How can I cover dim sum in a single post, you may be wondering? There are so many different dishes that make up this type of cuisine, so many flavours, textures and cooking methods.
Your concern is admirable and well-founded (I would have expected nothing less).
Before arriving in Hong Kong I imagined dim sum lunches every day. I pictured H and I visiting out-of-the-way cafés where old ladies trundled round trolleys and we selected a delicious array of dim sum while feeling secretly smug at how we were “keeping it real”.
However after one extremely awkward “off-the-beaten-track” dim sum meal where we were the star attraction for the entirety of our meal and the language barrier led to some awkward moments (who knew that the extra pot of water and bowl were to wash utensils in?), we got the fear, and decided that “keeping it touristy” was our new motto.
I know, fellow food-lovers, that this goes against the goal of seeking out the best there is to eat and for this, I hope you will forgive me. I erroneously assumed a greater presence of English in Hong Kong, and being easily embarrassed, I chose the path of least resistance.
I never even made it to Tim Ho Wan, the famous Michelin-starred casual dim sum eatery. It is a must for every food-lover who goes to Hong Kong, but a rainy morning coupled with a negative patch I was going through led us to forgo this legendary establishment.
So you see, I’m not fit to write about char siew buns, prawn dumplings, fried turnip cake or any of the other treats out there. And I’m so fond of dim sum too. Lunchtime visits to Paddyfields in Oxford were one of my favourite outings when we lived there.
Some very fine dumplings (pork and vegetable I think). I believe there were 6, but we ate 2 before remembering to take a picture.
Pan-fried chive dumplings. I liked the crispy side although the fact they came melded into a single strip put my chopstick skills under extreme pressure. There may have been hands involved – I will neither confirm nor deny it.
Spicy wonton. Not as hot as you might think, looking at that chilli oil.