Yum Cha is a term in Cantonese which literally means “drinking tea”. It refers to the custom of eating small servings of different foods while sipping Chinese tea. It is an integral part of the culinary culture of southern China, Hong Kong and Macau.
In any city with a sizable population of Cantonese people, Yum Cha is a tradition on weekend mornings, and whole families gather to chat and eat dim sum and drink Chinese tea. At Grand Harbour in Auckland Yum Cha is popular everyday of the week, attracting people from all over the city.
Dim Sum “Touch the heart” is the name given to the type of food served at yum cha.
Traditional dim sum includes various types of steamed buns, dumplings and rice rolls, which contain a range of ingredients including beef, chicken, pork, prawn and vegetarian options. At Grand Harbour we also serve plates of steamed Chinese vegetables, roasted meats, congee porridge and soups.
Dim sum can be cooked by steaming, baking and frying, among other methods. The dim sum is usually small and normally served as three or four pieces in one dish.
It is customary to order family style, sharing dishes among all members of the dining party. Because of the small portions people can try a wide variety of food.
At Grand Harbour the dim sum is usually wheeled around in trolleys. The cost of the menu is calculated based on the number and size of the dishes and is recorded on the table card as each dish is placed on the table.
Drinking Chinese tea is an important part of the experience. It also aids in digestion as well other health benefits. At Grand Harbour we offer our customer several varieties of Chinese tea including jasmine, tieguanyin, pu-erh and chrysanthemum.
When the teapot needs to be refilled, the customer need only leave the lid up at a diagonal, and it will be taken away and returned full.