Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yum Yum Yum Cha

They have a great thing here that isn't unique to New Zealand, but apparently I was unaware of it's pure genius in the States.  It's called Yum Cha and it could possibly be the best hangover food ever - aside from Ann Sather's diner on Broadway of course.  The idea is very similar to tapas only at lunch/brunch in a Chinese restaraunt.  In the US this is called dim sum which actually only refers to the dishes versus the style of eating with tea (at brunch, lunch or afternoon tea).

For those that have not tried dim sum or yum cha, this is how it works:  The wide range of food is prepared in the kitchen with 4-8 servings of a single dish on each plate, for example: BBQ pork dumplings or egg rolls, etc.  The dishes are then brought out and circulated through the restaurant by the wait staff.  As they come around they ask if it's something you would like.  When you request one of the plates, they check it off on the price sheet at your table, then set it in the center to be enjoyed (for larger parties there is a lazy susan to get the food all the way around with very little effort - perfect).  I was there with a large group which meant I was able to try a lot of different dishes: steamed dumplings, fried shrimp, pork, egg rolls, rice, chicken.  It was all delicious!

Now, many of you may be thinking that I must have been in the dark to have missed out on this fine treat.  Well, I hate to admit but I would have to agree.  However, in my defense when you have Ann Sather's cinnamon rolls to look forward to, it's just not something that seems necessary to try.  So to all of my friends and family that have yet to try yum cha...that should change.  (Please note: I suggest avoiding the plate of chicken's feet.)

Things to be Thankful for:
Since I'm on the topic of food, I should say that I was finally able to try my first mince meat pie and I was definitely not disappointed by the savoury bite sized pie.  Despite my reservations, it was delicious.  And for the record, so was the chicken, cranberry, gouda pie that accompanied it.

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