci Enterprises Golden Palate Certificate of Excellence!
Yummy House China Bistro
3232 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234