Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hearty Breakfast

What's your favorite breakfast? A platter of over easy eggs with bacon, home fries and toast like my younger brother likes his? Blueberry pancakes? Lego my Eggo waffles? Cereal with cold milk? It's interesting to see how many different breakfast items we've all come to enjoy and how breakfast varies with different cultures. There's the toasted Cuban bread with cafe con leche, the French's quiche and the to-die-for buttery croissants and ofcourse, the Chinese's dim sum!

I know I've previously suggested not to translate Chinese phrases/words literally, but in the case of "dim sum," it is okay! Dim sum means "touch heart." I presume that its aesthetic beauty and delectable tastes is what gave it its name. It surely touched my heart after I had it for breakfast this morning!

The one and only con of having dim sum at a Chinese restaurant is being seated with other customers. I personally don't mind this because I can easily ignore them and am almost always distracted by food anyway, but on days when you are easily irked or want a private space to you and your beau, having your own table is clearly preferable. I didn't have that luck today as I had to sit with 3 other strangers on the same table, but fortunately, I was in a good mood! They probably thought I was crazy though, snapping pictures of everything rather than digging in! I say, they should be glad I wasn't snapping photos of their food!

The meal typically begins with tea: Jasmine or Chrysanthemum. I've always been a big fan of chrysanthemum tea, especially sweetened ones ... so that was the choice! Dim sum without tea certainly feels incomplete ... after all, you gotta have sum tea when you go "yum cha"- drink tea.

Then we were off to selecting our dim sum! Where are the damn carts? Ha churng, gnau churng, ha gau, siu mai, see joke guen, jun ju gai! Give us everything you've got! Yeah, that's pretty much how chaotic it gets, but that's the fun in having dim sum. There's customers who have 1 or 2 bamboo steamers on their tables, chatting away and forgetting to eat. There's also customers with giraffe necks and owl eyes attempting to spot the closest cart around. Upon spotting one, they manifest their hunger with their loud squawks, which you can hear from across the room. Ok, ok, I'm getting a little imaginative, but that's having dim sum in my own perspective! lol

Well, here are a few items that I have to order EVERYTIME because they are just so darn delicious, with the exception of the item pictured last, a dim sum I tried today for the first time. Chinese restaurants get creative with their dim sum, mixing and matching different ingredients into dumplings. This one was filled with chives and shrimp and topped with a goji berry, such a cute presentation.

So the next time you find yourself contemplating what breakfast to have, drop your french toast, bagel, muffin, or whatever else on your mind. Go for a round of dim sum. Start your morning with a cup of tea instead of coffee. Have a hot bowl of Chinese porridge instead of oatmeal. Replace your eggs and toast with dumplings, some rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, others as carby as you'd like em!

As loud and crowded and crazy as it'll get in the restaurant, I'll be sure that the dim sum will dim your sum

J. King Seafood Plaza
618 62nd Street,
Brooklyn, NY

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