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hk.NOSH - restaurant reviews
Chinese Dim Sum Lunch
The drill, the meal, the bill (p.2)

Above: a common "dim-sum" dish in Hong Kong dim sum restaurants - 'siu my'.

If you go for dim sum lunch, whether of your own accord or involuntarily, you might want to know the drill.

  1. Getting the table (see previous page)
  2. The table itself (see previous page)
  3. First thing first (see previous page)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Appetizer

    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


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