For a person whose regular encounter with Chinese cuisine dim sum is limited to fare from fast-food chains only, it was a gastronomical delight to be treated to dim sum varieties prepared by a top caliber chef at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel.
A delectable array of dim sum was served to selected media practitioners Wednesday at the hotel’s Cantonese restaurant Summer Palace. Malaysian Liew Soong Meng, the restaurant’s new dim sum chef, treated his small group of guests to 12 mouthwatering dim sum varieties, both steamed and fried.
Among these are shark’s fin bouillon (tastier if mixed with black vinegar and ginger), fried mango shrimp rolls, steamed scallop dumplings, steamed dumpling “teow chiew” style, steamed sio long pao, baked pork pastries, fried taro puff and steamed shrimp dumplings.
A personal favorite is the dessert – the yummy steamed egg custard bun and chocolate, which is exclusively served at Edsa Shangri-La.
Nancy Farm, Summer Palace’s food and beverage manager-Chinese operation, said dim sum is best eaten when accompanied with hot tea. This is meant “to cleanse your body system,” she said.
According to About.com, dim sum is said to be inextricably linked to “yum cha,” the Cantonese custom of drinking tea.
Farm also boasted that, unlike in fast-food chains, chef Meng’s dim sum delights are fresh and not too oily, a big plus especially for health-conscious individuals.
And generally, according to Farm, dim sum cuisine is not eaten with rice although it is best served during lunch time.
At Summer Palace, dim sum is only served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
‘To touch your heart’
The traditional way of serving dim sum, which literally means “to touch your heart,” is through the so-called cart system. Waiters would push a cart carrying the assortment of dim sum dishes around a restaurant so that guests could choose from them.
Although some restaurants have dispensed with this tradition, others opt to retain it.
Farm, for her part, said on Sundays the dim sum dishes at Summer Palace are served the traditional way while on weekdays they are served a la carte.
Chinese food enthusiasts and other guests may now enjoy Edsa Shangri-La’s dim sum varieties at Summer Palace now.