The Almendras family really loves dim sum, and it’s their love for the Chinese cuisine that made them open the first Chinese restaurant in Minglanilla town, southern Cebu.
Called Dimsum 143, the story of the now thriving business started with the family’s cravings for siomai during the ECQ.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, where enhanced community quarantines were issued all over the country, the family has been craving a taste of siomai. With the many health restrictions and protocols, they had no choice but to order food online.
To their dismay, the food intended to be delivered during lunch came around dinner time. That experience of inconvenience, led the two brothers: Adam and Bo Almendras, to make and sell dim sums to their community.
Dim sum was destined to play a crucial role in the lives of the siblings. Their parents were all for equality and at a young age, Adam and Bo loved and enjoyed cooking Chinese food for their family.
Dimsum 143 started as an online food business, with Adam in charge of the food’s recipe, and Bo handling the marketing side of their business.
However, starting a business during a pandemic does not come without its challenges.
According to Bo Almendras, Marketing Director of Dimsum 143, they had a hard time securing the tools and equipment needed for the business.
“It was so hard to shop around during ECQ, so we had to be resourceful with the tools that we have at home. We used bottles as rolling pins, a peanut butter cap as a cookie-cutter. We had to make do with what is available and because of the love for dim sum, we were able to create these dim sum favorites,” Bo said.
“The biggest challenge was on how to get ingredients. If we were to rely on shopping online, it might take 3-4 weeks for our orders to arrive,” Adam Almendras, Chief Executive Officer of Dimsum 143, added. “So what I did, I created my own signature spice, which we fondly call the “magic spice”, that is present to all of the food on our menu.”
With Adam’s recipe, word of the quality and distinct taste of their dim sum soon spread. As the business idea that sprouted on the Almendras’ family dinner table grew, so did the responsibilities that need to be handled.
From their relatives abroad to their youngest niece, everybody is very active in making the business thrive. It just shows that working with family is just happy and fun.
The key to the Dimsum 143’s success
As described by Adam and Bo, the key to Dimsum 143’s success is their love for family and for food.
The number 143 is associated with the phrase “I love you”. And love, being the core value of the family, is reflected in how this restaurant is being handled. It is a product of love and passion.
As the pandemic restrictions are slowly being lifted and their business becoming a boom in their community, the family decided that they are now ready to have a physical store and serve Minglanilla the best dim sum in southern Cebu.
One can definitely taste the difference once they’ve tried Dimsum 143. According to Adam, he made sure to give an authentic, distinctly Cantonese flair to Dimsum 143’s dishes.
Their Cantonese-style siomai is definitely a must-try and it introduces a new distinct taste compared to the traditional siomai that many Sugbuanons are familiar with.
To maintain the authenticity of Chinese-style food preparation, Dimsum 143 makes all their wrappers the traditional way – all by hand.
Popular menu items include the Cantonese-style siomai, steam and egg fried rice, and their unique sweet and sour pork.
From the restaurant’s thematic interior design and uniforms, up to its quality service, Dimsum 143 wants its customers to remember them as a place where they can hang out, create memories, celebrate moments and milestones with friends and family over good Chinese food.
Experience this creation of love while enjoying hearty dim sum food with your family and loved ones at Dimsum 143, located at Plaza Margarita, Lipata, Minglanilla, Cebu!
Dimsum 143 is also available on Foodpanda and other leading delivery platforms.