First time I ever had dim sum was a few months ago in mid-December. I was staying at my uncle’s place for almost two weeks while I was on business. We’re all Vietnamese except for my uncle’s wife who is Chinese. We were talking and she suggested we all go out for Sunday morning dim sum. I was curious to know what dim sum really was. I don’t go out eating at Chinese restaurants often.

The Chinese buffets and casual dining places around where I live at the moment do not serve any dim sum. Possibly they serve dim sum further north in Orlando but that’s about an hour and a half drive. Possibly longer with the constant road construction was going on. My uncle and I went out to this restaurant near where my aunt lives out in Columbia, Maryland. It was basically a meal before I head out to the airport and catch my flight back to Florida. I’m guessing my uncle has experience with dim sum.

Then I learned that dim sum is basically your ala carte. I’m guessing that’s where the restaurant “Cafe Tutu Tango” which happens to be one of my favorite restaurants got the inspiration from. Because at Cafe Tutu Tango, the meals are in appetizer form meaning you get to experience a diversity of such meals. Instead of a cart, the server comes back wondering if you want more. So far it’s worked.

I basically sat quiet while I let my uncle do the talking. Basically, you get a card that the server gives you. Then there’s plenty of servers that go from one table to another asking if you want something from that cart. Again, I just let my uncle do all the talking. He basically asked if I wanted some of this or some of that. I looked at the stuff and I nodded or said “yes” to him.

Looking around, I saw not a single patron rose from their seats unless nature called. Neither of them rose from their seats to approach the servers on the carts. I guessed that rising from your seat to go to the cart directly shows the mark of an amateur. The server took the food from the cart and placed it on the table, then he would mark the card we were given. Then the next server would come with another cart with different dishes of food. One cart is going to be different than the other.

It’s basically the same process. Pick what you want when the cart approaches your table and the server marks it. Basically, that’s how you order dim sum like an expert. Not hard, is it? Basically, there are numerous ways to pay afterwards.

At the restaurant we had dim sum at, we could pay at the front. Pay the server up front with cash, debit, or credit card. I think my uncle paid the server at the table. So far, it was a good experience. They had a bar up front. If only the bar was open. I love my alcohol and definitely know how to order alcohol like an expert.

How you order dim sum depends on the Chinese restaurant though.


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