dim sum

In a city that never sleeps and where people literally run from one business meeting to the following one in their expensive Italian shoes, the fact that the same people, in a weekend mode, are willing to wait sitting on the floor for more that one hour (and time is money, man!) to get their table and eat in this restaurant, is already evidence that it’s very good.

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But if this is not enough proof to you, a series of awards and recognitions show off on a panel at the very entrance of Maxim’s at the City Hall, Hong Kong.

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This restaurant right on Victoria Harbour serves Cantonese cuisine and dim sum, sweet and savory small bite-sized yummy food traditionally served in small steamer baskets.

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But a typical dim sum brunch (people would normally have it between 10am and 3pm) also includes steamed green vegetables, roasted meats (I got the suckling pig), congee porridge and other soups.

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Typically, dim sum can is cooked by steaming, but there also fried options (like the delicious octopus I got). The serving sizes are usually small and normally served as three or four pieces in one dish. When local families gather here to eat dim sum during the weekend, they would order many different small dishes and then share with their beloved ones. It’s great that the portions are tiny, so you actually get to taste different varieties! And if you find something really tasty, nothing prevents you from taking that same dish twice!

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The dim sum ritual here is noisy and cheerful, and it takes place in a huge kitschy hall with hundreds of local families with a bunch of kids and grandparents. If you go to Maxim’s, try and get a table by the window – this way you are able to have a look at the bustling harbour life while devouring your dumplings.

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Most of the dim sum choices are paraded on trolleys pushed by old ladies wearing a black apron. You can just point at what you want and they will be more than happy to give to you. Together with their best and warmest smile.

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Personally, I think that desserts are the best part of a dim sum meal. The world famous egg tarts (already wrote about them here) are a big hit, but I also love the fruit pudding – mainly coconut and mango. They come in a small cup, and are served with warm milk.

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And do you know where the word “dim sum” comes from? It comes from Cantonese yum cha, 飲茶. Well, apparently the literal translation would be”drink tea“, as tea is the drink you would most probably order while enjoying dim sum. When they serve tea, they bring two different silver carafes to your table – one is for the actual tea, the other one is for hot water. By combining the two liquids you can adjust the intensity of your drink.

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My suggestion is when you happen to be in Hong Kong, once you are done shopping for Italian labels or local up-and-coming niche designs (and I think you should glance at Edit, which recently got a Chiara’s pick –wow!!– read more here), you save some time (be ready to save lots of it!) to enjoy dim sum. Only after this,your HK experience will be (almost) complete!

 

For the brunch at Maxim’s in Hong Kong I was delighted to wear:

Zebra-striped coat and white silk shirt: Zara

Scarf: Woo

Loafers: Tod’s

Pinkie ring: designed for me by Gianni Martinis, Rome

Trinity ring: Cartier

Gold earrings: Georg Jensen

Nail color: Chanel Le Vernis 445 lotus rouge

 

Pictures were taken with my white iPhone 5.

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