Most of you probably know what dim sum is, but just in case you don’t, here’s the definition from Wikipedia:
Dim sum /ˈdimˈsʌm/ (simplified Chinese: 点心; traditional Chinese: 點心; pinyin: Diǎnxīn; Sidney Lau: dim2sam1) is a style of Chinese cuisine (particularly Cantonese but also other varieties) prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum dishes are usually served with tea, together formed a full tea brunch.
The day after I arrived in Hong Kong, a group of people from the Hong Kong skeptics took me to dim sum at a famous dim sum palace in the Central district, Maxim’s Palace City Hall Restaurant (see here and here for reviews). Hong Kong is arguably the best place on Earth to get dim sum, although I had a mean dim sum in Dongguan, China (pix to come), and some say that Vancouver is no slouch at the tea lunch, either.
Maxim’s is crowded, and we showed up an hour before it opened to get in line, being second after an Australian regular named Kim, who eats there nearly weekly. She gave us the skinny on the best dishes while we were waiting. And here’s what it looks like—both the ambiance and the fare.
The line snaked down the stairs and onto the next floor by the time the place opened:
Inside: a sumptuous banquet hall with chandeliers and fancy tablecloths:
The dim sum is wheeled around on carts, so you can look at everything and choose what you want.
Some of the carts have labels on them so you don’t have to guess, and some even have videos!
Shrimp dumplings (I think):
Pork dumplings with vegetable wrapper:
Beef balls with scallion:
Bao, or steamed barbecued pork buns, one of my eternal favorites:
Soup dumplings, which are made by filling the inside with jelly that turns to soup when they’re steamed. They’re scrumptious, and must be consumed in one bite lest they squirt everywhere. You can see some of the soup leaking out.
Fried shrimp dumplings:
Interior of the same, showing the big hunks of shrimp:
I forgot what these are; perhaps a savvy reader can tell us:
We had two big plates of the house speciality: barbecued pork (recommended by Kim). Oy, was it good!
Another cart listing its wares:
This is how the bill is totted up: each time you get a dish, they stamp the right box. Again, a Chinese-speaking reader can enlighten us about the meaning of the rows and columns:
Three of us, completey sated, in a postprandial shot. Left to right: Michael Bigelow, me, and David Young. Photo is by Andrew Davidson. All four of my hosts are associated with the Hong Kong Skeptics, founded by David about five years ago.
Now THAT was a meal. We also had dim sum in mainland China; pictures soon.