Tastiest view the Seattle
Opened in 1994, Seattle's Most Acclaimed Asian Restaurant
STory behind the menu
Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine. It is prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on a small plate. Dim sum is generally considered Cantonese, although other varieties exist. Dim sum dishes are usually served with tea and together form a full tea brunch.
Due to the Cantonese tradition of enjoying tea with this cuisine, yum cha, which means "drink tea" in Cantonese, is also synonymous with dim sum. In some Cantonese teahouses, carts with dim sum are served around the restaurant.
The original meaning of the term dim sum is unclear and debated.
Some believe that the term originated in the Eastern Jin dynasty (317–420). According to legends, an unnamed general ordered civilians to make buns and cakes and send them to the front line, in order to express his gratitude towards his soldiers after battles. Gratitude in Chinese is 點點心意; diǎn diǎn xīnyì, which was later shortened to 點心 (dim sum), while the term represents dishes which are made in a similar fashion.
Some also believe this event happened in the Southern Song dynasty, (960–1279) which existed after the earliest historical record of the term was written (see below), thus contradicts the notion that this event is its origin.
Guangzhou (Canton) City, the provincial capital of Guangdong and the center of Cantonese culture, has long been a trading hub and many imported foods and ingredients are used in Cantonese cuisine. Besides pork, beef and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including offal, chicken feet, duck's tongue, frog legs, snakes and snails. However, lamb and goat are less commonly used than in the cuisines of northern or western China. Many cooking methods are used, with steaming and stir frying being the most favoured due to their convenience and rapidity. Other techniques include shallow frying, double steaming, braising and deep frying.
For a lot of traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavours of a dish should be well balanced and not greasy. Apart from that, spices should be used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavours of the primary ingredients, and these ingredients in turn should be at the peak of their freshness and quality. There is no widespread use of fresh herbs in Cantonese cooking, in contrast with their liberal use in other cuisines such as Sichuanese, Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and European. Garlic chives and coriander leaves are notable exceptions, although the former are often used as a vegetable and the latter are usually used as mere garnish in most dishes.
"When you drink the water, remember the spring"
Yin Shui Si Yuan