Dim sum is the Cantonese equivalent of brunch but dim sum is so much more than a meal. When I think of dim sum, I am reminded of noisy, jovial and celebratory meals with friends and family.
Long waiting periods in the restaurant foyer, for that coveted large round table which will fit everyone, because dim sum is a group affair. The relief or almost triumphant feeling as you are finally led to your table and then the exciting anticipation as the carts start arriving.
The hurried discussions, the appointing or self appointing of the designated chief orderer and then the arrival of the flood of dishes containing simply delicious bundles of food.
So what exactly is dim sum? Dim sum is a method of preparing and serving food. Small or bite sized servings of food are prepared and served in steam baskets or small dishes.
These snacks are either steamed, deep fried or baked and then placed on metal carts which are pushed around the restaurant by waitresses hawking these delectable goodies.
You have to find a restaurant that specializes in dim sum in order to participate in this ritual and how do you know if it is a good one? Just peek in and if the restaurant is packed with Asian families partaking in this activity then chances are, what’s being served is authentic, fresh and good.
I always ask the local Asian markets or grocery stores for their recommendations. Eat where the locals eat and you won’t regret it. Be adventurous when you go for dim sum. If you’re not sure about the dish, ask the servers. They are usually very helpful and will steer you well.
Some of my fondest memories of dim sum are from college when I would tag along with my good friend, Cheryl’s family for this Sunday activity. Her dad, Gene, used to say that a family that eats together, stays together. I know now that this is undoubtedly true from having a family of my own. Gene was always a very smart and insightful man.
I will leave you with some pictures from the dim sum that I had with my very good friends in Singapore in February. Enjoy.