My favorite is Bo Lei (pu-erh in Mandarin). Don't get intimidated by its darkness, it is much less bitter than jasmine tea and much less agressive than Iron Buddha tea. It is earthy and healthy. It washes down all of the oily dimsums we had (oh yeah baby, the dimsums might be steamed, but they come with more oil than my shiny T-zone)
THE ENTERTAINMENT FACTOR
In Hong Kong, be prepared to share tables almost everywhere. I grew to love it. I am a nosy bitch and I LOVEEEE listening to other people's conversations (well, if they didn't want me to listen, they wouldn't speak as loudly as the firework explosions on New Year’s Eve, wud they?).
By the end of each meal, you'd generally learn what are these people's occupation, the fact that they hate their boss & most of their colleagues, their jealousy over their neighbours/relatives' success, their recent overseas trip, or their recent extravagant purchases, how much is their property worth, and how much they earned/lost in the stock market.
If you do not wish to disclose your personal matters to half of the restaurant, you can try conversing in an incomprehensible language (this is handy for me, every time my sister visits, we'd talk about everybody else in Javanese, only to discover that they too, are Javanese. OMG!) or bring something to read. My choice was the U-travel magazine, and the most popular choice in Hong Kong is the local newspaper, all the uncles drool at the porn section, and all the aunties bitch about whichever celebs on the entertainment gossip section.
THE DIM SUMs
The ever so popular har gaw (steamed prawn dumplings) succulent and enticing
I love these crispy, glutinous, meaty, sweet & salty ham sui gok
Apart from the tapping your fingers 3 times beside your cup when someone poured you hot tea to thank them and removing the lid of the tea pot to get it automatically refilled, I just learnt another yum cha science from my sous chef
In Hong Kong, the dimsums do not come in push-carts. You are given a piece of ordering paper, where you can tick the items you'd like to have. It is always tricky to figure out how much we should order. I always wanted to try everything, and always ended up with too much dimsums. Good thing I don't read Chinese, so the ordering responsibility is generally not my problem lol
It is good to start small and order more later. But this could result in awkward silence (if you are dining with the boss you fear/colleagues you hate/relatives or neighbors you always jealous of). Worry no more. Someone has figured it out.
My sous chef learnt from TV (oh, what a reliable source!), that the formula when ordering dimsums is: number of people x 2.2 = no of baskets of dimsums. We have tested this formula over numerous work lunch, and it is pretty accurate. Hmm maybe except when I was there, cos...I'm not proud of this, but I always exceeded my 2.2 quota *grin*
Oh, the gorgeous dimsum above is the super yummy Gai Jak (steamed chicken, fish maw, ham, and mushroom, wrapped in beancurd skin)
My next favorite dimsum is jan chu gai (pearl chicken = glutinous rice with meat, salted egg yolk & mushroom filling). Rich & super tasty. It's like unwrapping a precious gift on Christmas morning (but I generally do not bite them)
The next one's gotta be char siew cheong fun (BBQ Pork wrapped in rice sheets). I am a big carb fan, so I love this silky smooth, chewy, handmade rice sheets, paired with the rich & tasty BBQ pork
I just wish the tea could also wash away the fat from yesterday's huge BBQ pork dinner I had :p