Ladies and gentlemen, meet BellaBot: a roving cat robot that sings, tells jokes and serves food at Dimmer & Summer, a new dim sum spot in Cobble Hill at 196 Smith Street between Baltic and Warren Streets.
Opened by restaurateur Kenny Mei this past weekend as an homage to his Chinese roots, Dimmer & Summer offers traditional Northern and Southern Chinese dishes with a New York flair (like the robo-cat server, of course).
Menu standouts include rainbow soup dumplings, old-style scallion noodles, Hong Kong-style crispy wings, a classic mango salad, scallion pancakes, chicken sticky rice in lotus leaf and the very interesting-looking Philly cheesesteak buns.
Drink-wise, expect a solid list of Chinese hot tea choices (including lychee black tea, oolong, rose and the pur-er chrsanthemum tea) alongside a category of imbibing options plainly dubbed “refreshing.” The section includes salted plum spritz, salted cream cheese oolong team, mango pomelo sago, fruit tea tiramisu and the must-try Hong Kong-style milk tea.
Although we’re not usually fans of gimmicky restaurant draws, we can’t help but have a soft spot for the BellaBot on premise, which we’ve seen working its magic around Flushing but never at a restaurant quite this close to Manhattan. Needless to say: it works. There’s just something about robots serving you delicious fare that excites us just so.
A few things to keep in mind if you are going to visit Dimmer & Sumer to meet the tech-savvy cat: it doesn’t know how to climb up stairs, so make sure to sit downstairs if you want to experience it. Also, although the kitty cat talks and delivers certain orders to your table, it is, we must remind you, a robot. Don’t expect it, then, to behave like a human!
As a reminder, be respectful. The cat is there to work!
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.