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You are here:      Home News Latest News Vietnam Travel News 2011 Chinese breakfast
Chinese breakfast

Customers having dim sum at Huy Long Vien restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City

No longer the sole province of the Chinese, dim sum has been thoroughly Vietnamized after centuries of being a welcome guest in this southern land.

Whatever their race, almost everyone in Vietnam likes dim sum, the Chinese cuisine of many light dishes and tea.

Meat, seafood and vegetables are used to make ha cao (shrimp dumplings), xiu mai (steamed pork meatballs), banh bao Thuong Hai (Shanghai steamed buns), suon non hap (steamed spare ribs) and banh khoai mon chien (fried taro cake), to name but a few dim sum dishes.

The portions are usually small and served in small steaming baskets or on small plates.

Dim sum in Vietnam

The Chinese first set foot in Vietnam thousands of years ago and have been bringing their secret recipes and ingredients with them ever since.

Their food has been welcomed warmly here, and Chinese cuisine in all its diversity is a firm favorite with the Vietnamese.

Like dim sum, whose name translates as "touch the heart."

Chinese restaurants usually serve it in the morning until noon but there are specialty eateries where it is available throughout the day.

Different dim sum dishes originated in different regions of China, and this diversity is reflected in the flavors at a typical meal.

For example, dim sum from Shanghai and Guangzhou tends to be elegant and understated and is generally steamed, while that from elsewhere in China is often fried in oil.

In Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, dim sum restaurants are abundant on the streets of District 5, where most Chinese live.

Cat Tuong and Ai Hue are two of the longest-standing restaurants, while the newcomers include Huy Long Vien and Crystal Jade, the latter in the Legend Hotel in District 1.

Old or new, they all serve a lot of dim sum dishes.

Crystal Jade’s menu lists more than two dozen dim sum dishes prepared by cooks from Hong Kong according to recipes from Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Huy Long Vien offers even greater choice as there are more than 40 dim sum dishes cooked the way they do it in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

The dim sum experience is enhanced by the décor of the Chinese restaurants with their recreations of the Great Wall of China.

An authentic dim sum meal includes sipping Chinese tea at frequent intervals - a traditional ritual known as Yum Cha.

Chinese people often invite their relatives or friends to enjoy dim sum for breakfast by saying “drinking tea” instead of “having breakfast.”

They like to use euphemisms and attach special importance to the choice of words, which is why they prefer the gentle “drinking tea” to the pragmatic “having breakfast.”


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