Who: Me and Ruben
What we did: Ate dim sum
When we went: One week ago
Where we went: Royal China in Atlanta
Why we did it: It's been nearly two years since we've eaten dim sum. We just felt like it.
How we did it: We sat around while servers walked around with carts and handed us little plates of foodie heaven. Think of it as a buffet on wheels. (As to why Americans still haven't adopted this method of eating, I will never understand.)
Although I've had dim sum more than a few times, I'm most certainly not an expert in Chinese cuisine by any means. (Even though my step-dad is Chinese himself!) In these kinds of situations, I think it's better to go with the flow--you know what they say, if it looks good, eat it!
Dumplings, buns, and congees, oh my!
My Andrew Zimmern moment of the day--eating chicken feet! If he has the courage to eat bull testicles on his show Bizarre Foods, I can most certainly handle a couple of chicken feet!
A couple of tips to having a delightful dim sum experience:
- COME EARLY. Most dim sum eateries are open during brunch hours, so the earlier you come, the better. Get there around noon or so, and be prepared to wait awhile for a table.
- Tea--the whole point of dim sum. (Dim sum is also called yum cha, which translates to "drink tea" in Cantonese.) Always pour other people's cups before filling your own. If that person is sitting to the left of you, pour their tea with your right hand, and vice versa. And when your teapot is empty, leave the lid open to get a refill.
- If you don't know what to eat, don't hesitate to ask!
- Chopsticks: never ever poke your food with it or leave it sticking up in your rice. When not in use, lay them on the edge of your plate.
- Steamed white rice usually isn't included on the dim sum carts, (with the exception of lo mai gai or sticky rice), so be sure to ask for some if you want it.
- Pace yourself. There will be a lot of carts with more options than you can count, so go slow, share everything, and enjoy yourself!
- If you see something you like but it's too far out of your reach, don't be afraid to get up and get it yourself! Just think of it as another way to get a little bit of exercise and to burn off that half a dumpling you just ate.
- Who says you have to have dessert before the main course? If a dessert cart happens to come your way in the midst of everything else...GO FOR IT!
Have you ever eaten dim sum? How do you decide what to eat?