Thursday, June 5, 2014

First Friday: Ordering Dim Sum

Though I am currently learning Cantonese, I still have some anxiety over using it.  I need to have routine and when I interact with the fruit stand woman or the laundry lady.  I know them and they know what I want.  They are familiar and have enough patience to listen to me string out a sentence.

Today, was the FIRST time that I ordered dim sum on my own.  And it was the FIRST time, that I asked strangers around me to help me locate some items on the menu.  It felt like such an accomplishment, especially because I was ordering for myself and my parents.

Prior to actually going to the dim sum restaurant, my husband had written down all the dim sums that I wanted to order for the next day (today).

My parents met me in Yuen Long, we went to the restaurant, and we figured out the queue system pretty quickly.  We were taken to our table, which was partitioned for three parties of dim sum goers, I picked up the menu, grabbed the pencil and started searching for some of my favorite dim sums.  

For some reason, I just couldn't find siu mai (which is like the MOST basic dim sum on the planet).  I felt a bit of pressure because the restaurant was busy and we were starving.  So, I pulled up the guts to tap on the shoulder of the older man to my right, motioned at the menu, and asked him, "siu mai bin dou ah?"  (Where is siu mai?)

He actually responded something like, "I can't see, my eyes are bad."

Then he asked his wife and his wife called over the wait staff to help.  A woman came over, chatted with the older woman and laughed a hearty laugh.  The woman was so nice and asked me what I needed help on.  I listed off the dim sum dishes that I had planned to order, she took our table number and then reassured me that our dishes would be here shortly.  

The older couple then started asking my parents and I loads of questions, which I was surprised I could respond to.  We had a great lunch of dim sum and met some great people.  And I feel like I impressed my folks with how much I learned over the course of the 4 or so years I have lived in Hong Kong.

Ham Sui Gok

Liu Sha Bao

Char Siu Bao

Siu Long Bao

Siu Mai

Lo Mai Gai

Tower of dim sum steamers
Days like this make me love living here even more.