When it comes to yum cha, there’s lots to choose from on the menu. From dumplings to steamed rice to buns to deep fried seafood, the choice of dim sum is endless – and there are some dishes we’ll always insist on ordering because they are our favourites.
Over the years across Asia and Australia, I’ve eaten yum cha countless of times with the folks and friends and we always order the same dishes. We love them, we order them, it feels right eating the same dishes over and over. Only occasionally we’d order something we don’t usually eat.
There’s always much dim sum to eat at yum cha.
Yum cha is traditionally a Cantonese brunch that involves Chinese tea and dim sum. Yum cha ( 飲茶) literally means ‘drink tea’. The meal originated in the Cantonese-speaking regions of China, and the meal can be traced back to the time when travellers on the ancient Silk Road stopped at teahouses for tea and snacks. On the other hand, dim sum (飲茶) are small serving dishes. These dishes are commonly carted around on trollies in restaurants and served in bamboo steamers or on small plates. Here are some typical, classic Cantonese-style dim sum dishes that are popular at yum cha:
Asian cuisine is aplenty around the city of Melbourne today. But after eating this cuisine quite a bit here I must say that Asian food in Australia differs considerably from the exact same gastronomic fare in Asia.
A large proportion of Asian food and the Asian eating experience in Australia is arguably unhealthy and often customised to suit Caucasian palates so as to appeal to the Anglo-Saxon population.
Salmon sushi (handroll) is all over Melbourne’s CBD, extremely popular with many. But there are other kinds of Japanese food out there too. Photo: Mabel Kwong
Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese and Indonesian cuisines are a few such cuisines constantly served up here. Some are more popular than others Down Under, but most of them usually do not taste or are presented akin to dishes in the Asian region.