For me, there’s a new foodie craze on the block. Forget your Italian, be gone dehydrated scientific Blumenthal style plates and see you later sushi. Let’s go back to something more traditional, something easy to grab-and-go for lunch or something sophisticated to share for dinner: dim sum.

Dim sum are traditional to Chinese cuisine and are basically bite size morsels that you navigate your chopsticks around. And they are ownright delicious. One of my favourite things about dim sum is that it is great if you are, like me, horribly indecisive because you can order a few dishes to share and sample all kinds of flavours and textures.

All shapes and sizes, meat based, or vegetarian there really is something for everyone. I personally champion the Gao, or steamed dumplings which normally come with a dipping sauce of some variety. But seeing as how dim sum incorporates buns, rice paper rolls, soups and things like ribs or crispy squid, you can really mix and match.


I recently went to Dumpling’s Legend (15-16 Gerrard Street, W1D 6JE) and tried the most delicious xiao long bau: soup dumplings. You bite into these steamed parcels and they envelop a broth which means when you shove the whole thing in your mouth and chomp away, the gorgeous light soup is released – like soup and dumpling in one mouthful. It’s literally a flavour explosion. If you’re ever in London’s China Town, you’re bound to stumble across a wide variety of dim sum places and I would recommend taking a lunch break there or getting a group of friends together for a mix and match, sharing extravaganza.

If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, and less traditional than Chinatown, make a booking at Ping Pong (various locations around London). The menu is seemingly endless, great for fussy friends – not so much for the indecisive as everything sounds and looks delicious. If you’re allergy-ridden, they cater for gluten free and have no-nut options too which is always great.


Now, you can even buy all the equipment to make dim sum without even leaving the house. All you need are decent recipes (the BBC website has a great selection), wanton wrappers, a steamer of some kind and a bit of patience.

With something to please everyone, whether you’re hankering for a meal out, or to wow at a dinner party, I’m sure that those of you who have yet to venture into the world of dim sum will love it.

By Jessica Moffatt-Owen


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