Thursday, May 19, 2022

Yum Cha Etiquette You Need to Know

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Yum Cha or what we commonly known as dim sum is a Chinese delicacy that has now been adopted by many countries and has now been considered as theirs as well. However, this delicacy, as many Chinese foods are has its own rituals for you to fully enjoy this delicious meal therefore here are some of the things that you need to know when eating Yum cha/dim sum.

Drink the TEA

Tea is usually the first one to arrive at your table when you order and you should drink it because it is traditional to drink tea with yum cha because it aids with digestion. First things first, serve others first before giving yourself a cup of tea. After being served, it is customary for you to show your thanks by tapping your pointing finger and middle finger on the table. If you finished your tea simply turn the lid over and it will be refilled.

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photo credit:

Beyond the dumpling

Having dim sum is one of the best foods that you could put in your mouth however it could be a hit or miss therefore you can still try out other foods that are readily available for you in the dumpling cart and you could try as many variety of food such as the braised foods such as chicken feet. If yum cha is not your thing then you could always count on the braised trolley to save your stomach from hunger.


Normally, servers would go around carrying a trolley around the restaurant and the guest could pick and choose what they want to eat. If the dessert trolley comes by before the dimsum trolley then take the opportunity and grab some dessert. Eating dessert before the main course is perfectly acceptable according to customs so if you see something that you like or something that you would like to try, take it because you can never know when the trolley would be back with that same food.


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Many Chinese cuisines have sauces that come with their food. Most of the time it could be dipped in simple soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce depending on what you are going to eat or what the chef thinks would complement the dish. For dimsums, you shouldn’t worry about remembering which is dipped in which because it would come as an accompaniment when you get you food, also, if you want a sauce for a dish that doesn’t come with a sauce then you could ask for a soy or chili sauce of the side. Don’t as the trolley ‘aunt’, however, for the sauce, ask the maitre’d because they probably don’t know. You shouldn’t ask them for anything besides what they have in their trolley.


Dimsums are very delicate tiny dishes and is normally eaten using chopsticks however, it would be better for you to just use your fork considering you might not be able to eat at all the whole dinner if you’re using chopsticks.

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