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Chopsticks at the ready! Chinese New Year is on 8 February 2016, so how better to spend it than eating Dim Sum? So that you’re prepared for the special occasion, the chefs at Royal China have put together their tips on Dim Sum etiquette.

What to do

  • Do eat each dim sum dumpling in one go to get the full flavour of the components in your mouth. It is also less messy!
  • Do drink tea with dim sum and never order other hot drinks such as coffee as it can overpower the taste of the dim sum. Tea is the most important factor when eating dim sum, and we recommend ordering Jasmine or Chrysanthemum tea.  It is best to drink the tea with fried or baked dim sum to wash it down and cleanse the digestion system of the oils.  
  • Do always pour others tea before your own as this is tradition in China. 
  • Do tap your index finger on the table to thank the person pouring the tea. This is a recognised symbol of “bowing” in China and was invented by an emperor. 
  • Do order a lot of different dishes and share between the table for a variety of flavours. When eating dim sum order rice as it is a good way to cleanse your palate.

What not to do

  • Don’t use your own chopsticks to serve yourself from the communal bowls. 
  • Don’t save dessert until last. It is acceptable to request a dessert dish in the middle of the meal such as Egg Custard Tarts. As the tea freshens your palate diners can mix sweet and savoury dishes. 
  • Don’t eat dim sum cold, it needs to be eaten hot. It should not be left to cool and it should be eaten within 15 minutes of being served. Start with fried dim sum then steamed as the fried dim sum cools quicker. Royal China serves dim sum in steam baskets with a lid to preserve the temperature.

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Dim Sum etiquette made easy
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