Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The World of Dim Sum

I wrote on my earlier blogs how much I disliked Sundays whether I am having a good time or not. This Sunday is no different. I thought hi Sunday what can I do today to forget that your friend Monday is just round the corner? Andrew (my husband) suggested Dim Sum and we called this eating activity Dim Suming but usually Chinese called this activity 'Yum Cha' which means drinking tea.

Dim Sum are little dishes that consist of either fried or steamed meat, seafood or vegetables tasty morsels. These morsels are served either in bamboo steamers or small plates. The best way to describe them is  'Chinese tapas'. If you haven't  been Dim Suming before I will include in this blog the basic etiquette so that you won't feel overwhelmed and behave like a first timer on a Japanese sushi conveyor belt! Totally clueless! You should also take your time when eating dim sum over a cup of 'cha'.

In this country,when you sit down at the table you will find a piece of paper with either numbers or description of certain dishes. The dim sum menu is either on the table or the waiter will bring you one. You look at the menu, pick what you want and you tick and state the quantity on this paper next to the items. The waiter will come along, check the orders and leave a copy on your table. At this point, you order anything additional that you like. I would suggest that you order hot Chinese Tea. The logic behind it is that it helps digestion especially if some of the dim sum are fried. It helps cut through the fat. Well on this particular day we ordered the following. Please note that dim sum arrive at your table as and when they are ready. They don't arrive at the same time!
Deep fried yam paste with meat stuffing

Steamed 'Har Kau' (Prawn Dumpling)

Steamed Chicken's Feet with Black Bean & Chilli (Dont be afraid, they taste incredibly amazing)

Crispy Beancurd Prawn Rolls

In addition we also ordered the following..(this can be found on the normal menu as addition to your dim sum)
Roasted duck and crispy pork

Crispy Noodles with Seafood

Ermm.... on reflection, shouldn't have ordered that much but that is the beauty of dim suming. You should order loads as you can taste different morsels and whilst it is not common practice to takeway leftovers in say a tapas bar, it is perfectly normal in a dim sum restaurant, even encouraged!

Dim Sum is becoming increasingly popular in this country. There are several modern Dim Sum restaurants in London ie Ping Pong and the delectable Yauatcha. These places has taken the traditional Dim Sum eating, give it a twist and make it trendy combining it with fancy teas and scrummy cocktails.

Traditional Dim Sum is quite different. In Asia, when seated on your table, you will immediately notice the hustle and bustle of the place.  Instead of ordering the dim sum on a menu, waiters come along with a trolley full with different dim sums and you pick what you want. You just have to point at the array of tasty looking morsels. They put it down and tick the paper on the table. You then take the paper and pay at the counter when you finish. Simple! Unfortunately due to space issue in this country, it is difficult to replicate this :(

But there are a lot of lovely Dim Sum restaurants in this country. So go on, go dim suming today and if you want me to come with you, I am absolutely delighted to. But be warn, I order loads! If you want some recommendations, I am happy to direct you too :)


  1. Can you recommend anywhere good for Dim Sum in Bath or nearby?

    1. Apologies for the late reply, just recently had a baby and with it came the shock that my life is not my own forevermore! But always have time for dim sum ;-) the best one I have tried is Watersky in Bristol. It's a big and busy restaurant so rest assure the dim sum is fresh and steam to order. The noodle dishes are pretty awesome too!