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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Yum Cha Experience

Yum cha is my most favorite Chinese dining experience, wherein from 11:00am-2:00pm, food carts go around certain Chinese restaurants (not all Chinese restos offer yum cha) and you can choose the food you want from these pushed food carts. Think Pinoy street food only that you are sitting inside the restaurant instead of waiting for them to offer you food on side streets.

Yum cha is a Cantonese word for "drink tea". It refers to the custom of eating small servings of different foods while sipping tea. The tea is essential in yum cha as it said to help digest the food. The drinking tea part is actually why I love yum cha!...(1) because in some Chinese restaurants it is free and (2) the "help to digest the food" part happens to me so I get to eat a lot and not get too full.

This is what happens when yum cha begins....the food carts parade infront of your table and offer you whatever is in their cart.

You can ask them to show you what's inside of those wooden plates too incase you want to be sure if it's pork, beef, chicken or vegetable whatever.

For our yum cha last 19 July (birthday celebration of my Tita Ma), we ordered these....


Prawn Dimsum

Prawn Dumplings

My favorite Pork Bun (Siopao)

Of course, we won't forget the Pork Dimsum (Siomai)

Some vegetable in oyster sauce

My first time to try Vegetable Dumpling

Spring Rolls (they're kinda big no?)

This is my new favorite!!! It's called Fried Pork Dimsum :)

It's like Pork Siomai but yummy!!!!

We also asked for some Duck wraps...they create the wraps infront of you

It's like a mini-shawarma but it's duck instead of beef

This was how our table looked like

The best way to enjoy yum cha is to eat with a good number of people. I have experienced yum cha with just me and my husband but since it's only the two of us, we can't really get much food. If you dine in as a group, you have more chances at trying out more of the food from the carts. It is also more enjoyable too! While waiting for the food carts to pass by your table, you have time to chitchat while drinking tea.

My most awaited part is always the dessert because I get to eat Taho (Tofu) :). Whenever we go yum cha, I'm always on the lookout for the Dessert Trolley, making sure that they serve Taho (some Chinese restos don't have it sometimes--out of stock daw hehe). It is not the usual Pinoy Taho with sago and sandamak-mak na Caramel syrup but it's a good alternative for someone like me who miss eating Taho from the Philippines.

Here comes my Taho...

...the girl prepares it right infront of you so that when it is handed to you, it is still warm. They put some syrup on it (I don't really know what syrup it is, sometimes i think it's maple or maybe caramel but only that it's white in color) to make it sweet.

My Chinese Taho!!! :)

Even if I'm full from all the pork buns, dumplings and dimsums that I ate, I was still able to finish my bowl of Taho--I guess that's how I miss eating Taho...and I think the tea really helps in digesting the foods I ate.

All photos taken by yours truly using Canon 30D. Names of food may not be accurate (pardon me) as sometimes it is hard to understand the waitresses when they say the name of the food. For better viewing of the food photos, please visit my Flickr page: