Field Trip: Do You Want To Go For Dim Sum? ~ Welcome to my Field Trip: Do You Want To Go For Dim Sum? Field trips don’t have to be major excursions. They can be places nearby that create new and different experiences.
The other day I went out for Dim Sum with a group of friends for lunch. I am quite new to this wonderful Asian dining experience having only gone three times. But if you have never heard of Dim Sum before let me explain a few of the highlights.
Dim Sum literally means ‘touch your heart’ in Cantonese and I guess it really does. We went to a Chinese restaurant right in the heart of Chinatown. It was filled with both Asian and non-Asian diners and it was also filled with the sights and smells of some very tasty dishes.
I have noticed the invitation question is “Do you want to go out for Dim Sum?” rather than “Do you want to go out for lunch?”. That is because Dim Sum is a lunch or brunch experience. You go out for the opportunity to taste different foods while you sip green tea and have a great visit with the people you are dining with.
In most restaurants that serve Dim Sum the servers come to your table with a cart filled with different dishes in stacked bamboo steamer baskets with lids to keep the dishes warm. The server will have three or four different dishes and after viewing what they have we can choose or decline what there is to offer. Then another server will come by with their cart showing their tasty choices and so the dining experience continues in this manner.
The receipt sits at the corner of the table and as we select each dish it is marked off on our running tab.
There are few challenges when it comes to going out for Dim Sum. The first is that for me it is a whole new dining experience so I am not completely familiar with the dishes and the contents of each one. The second challenge is that the menu, if we get a menu and the receipt are in Cantonese. Some Dim Sum restaurants do provide you with a picture guide but this last restaurant was a true Asian Dim Sum experience.
The other challenge that was unique to our dining group is we all seemed to have some strong dietary needs and preferences. Two of us could not eat gluten, one did not care for any form of seafood and I have to watch the egg content in dishes because of an allergy.
Fortunately, one member of our group has an Asian background and is very familiar with Dim Sum. Wonyee not only knows all the great restaurants in the city, but also the best dishes to order, the ingredients of the dishes and can also read and speak Cantonese fluently. I have to admit we just leave it all up to her and it is quite wonderful having such a knowledgeable tour guide on this restaurant field trip!
If you don’t have a knowledgeable friend, I still highly recommend giving Dim Sum a try if you haven’t yet. I recommend going with a group of friends and each ordering a dish. You could also do some planning ahead of time by going online and researching what the more common dishes are and making a list of items you want to try. Finding a restaurant with a picture guide is also a great place to start.
Here are the dishes we ordered that were all pretty tasty and for the most part covered everyone’s dietary needs and food preferences…
I am really glad the Sticky Rice was really sticky so I could eat it with my chopsticks!
I really enjoyed these Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings! They were very easy to pick up with my chopsticks too!
This is a picture of the Bean Curd Wrap Filled With Mushrooms and Bamboo Shoots. Another tasty dish!
Then we ordered Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns. There were only three of them but they were quite large so Wonyee and I split one.
These Rice Noodle Rolls With Barbecue Pork were also pretty tasty but kind of slippery for me to grab with my chopsticks. Can you tell I am not very good using chopsticks?
This is a picture of the Steamed Pork and Peanut Dumplings we shared.
I was a bit adventurous with this dish and had to use my iPhone and Google to find out what I was eating. It is animal stomach lining with a bit of ginger sauce. Now I can say that I have tried Tripe and I probably won’t order it again.
What I really like is the portions are small and even after we shared the dish amongst the four of us there was plenty for each of us to be satisfied. Another thing I really like is that each dish comes by one at a time so we can nibble, sip, savour and visit without feeling rushed. There are some pretty yummy Dim Sum desserts but we decided not to order any this time because we were all pretty full. The best part was the final bill after ordering these seven dishes. It came to about $10.00 CAN each including tip! Thanks Wonyee, Shannon and Theresa for a fun Dim Sum experience!
Have you ever gone for Dim Sum? What are your favourite dishes?
How are you eating with chopsticks?
Here are some other field trips you might enjoy …
Hope you enjoyed my Dim Sum field trip!