Gun Show has been described as an American dim sum experience, but apart from choosing from varied dishes pushed around on carts there isn’t much similarity. At Gun Show the actual chef (who created and cooked the dish) delivers the food, explains the dish and answers questions; at most dim sum restaurants you point and hope for the best. At Gun Show the food is delivered as soon as it is prepared, it doesn’t ride around aimlessly for hours looking for a home. At Gun Show the menu changes weekly (some dishes daily) to confirm to what’s in season and the creativeness of the chefs’ desires. Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional dim sum joints, this is just different and in my opinion better.
This creativeness can lead to a hit and miss type of cadence on dishes, but most were hits and where else can chefs truly take risks and get real time feedback from customers. On average there are about four chefs each evening and they are free (with some supervision) to come up with whatever interests them, as long as it’s tasty! On the evening we visited, there were four chefs and upwards of 25+ different dishes to be had; the variety of cooking styles, textures and flavors was amazing. You could definitely orchestrate a cohesive meal, but why; go crazy and try whatever sounds good. At the time they were offering two to three of everything on the menu for $56 pp for groups of 6 or more so that was a no brainer for us. The following were the 20+ courses we had, but keep in mind a good deal of these may not be on the current menu; there was so much food we had to turn down a few of the desserts…I personally felt a great deal of shame in this.
Bring on the desserts…I think?
I really enjoyed the interaction with the chefs and picking their brain about the dishes and cooking techniques; I would have felt a little bad however if I had to turn a dish down…luckily this wasn’t a problem since we had everything on the menu. We asked a few of them if it was hard when someone turned their nose up at something they had just spent time preparing and for the most part they were OK with it, but they did indicate it took a few services!
I absolutely loved Gun Show and have already been back since these pictures were taken; the two things that did take a little getting used to were, as many have mentioned, the noise level in the dining room and what I affectionately called the auditor. Not sure what they could do about the noise, sans hanging suspended foam tiles but the auditor needs to be less intrusive. We were told everyone in the kitchen has to do it at some point but on this night our guy would creep up grab the tally list, survey the dishes and dash off without uttering a word…it was a little strange. This was a minor detail and became sort of a joke by the end of the night as we watched him maneuver around the dining room and return to his perch waiting to swoop down upon each dish’s arrival.
Bottom line: Gun Show is fun, exciting and interactive; if you like these things and have an open mind you will love it, if you want a very controlled quiet meal you will hate it.