How can you leave Hong Kong without having Dim Sum 點心?

Dim sum 點心 is a Cantonese term that involves small individual portions of food, usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. Going for dim sum is usually known in Cantonese as going to “drink tea” (yum cha, 飲茶). The word yum cha, is also the name of Adeline Grattard’s restaurant in Paris, which is fitting for her contemporary Cantonese cuisine. 
The drinking of tea is as important to dim sum as the food. A popular tea which is said to aid in digestion is bolay (puli), which is a strong, fermented tea.  Oolong (wu lung) and Jasmine tea can be served as well. It is customary to pour tea for others during dim sum before filling one’s own cup. A custom unique to the Cantonese is to thank the person pouring the tea by tapping the bent index finger if you are single, or by tapping both the index and middle finger if you are married, which symbolizes ‘bowing’ to them.

Traditional dim sum is eaten for breakfastbrunch or afternoon tea, as part of the yum cha experience. My grandmother for example, comes to her favorite dim sum restaurant as early as 7.30 am! Dim Sum includes various types of steamed buns such as char siu baaudumplings and rice noodle rolls (cheong fun), which contain a range of ingredients, including beef, chicken, pork, prawns and vegetarian options or fried items. The serving sizes are usually small (compare to Spanish tapas size) and normally served as three or four pieces in one dish. It is customary to order family style, sharing dishes among all members of the dining party. Because of the small portions, people can try a wide variety of food – and we did!
Many dim sum restaurants also offer plates of steamed green vegetables, roasted meats, congee porridge and other soups. Dessert dim sum is also available and many places offer the customary egg tart
Dim sum dishes can be ordered from a menu or sometimes the food is wheeled around on a trolley by servers (I love the latter). 

I thought as my final lunch meal in Hong Kong before I jet off to Paris, why not have Dim Sum, something that represents Hong Kong cuisine at its best. For dim sum, I tend to stick to the very local venues, and coincidentally convened with my grandmother on a Sunday, where usually families get together to have dim sum anyways.

The restaurant we went to is called Foo Lum, and is located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. Here’s only a glimpse of what Dim Sum has to offer…

A view from the escalator

Braised chicken feet 鳳爪 Fung Zao: marinated in a black bean sauce and then steamed

腐皮捲 Fu Pei guen: Tofu skin roll with shrimp
Donut sticks wrapped in noodle (Za leung)
蝦  (Har gau): steamed dumpling with whole or chopped-up shrimp filling and thin wheat starch skin

燒賣 siu mai: steamed dumplings with pork and prawns topped off with crab roe and mushroom.


 鹹水角 Haam Sui Gaau:  fried oval-shaped dumpling made with rice-flour and filled with pork and chopped vegetables. The rice-flour surrounding is sweet and sticky, while the inside is slightly salty

Steamed meatball (牛肉球): Finely-ground beef is shaped into balls and then steamed nd served on top of a thin bean-curd skin. My ultimate favorite!!!!

Lotus leaf rice (糯米雞 lou mai gai): Glutinous rice wrapped in a lotus leaf; contains egg yolk, dried scallop, mushroom, water chestnut and meat (usually pork and chicken) that are steamed with the rice.  

Char siu baau 叉燒包: steamed bun with a Cantonese barbecued pork filling

And the traditional stamp receipt at the end and…voila! In a local restaurant, aim to pay around 200 – 250$ HKD.

Hong Kong, I miss you!

One Response to “How can you leave Hong Kong without having Dim Sum 點心?”
  1. G.Ginesta says:

    How do you feel about Maxim's in City Hall?

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