Dining Reviews

Ruyi Dim Sum

Foodie-File-GT1533New Capitola spot alleviates county’s dearth of dim sum

Santa Cruz County certainly can use some more dim sum restaurants. Fortunately, as of the beginning of August, Capitola is home to Ruyi Dim Sum, which will fulfill all of your dim sum cravings—and if you’re new to the cuisine, they’ll be happy to suggest dishes. They also carry a whole lot more than just dim sum. We spoke with Ruyi Dim Sum’s Doug Huang, the son of the owners, about the family business.

GT: What do you recommend to someone new to dim sum?

DOUG HUANG: Dim Sum is like early morning breakfast, but American people eat it differently. If someone doesn’t know what dim sum is, shui mai is the first dish to try out. Next would be the steamed bun, and then the baked barbecue pork buns. Shui mai is pretty much dough wrapped around beef and corn. The steamed bun would be black mushrooms and chicken. There are some people in Santa Cruz that are vegetarian. We also have vegetable steamed buns, not just barbecue pork.

What’s your title at Ruyi Dim Sum?

We don’t really have titles. We just agree on things together. My family are all chefs, but I’m going into the auctioning business for antiques and stuff like that. Right now I do it as a hobby. I took some years off and got my auctioneering degree.

You have a large menu. What would you say is your specialty?

We do southern-style Chinese food. We do that, but with dim sum on top.

What’s something traditional on the menu?

We have steamed whole fish. It’s really simple. It’s got more of a natural taste. What we’re trying to get going is the roast duck, [but] I haven’t got that dish at the moment.

What’s your favorite dish?

The shrimp with Japanese tofu is really good. It’s Japanese-style tofu and egg, but it’s really soft. We deep-fry it a little bit, then pan-fry it. And we have the vegetables and the seafood. It could be chicken or beef. Mostly we do shrimp. It’s more of a delicacy with a little bit of seafood. There’s celery, onions, stuff like that. 


HOT BUNS Doug Huang of Ruyi Dim Sum with an array of steamed and fried buns, including pork, chicken, sweet bean and sesame. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER. Info: 1200 41st Ave., Capitola. 475-3688.

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Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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