The Answer: CANTON HOUSE RESTAURANT.
And I love this restaurant. But, you can have the chicken feet and the jelly fish. The shark fin? Well, it is cooked in a dumpling, very little shark fin is used cause it cost so much and it taste good. Although I'm not sure you really taste the fin, as it is in the middle of this dumpling.
So were talking DIM SUM here. What is this Dim Sum you may ask. Let's check in with the All Mighty GOOGLE,
The unique culinary art of dim sum originated with the Cantonese in southern China, who over the centuries transformed yum cha ( tea tasting ) from a relaxing respite to a loud and happy dining experience.
Travellers on the ancient Silk Road needed a place to rest. Thus teahouses were established along the roadside. Rural farmers, exhausted after working hard in the fields, would go to teahouses for a relaxing afternoon of tea. At first, it was considered inappropriate to combine tea with food, because people believed it would lead to excessive weight gain. People later discovered that tea can aid in digestion, so teahouse owners began adding various snacks.
Two things from the quote above really describe my dim sum experiences, which I have enjoyed the last three Saturdays in a row. First it is a loud and joyful dinning experince in a large dinning room full of hungry people and the last two words "various snacks". What an understatement. Further down the page is a list of some of the "various snacks" one can enjoy at the Canton House Dim Sum every Saturday and Sunday late morning to early afternoon.
Our friend Kim Trent turned us on to dim sum over 15 years ago. Lil Lady and I fell in love with this meal the minute the first tea cart arrived. This is how dim sum is served. You are seated and ask if you want tea. We usually have Chrysanthemum, but you can have Oolong, Green or Pu-erh. This is also the time to tell you server you want all the condiments. Hot mustard, sweet and sour, chili oil and soy sauce are common at dim sum. And before your tea and condiments get to you table the first tea cart is pushed up to your table and the server ask if you would like some .......... from here on it is nonstop, one cart after another. And the variety is awesome.
One cart will have shrimp cooked many different ways. Butterflied and fried, wrapped in bacon, skewered with a small stalk of sugarcane and fried or with eggplant and black bean sauce and on and on. See the list below for more details. But, I swear it's endless. There is duck, you can get a plate of greens and the sticky rice. I love the sticky rice. It comes a few different ways. It can be cooked in a small crock or it can be steamed in a large lotus leaf, my fav. Inside is a sweet sticky rice with little tidbits of Chinese sausage, mushrooms, pork ribs ect.
There are more dishes available then I would ever be able to describe and there is always something new. Dim Sum can be found in most cities these days. If I were you I would find my local Dim Sum restaurant and try it out.
- Gao / Jiao (餃, Dumpling; 餃子 jiao zi): Jiao zi is a standard in most teahouses. They are made of ingredients wrapped in a translucent rice flour or wheat starch skin, and are different from jiaozi found in other parts of China. Though common, steamed rice-flour skins are quite difficult to make. Thus, it is a good demonstration of the chef's artistry to make these translucent dumplings. There are also dumplings with vegetarian ingredients, such as tofu and pickled cabbage.
- Shrimp Dumpling (蝦餃 har gau): A delicate steamed dumpling with whole or chopped-up shrimp filling and thin wheat starch skin.
- Chiu-chao style dumplings (潮州粉果 chiu-chau fun guo): A dumpling said to have originated from the Chaozhou prefecture of eastern Guangdong province, it contains peanuts, garlic, chives, pork, dried shrimp, Chinese mushrooms in a thick dumpling wrapper made from glutinous rice flour or Tang flour. It is usually served with a small dish of chili oil.
- Potsticker (鍋貼, gwoh tip / guo tee-yeh [guo tie]): Northern Chinese style of dumpling (steamed and then pan-fried jiaozi), usually with meat and cabbage filling. Note that although potstickers are sometimes served in dim sum restaurants, they are not considered traditional Cantonese dim sum.
- Shaomai (燒賣 siu mai): Small steamed dumplings with either pork, prawns or both inside a thin wheat flour wrapper. Usually topped off with crab roe and mushroom.
