Food and Culture

What Is Dim Sum?

Dim sum is a variety of small Chinese dishes traditionally eaten in restaurants for breakfast and lunch. While most are associated with Cantonese cuisine, dim sum dishes are also found in many other Chinese cuisines. The term is also often used to describe the foods found in Chinese supermarkets. Originally, dimsum was first enjoyed in Chinese restaurants as a snack. It is popularly thought that the concept of dimsum dates back to ancient China.

While some establishments use a cart to pass around the dim sum menu, others offer paper ones. Using a pencil, diners mark their choices as they move from cart to cart. Some restaurants offer several dishes per cart, so that diners can rotate through as many as possible. Whether you choose to order from a single cart or a buffet line, dim sum can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Most dim sum restaurants offer a pot of tea at your first seating. You can fill your glass before your turn, but you should be aware that it can be hard to read. For this reason, it’s recommended that you order two or three different steamers. Depending on the size of your party, it’s good to have several different flavors to try. The best way to find dim sum restaurants is to visit one that offers a variety of different options.