Categorized | Adventures, Asia, Food, Hong Kong

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Let’s have some Dim Sum in Hong Kong! – Part 1 of 2

Posted on 05 January 2012 by Danica

When many tourists come to Hong Kong, they automatically assume the standard cuisine of the Hong Kong people is Chinese food.  While this is true, “Chinese food” is such a generic term that it hardly describes the regional uniqueness of the cuisine that’s popular and common here.  What I miss most from Hong Kong is the DELICIOUS dim sum that is typically served in the morning till early afternoon.  Therefore, in this two part post, I want to introduce you all to the art of ordering dim sum so you too can know what to order when you are here.

For today, I will focus on what is dim sum, the most popular dishes and where they are served.  Then tomorrow, I will touch upon when to go for dim sum, how to order them, and some cultural tips so you are comfortable ordering them on your own.  And of course, if you still have questions after reading the posts, just drop us a comment below!

1) What

I think of dim sum as the Chinese version of the Spanish tapas, with Chinese tea replacing your sangria.  Dim sum is a collection of small meat or vegetarian dishes.  It is usually served with Chinese tea (no surprise here!).  In recent years, you can also order other types of beverages such as bubble tea (you HAVE to try it), or other healthy drinks made with different herbs and vegetables common in this part of the world.

Some of the most popular dim sum dishes are:

a) Ha Gaau (Shrimp Dumpling, 蝦餃)

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b) Siu Maai (Shaomai, 燒賣)

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c) Cha Siu Baau (Barbecued Pork Bun, 叉燒包)

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d) Cheong Fan (Steam Rice Noodle Roll, 腸粉) – Note that there are many different types of fillings.  Most popular are beef or shrimp

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e) San Juk Guen (Bean Curd Skin Rolls, 鮮竹捲)

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2) Where

Most Chinese restaurants offer dim sum seven days a week.  Note I said restaurants, not cafes or noodle shops, and certainly not places that serve cuisines from other parts of the world!  These restaurants are usually quite large in size, and most likely require you to walk up some stairs or take an elevator to get to.  This is because real estate in Hong Kong is like gold, and very few restaurants (…none?) can afford such a large space on the ground level.  If you are not sure where to find one, just ask the hostess or the reception desk at your hotel.  These restaurants are more common than you think if you know where to look.

Here is how a typical Chinese restaurant that serves dim sum looks like inside:

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Now that you made it inside the restaurant, do you know what to do?  If you don’t, the waitress is likely to just bring you an English food menu and you will end up ordering the same thing that you always do back home, like pork fried rice, chicken with broccoli etc.  How boring!   If you want to actually order some dim sum, then come back tomorrow for the second part of this series where I will go through the mechanics of ordering dim sum.

See you tomorrow!


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