Dim sum /ˈdɪmˈsʌm/ refers to a style of Cantonese food prepared as small bite-sized or individual portions of food traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum is also well known for the unique way it is served in some restaurants, whereby fully cooked and ready-to-serve dim sum dishes are carted around the restaurant for customers to choose their orders while seated at their tables.
Eating dim sum at a restaurant is usually known in Cantonese as going to “drink tea” (yum cha, 飲茶), as tea is typically served with dim sum.
The unique culinary art of dim sum originated with the Cantonese in southern China, who over the centuries transformed yum cha from a relaxing respite to a loud and happy dining experience. In Hong Kong, and in most cities and towns in Guangdong province, many restaurants start serving dim sum as early as five in the morning. It is a tradition for the elderly to gather to eat dim sum after morning exercises. For many in southern China, yum cha is treated as a weekend family day. More traditional dim sum restaurants typically serve dim sum until mid-afternoon. However, in modern society it has become common place for restaurants to serve dim sum at dinner time, various dim sum items are even sold as take-out for students and office workers on the go.
However, this is a drying trade for traditional small dim sum shop in Hong Kong even in Singapore. Due to modernisation, the younger generation refuse to continue the trade of their family business. The work is hard, the preparation is long, the working hours is from dust to dust, plus the heat in the kitchen is almost unbearable at time especially during the summer. And the best earning came mainly over the weekends and public holidays, thus thinking of having a short break or a holiday is almost impossible. Machines has also begin to replace all the manual labor and work. And it leak the touch and favor of the traditional dim sum.
Credit goes to: Appledaily