If you go for dim
sum lunch, whether of your own accord or involuntarily,
you might want to know the drill.
- Getting the table (see previous
- The table itself (see previous
- First thing first (see previous
- The cleansing ritual
In addition to thinning out thick tea, the extra pot of hot water can serve as your cleansing agent i.e. dish-washing water - especially
if the restaurant supplies you with a big empty bowl. You won't get a discount on your meal. It's for your personal well-being.
In some restaurants,
a film of grease can be felt on the supposedly clean dishes. And it's not uncommon to find bits of dried cuisines attached to the dishes or utensils.
Yes, you can request the waiter to replace them, but DIY dishwashing is more reliable. No, I haven't seen anyone bring their
own detergent yet. But of course, the nicer the restaurant, the less visible would be the health hazards, and people would
find you strange if you perform this ritual in such.
- Tea pouring
You would want to know this especially if you want to impress your potential mother-in-law. There's no special stance or proper
hand movement. Just do it - to as many as your arm can reach, and to the whole table if you want to showcase your fine character of
humility. Just don't look like the waiter when you do it.
In most 'dim sum' restaurants,
a dish or two of appetizers come with the place settings (see photo on right).
And don't be mistaken, 'come with' does not mean it's free. It's one of the hidden charges - well, not technically hidden: you'll see it on the
bill if you check it. By 'come with', I mean it appears with the place settings without warning or, more importantly,
your request. In a restaurant that we frequented, each little dish cost HK$40 (~US$5) at one time. I think after enough people
asked them to take it away, they reduced the price by half. But then you can do that when you're with friends; if you're interviewing
for the post of son-in-law, you'll have to re-consider.
...to be continued