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Dim Sum opens in Keizer

Dim Sum Restaurant opened this week in the former location of Blooming Cuisine, 3843 River Road N. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Dim Sum Restaurant opened this week in the former location of Blooming Cuisine, 3843 River Road N. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

A new restaurant is blooming in Keizer.

Dim Sum Restaurant opened this week at 3843 River Road N, the former Blooming Cuisine location. The owners are the husband and wife duo of Jian Zhuang Ma and Ximei Huang, who also run John’s Chinese at 4842 River Road.

Much about their new building has been changed.

From the road, things look far different. The distinctive lattices that previously adorned the building are gone, in addition to new paint.

Huang said on Monday the couple got the building in March.

“My husband looked at it,” she said. “It is hard to remodel. We thought, ‘How are we going to make it look the way we want it?’ We found someone with an idea.”

The change isn’t limited to the exterior.

“Inside took a long time,” Huang said. “We changed the whole thing. It doesn’t look like before. It’s really different.”

Other notable changes are the Dim Sum Restaurant sign and, of course, the menu.

“Dim sum is real Chinese food,” Huang said. “It’s finger food. It’s very neat. We thought it would be good to try it. I suggested maybe we do dim sum because some of our customers (at John’s) had asked for it. They are such pretty dishes.”

According to Huang, the wheels were set into motion a couple of years ago.

“The owners of Blooming Cuisine wanted to retire and called us to see if we’d ever thought to open another restaurant. Then they came again (earlier this year) and Jian decided to take it.”

Huang knows the new venture won’t be an easy undertaking.

“It’s a challenge,” she said. “We’ll see if it works.”

Huang appeared before Keizer City Councilors on Monday, since she was applying to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for a liquor license at Dim Sum. Councilors unanimously approved the request and forwarded it to the OLCC.

Council president Joe Egli was impressed with the number of changes done to the restaurant.

“You’ve done a great job on the building,” Egli said.

Huang noted Dim Sum fills a niche.

“You will have many choices, for the different kind of people who like it,” she said. “It’s the only one in Keizer. It’s a little different than (American) Chinese food. Hopefully you will like it.”

Mayor Lore Christopher is familiar with dim sum food, having tried it previously in New York.

“I love dim sum,” she said. “I’m so excited.”

Huang said the hours for now will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., though her application lists hours being between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. most days, opening at 11:30 a.m. on the weekends and staying open until 10 p.m. on Fridays.

“We may be open earlier in the future, maybe around 9 or 10 (a.m.),” she said. “Dim sum for Chinese people is breakfast.”