All I can think of as I make my way through the dim sum menu at the Source is: I wish its talented chef would open a Chinese restaurant in the city.
Scott Drewno’s soft bao buns cradling crackling duck slices, cool cucumber and intense hoisin sauce deserve a wider audience. The chef’s crisp chive dumplings excited by Chinese mustard ought to be served beyond the glass walls of Wolfgang Puck’s sleek gift to Penn Quarter. What look like English Christmas crackers — golden spring rolls with thin ties of blanched chives — snap open to show off pearly centers of mousselike shrimp and lobster. The snacks need no adornment, but they blossom after a dip in spiced honey sauce. If only they were served other than just Saturday at the Source!
Not every little dish — carried, rather than ferried on a cart — fulfills dim sum’s translation of “heart’s delight.” The fragrance preceding the arrival of the chicken wings is better than the actual eating. And although I admire the curry lilt in an order of Shanghai noodles, the noodles are pasty. Those laggards are outnumbered by the kitchen’s many winners, including glassy mung bean noodles topped with garlicky clams, and tiny shrimp dumplings dressed with XO sauce and fried basil. (A splash of Sprite in the wok makes them crisp but keeps their color, the chef shares.)
The bar raises the bar for drinks, too. Its Shanghai Mary leaves everyone else’s bloody mary in the dust, fueled as it is by fresh lime juice and chili paste in the glass and garnished with a skewer of olives and red Thai chilies. Go-o-o-o-d morning.
--Tom Sietsema (May 8, 2011)