Tom and I had the good fortune of being introduced to dim sum by friends from Malaysia who were anxious to guide us on this culinary experience. When we arrived at Bo Ling’s on the Plaza early on that Sunday afternoon, our friends had already settled into a cozy booth and started their own footnotes on a dim sum carry-out menu for our reference. The menu with its little photographs and descriptions was a great help as we eyed each cart loaded with delectable dishes.
In our wide-eyed anticipation, we mentioned craving some frosty Tsing Taos to accompany our meal. We hadn’t ordered a single plate yet, and we’d already committed a faux pas. Our gracious hosts explained that dim sum is traditionally served with tea. Shame on us for not doing our homework beforehand and learning how dim sum has evolved from the tea houses along the ancient Silk Road where travelers and farmers would stop for tea and nourishment.
Since our debut dim sum meal many years ago, we’ve enjoyed dining at Bo Ling’s on Saturday or Sunday numerous times. I’ve come to crave my favorite plates, such as Chinese broccoli and all the steamed dumplings. On our most recent trip, we ordered whatever made us salivate as the carts trundled by, and we were well into indulging when we noticed the number of large and special plates tallied up on our ticket already. We quickly asked our waiter for a menu so we could estimate just how much damage we’d done so far.
Dim sum is particularly enjoyable with a group, so you can order copious plates of various sizes and enjoy the great Cantonese tradition of a leisurely meal accompanied by fun conversation.
Literally translated, dim sum means the point of your heart, and after every fun and savory meal at Bo Ling’s I’ve always felt my heart (and belly) well-enlarged.
© Sherry Burns and sushipoet.wordpress.com 2013