Dim Sum, a Living Color Experience By Rhys Shepherd

What is Dim Sum?

Dim Sum is a traditional Chinese meal that is eaten around the same time that brunch is, it is an experience all about indulgence, indulgence in food and in the company of others. Dim Sum translated from Cantonese means "dot heart", and usually Cantonese cuisine is served. The meal itself consists of lots of tea drinking, steamed, fried and baked apetizers and small foods like dumplings, buns, spring rolls, rice balls, fried rice, deserts and pastries stuffed with different pastes, from red bean to lotus root. Going to Dim Sum can seem kind of hectic, especially at a place as crowded as the Jing Fong restaurant which was even more crowded than usual because we visited at the start of the lunar New Year. Unlike most meals Dim Sum is served differently there are no waiters only people pushing carts with stacks of steamer baskets between the crowded round tables of the restaurant. The amazing food is only half of the experience.

Cart carrying steamer baskets filled with pork buns, chicken feet, and dumplings.

How Is The Legacy Of China Prevalent in This Cultural Experience?


The cuisine is part of the legacy of any culture, it is created by the availability and the climate of that region. Most of the dishes were either rice based or were wrapped in a rice wrapper, this is because farming of rice and other grains were the largest part of the Chinese economy prior to the industrial revolution.


Not only the cuisine but the customs and etiquette are part of that culture's legacy. At the table the Confucian principles of Li, Xiao and the five great relationships, friend/friend and older younger in particular, were very important in understanding the etiquette. One of the things we did was take turns pouring rounds of tea, and the youngest person at the table was required to pour everyone tea first and then him/herself. The idea behind Confucianism is that in order to creat a harmonious society you must maintain your Ren, or relationships, by following your Li, or ritual, and etiquette is part of Li. These same rules and customs are a legacy of China

Confucian and Daoist Influences

The philosophies and concepts of Confucianism and Daoism have rooted themselves in Chinese culture, and are expressed through different art forms, from painting to design and architecture. There are a few examples of Confucian and Daoist influenced dishes and decorations at the Jing Fong restaurant.

The bamboo pattern around the ceiling and the pattern in the center are both examples of Daoist influenced art, they are very unorganized, lacking pattern and have a natural feel to them, the frame surrounding it however is an example of Confucian influenced art, it is divided symmetrically, it is simple, and organized.
This photo also features examples of Confucian influenced and Daoist influenced food, the dish on the right, a fried pastry, is an example of Daoist influenced food and the dish on the left, an almond jello, is an example of Confucian influenced food. (Both of them equally delicious)

Why Should You Choose This Experience?

In my opinion one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a culture is to try that cultures cuisine, and this experience can only be described as immersive and even a bit overwhelming. Aside from the meal itself going to the restaurant and gathering in that type of way, in a huge hall full of roaring conversation, bustling carts and amazing smells makes the unique and satisfying food all the more worth it.

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