Yum cha ( pinyin: yǐnchá) is a dining experience which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum dishes. In Cantonese, dim sum ( Pinyin: diǎnxīn) refers to the wide range of small dishes, whereas yum cha, or "drinking tea", refers to the entire dining experience.

Dim sum is a varied range of small dishes (a concept similar to tapas) eaten for breakfast , brunch or afternoon tea , as part of the yum cha dining experience. Dishes are usually steamed or fried and may be savoury or sweet. They include steamed buns such as char siu baau , assorted dumplings , siu mai , and rice noodle rolls , which contain a range of ingredients, including beef , chicken , pork , prawns and vegetarian options. Typical desserts include egg tarts , sai mai lo (tapioca pudding) and mango pudding . Many dim sum restaurants also offer plates of steamed green vegetables , roasted meats, congee porridge, and soups.

Dim sum can be cooked by steaming and frying, among other methods. The dim sum are 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.

In the past, there were more places with dim sum wheeled around on trolleys, but nowadays one is more likely to order from a menu. Traditionally, the cost of the meal was calculated based on the number and size of dishes left on the patron's table at the end. In modern dim sum restaurants, dim sum servers mark orders by stamping a card on the table. Servers in some restaurants even use different stamps so that sales statistics for each server can be recorded.

Tingha Palace
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