Dim Sum – Yum!

melodydimsum

Have you ever had dim sum?  I’m definitely a fan.  Not only is the food delicious, the overall dining experience is, too!  For those who are unfamiliar with dim sum, and who didn’t read my Chinatown post from last spring, the folks at Wikipedia tell us that dim sum is a Cantonese term for a type of Chinese dish that involves small individual portions of food, usually served in a steamer basket or on a small plate.  Going for dim sum is usually known in Cantonese as going to “drink tea”.  If you’ve had tapas it’s kind of like that, but with Chinese food.  Dim sum is much more fun though, particularly if you visit a restaurant that serves the food out of rolling carts like the one in the photo above.

PICTURE THIS: You’re sitting at your table, hot tea already steaming in a white, handle-less cup.  Your table is soon visited by one of several servers, and the server is wheeling a cart that contains delectable dishes.  One by one the cart’s dishes are offered to you.  If something catches your eye you nod, and the plate or metal basket is placed on the table.  Your dining “ticket” is stamped, indicating what you’ve selected so your bill is easily totaled at the end.  If you’re not interested, a polite no suffices.

tea

cart

check

You may not know the name of what you’ve selected, or exactly what’s in it, but you don’t care.  You just know that it looks and smells great.  Whether you eat with chopsticks or a fork, you dig in – enjoying both the food and the lively atmosphere in the room.  When the next cart rolls by the selection process is repeated.  You wash all the tasty food down with hot tea, and if you’re wise you’ll end the meal with something from the dessert cart – maybe some little tarts or mango jello.  YUM.

eggrolls

shrimp

eggtarts

HELPFUL HINT: Because a dim sum meal is composed of little plates/servings, and because you’ll probably want to try several of the tempting dishes, it’s best to dine with at least one or two other people.  That way you’re able to order a wider variety of dishes and taste more things before getting full and throwing in the towel, so to speak.  That said, I’ve had several dim sum lunches while dining solo.  You can always take home leftovers if your eyes end up being bigger than your stomach!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at a recent dim sum lunch hubby and I enjoyed.  We dined at Capital Seafood in Irvine, CA and I definitely recommend it.  Please let me know if you have any questions, dear readers, and please let me know if you opt to eat some dim sum yourself!

Warm regards,
Melody

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8 Comments

  1. Posted February 7, 2012 at 10:19 am by Jani N. Howe | Permalink

    M-M-M! Do we love dim sum! When we lived in Seattle, a dim sum lunch in town was a favorite thing to do, after a visit to the awesome Uwajimaya Japanese Market — huge place!!
    I invested at one time in a dim sum cookbook, Melody, and learned to make hum bow and a number of other dishes, our favorite being potstickers, which we have now and then for dinner. My daughter and I years ago took a full set of Chinese and Japanese cooking lessons from Judy Low at Uwajimaya — what a great teacher and cook! Such happy memories! And guess what? We now have a dim sum restaurant in Tucson — yippee!!!

  2. Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm by Denise | Permalink

    I always enjoy visiting your blog. Your meal looks simply delicious. What fun! Thanks for sharing. 😀

  3. Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Jani,
    Hurray! Another dim sum lover! If I get back to Seattle I’ll look up the Uwajimaya Japanese Market – sounds wonderful! I’m glad you have a dim sum restaurant in Tucson now. Woo hoo! Thank you for commenting, Jani…
    Melody

  4. Posted February 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Denise,
    Thank you – so kind of you! Though the food was scrumptious it really was a hardship to go and take pictures to share with my blog readers. (Wink wink!) Thank you for stopping by!
    Melody

  5. Posted February 9, 2012 at 11:54 am by Beth Nielsen | Permalink

    OMG – looks totally fabulous! Will have to join you some day! When I lived in SF, Dim Sum was often a treat I indulged in. Small plates, “yes”, but I always over-indulged!
    ^..^

  6. Posted February 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Beth,
    It’s easy to go overboard with dim sum – there are so many delicious options! Thank you for your kind words, and for commenting…
    Melody

  7. Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm by Carol | Permalink

    Melody, oh, now I’m feeling really hungry! In Australia, where I live, and New Zealand we call this Yum Cha. One of my favorite ways to eat! Yum Cha restaurants are usually packed with Chinese families and this is always a good sign that the food will be authentic and delicious. Your photos have given me a lot of pleasure, and as I said, have made me hungry.

  8. Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Carol,
    I’m glad you found my “Yum Cha” post appetizing! Dim sum really is a wonderful way to dine. Thank you for commenting!
    Melody

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