Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yum Cha, A Classic Hong Kong Brunch

Drink the burning-your-tongue-boiling-HOT TEA, enjoy the vast array of mouth watering dim sums, be prepared to be shocked by the seemingly rude service, where the flatware & utensils are almost being thrown onto the table, take every pulse of the busy and lively atmosphere, experience Hong Kong’s classic, favorite brunch, yum cha

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)

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 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


eliza said...

hiya...don't show me pictures of dim sum dishes, I'm getting hungry! dishes you love, i love them too! di kota gede (SF, Vancouver BC) udah mulai banyak yg pake orderan gitu, gak dorong2 cart lagi. sorry nih, PR belon dibikin Rit...

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hi liz...hehe yeah, i kinda miss the push's pretty exciting to see wat's coming hehe...but hk's space is just impossible for push carts, i could barely go through the room as the tables are so dangerously close to each other :)

hehehe PRnya santai aza deh...take your time, just for fun kok..hoho

tigerfish said...

Thanks for your formula!
One of the best practical Maths equations I've learnt :P

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hi tigerfish, yes! i was so excited! more excited than the time i discovered 1 + 1 = 0 (1 pack of mie goreng + 1 pack of mie goreng = eaten, became 0) HAHA

Retno Prihadana said...

Tegaaa...pasang foto dim sum, yang ini aku kepengeeeen banget bisa bikin sendiri, resepnya dunk Rit.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

waduh mba retno, nanti aku tak magang sek di restoran yum cha kekeke...i wish i could make these myself too hohoho...beli frozen sih ada mba, tapi kurang asyoi, ntar kalo aku dah bisa bikin sih pasti pasang resep :)

Mae asti said...

I'm salivating to see those dim sums....pyuh pyuh

A.G said...

weh itu enak-enak tenan dimsume...seneng sek gorengan aku..dicocolin saos cabe kr kecap lemu aku wkwkkw

daphne said...

Oh YEAH! I love yum cha! ahh.... look at those dishes! It's a great way to spend a saturday morning I reckon. Nice find.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

mae: hi, thanks for dropping by ^_^ i'll post more dimsum pics later hehe

ayin: aku juga seneng seng gorengan wahahaha...dasar nih indo kita keluar can bring your own sambal ABC to the yumcha joint ^_^

daphne: yeah baby, it's a perfect weekend brunch...i loveeee it

Dwiana P said...

wuah wuah...ini mah pameran foto yg bikin diriku ngences! dim sum paling doyan. di local area ku gk ada jual. kudu ke big city u/ dpt original taste of dim sum. Kalau dah makan heleh kalap hahahaha
di Hong kong makanannya enak2 yah non.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hi dwiana...aduh...sedih juga ya ga ada yumcha, paling asyik buat santai2 pas weekend hehe...yuk ke kota gede yukkk

hk emang makanan bener2 enak dan dimana2...di bawah flatku juga full toko makanan tuh...makanya jarang food blogger masak2 dari hong kong yah...

cocoa said...

love HK dim sum but i think to hong kong people Yum cha is not limited to brunch but all day available from morning to supper hee..

Mochachocolata Rita said...

hi cocoa, yes there are some joints that serve dim sums all day long...however, restaurants yum cha session normally ends at abt 3 pm :)

my local friends would make faces if i asked them to go for yum cha in the evenings hehehe. funny thing is, they heat up packaged microwaved dimsums at home for midnight suppers hehehe

Elsye said...

dooohh dimsummm bikin aku ngiler RI..qiqiq, sori aku baru dateng lagi kemaren teparrr parr...pilek ga berhenti

Mochachocolata Rita said...

welcome back, els...wah ini aku juga bersin2 terus...gawatttttt