- Haam Sui Gaau (鹹水餃, salt-water (i.e. savoury) stuffed-dumpling, alternatively 鹹水角 (haam Sui Gok): deep fried oval-shaped dumpling made with rice-flour and filled with pork and chopped vegetables. The rice-flour surrounding is sweet and sticky, while the inside is slightly salty.
- Bau (包 bau or 包子 bao zi): Baked or steamed, these fluffy buns made from wheat flour are filled with food items ranging from meat to vegetables to sweet bean pastes.
- Char siu baau (叉燒包, char siu baau): the most popular bun with a Cantonese barbecued pork filling. It can be either steamed to be fluffy and white or baked with a light sugar glaze to produce a smooth golden-brown crust.
- Shanghai steamed buns (上海小籠包 seong hoi siu lung bau): These dumplings are filled with meat or seafood and are famous for their flavor and rich broth inside. These dumplings are originally Shanghainese so they are not considered traditional Cantonese dim sum. They are typically sold with pork as a filling.
- Rice noodle rolls or cheong fun (腸粉 cheong fun): These are wide rice noodles that are steamed and then rolled. They are often filled with different types of meats or vegetables inside but can be served without any filling. Rice noodle rolls are fried after they are steamed and then sprinkled with sesame seeds. Popular fillings include beef, dough fritter, shrimp, and barbecued pork. Often topped with a sweetened soy sauce.
- Phoenix talons (鳳爪 fung zao): These are chicken feet, deep fried, boiled, marinated in a black bean sauce and then steamed. This results in a texture that is light and fluffy (due to the frying), while moist and tender. Fung zau are typically dark red in color. One may also sometimes find plain steamed chicken feet served with a vinegar dipping sauce. This version is known as "White Cloud Phoenix Talons" (白雲鳳爪, bak wun fung jau).
- Steamed meatball (牛肉球 ngau4 juk6 kau4): Finely-ground beef is shaped into balls and then steamed with preserved orange peel and served on top of a thin bean-curd skin.
- Spare ribs: In the west, it is mostly known as spare ribs collectively. In the east, it is Char siu when roasted red, or (排骨 paai4 gwat1, páigǔ) when roasted black. It is typically steamed with douchi or fermented black beans and sometimes sliced chilli.
- Lotus leaf rice (糯米雞 lou mai gai): Glutinous rice is wrapped in a lotus leaf into a triangular or rectangular shape. It contains egg yolk, dried scallop, mushroom, water chestnut and meat (usually pork and chicken). These ingredients are steamed with the rice and although the leaf is not eaten, its flavour is infused during the steaming. Lo mai gai is a kind of rice dumpling. A similar but lighter variant is known as "Pearl Chicken" (珍珠雞 jan jyu gai).
- Congee (粥 juk1): Thick, sticky rice porridge served with different savory items. The porridge one will see most often is "Duck Egg and Pork Porridge" (皮蛋瘦肉粥 "pei daan sau ruk juk")
- Sou (酥 sou): A type of flaky pastry. Char siu is one of the most common ingredient used in dim sum style sou. Another common pastry seen in restaurants are called "Salty Pastry" (鹹水角 "haam sui gok") which is made with flour and seasoned pork.
- Taro dumpling (芋角 wu gok): This is made with mashed taro, stuffed with diced shiitake mushrooms, shrimp and pork, deep-fried in crispy batter.
- Crispy fried squid (魷魚鬚 yau yu sou): Similar to fried calamari, the battered squid is deep-fried. A variation of this dish may be prepared with a salt and pepper mix. In some dim sum restaurants, octopus is used instead of squid.
- Rolls (捲)
- Cakes (糕)
- Turnip cake (蘿蔔糕 lo bak go): cakes are made from mashed daikon radish mixed with bits of dried shrimp and pork sausage that are steamed and then cut into slices and pan-fried.
- Taro cake (芋頭糕 wu tao go): cakes made of taro.
- Water chestnut cake (馬蹄糕 maa tai gow): cakes made of water chestnut. It is mostly see-through and clear. Some restaurants also serve a variation of water chestnut cake made with bamboo juice.
- Chien chang go (千層糕 cin cang gou): "Thousand-layer cake", a dim sum dessert made up of many layers of sweet egg dough.