For most, the phrase “dim sum” conjures images of servers wheeling around carts piled high with small plates and steamer baskets filled with delicious surprises. Maybe it’s pork-filled dumplings, meatballs or veg spring rolls. Perhaps it’s glazed spare ribs or sweet cream buns.
For my cohort, Teresa Gubbins, dim sum means chicken feet.
This is not the way dim sum brunch is done at Five Sixty.
The new brunch concept fits the Asian fusion theme at Reunion Tower’s revolving restaurant. But, at a recent media lunch, executive chef Patton Robertson assured us that the Five Sixty way of doing dim sum, while a little — no, a lot — nicer than wheeled carts would not be too “fine dining.”
Dishes feel like an amalgam of traditional dim sum, Wolfgang Puck-style Asian fusion and Texas tastes. That means pork belly pot stickers and duck bao buns, plus two kinds of fried rice, Chinois-style chicken salad, and Texas Benedict with beef brisket and poached egg.
Keep reading to get a taste.
Pictured here: Five Sixty's riff on "bacon and eggs": glazed pork belly with ginger licorice honey and quail egg. Yes, that's a seriously huge slab of pork belly. Cooked in duck fat.
Five Sixty had tried brunch before, said Robertson, but the American-style dishes just didn’t feel right. “It wasn’t as cool as it could be.”
Pictured here: Chinese sausage fried rice with egg, scallion and bell pepper.
Crystal chive dumplings with Kurobuta pork and king crab, as well as the crispy shrimp and lobster spring rolls (not pictured), are among the dishes Robertson said “will outlive me, I’m sure.”
The pig fest continues with pork belly pot stickers with black vinegar and chili oil.
“It’s not formal,” Robertson said of the brunch experience, adding that the minute the food hits the window, it goes out to the table. Pictured here: pan-seared day boat scallop with XO sauce, asparagus and sweet peas.
In this fried rice dish — one of two versions on the brunch menu— wild mushrooms add an earthy undertone.
“It will continue to evolve,” Robertson said of the brunch menu.
What is authentic about the experience is the sharing of plates and the leisureliness of the experience; there’s no rush to get out, because brunch is served 11 am-5 pm Sunday.
UPDATE: Five Sixty is now serving brunch on Saturday as well, 11 am-5 pm.