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Dim Sum & Chinese Tea: What goes with what?

July 22, 2016

Chinese Sausage Buns

I absolutely love Chinese food and culture! And with Beijing being the first city I ever backpacked to, China will forever hold a special place in my heart. For that reason I love to be as authentic as possible when it comes to eating and tying Chinese food and traditions – so less rice and chips and more wontons and dumplings. With this in mind, I thought I would share some traditional Dim Sum tips with you shared to me by The Royal China Group, a chain of London’s most authentic and prestigious Chinese restaurants.

Dim Sum is actually linked to the older Chinese tradition of Yum Cha, which is tea drinking, and it is usually served from midday to mid-afternoon. So basically it’s China’s version of Afternoon Tea, and next month I am off to the luxurious and critically-acclaimed Royal China on Baker Street to try London’s ultimate Dim Sum experience and I can’t wait! But after discovering they have over 40 different tea’s to choose from, I was completely confused about what tea to order with my food; I want to get it right, I want my experience to be completely authentic. Fortunately the Royal China tea experts were able to share with me their top tips on which teas to drink to make the most of the oriental flavours…

Steamed Chilli Pork Dumplings

Prawn Dumplings at Royal China - Copy

Dim Sum Dish: Prawn dumpling
Pairing: Light dishes pair well with Jasmine tea, allowing you to taste the full floral flavours of the tea.

Dim Sum Dish: Scallop dumplings or Lobster dim sum
Pairing: It’s best to pair these dim sum dishes with a tea darker in colour and with a stronger flavour such as Oolong Tea, which also has a more complex aroma.

Dim Sum Dish: Chilli dumplings
Pairing: Pu-erh tea is best paired with chilli dumplings as it is strong tea which pairs well with the chilli flavours and it helps you to digest oilier foods.

Dim Sum Dish: Honey roast pork puffs
Pairing: Keemun tea is a full-bodied black tea, best sipped with pastry dishes and dark meat. It should not be paired with very sweet desserts.

Dim Sum Dish: Chicken Buns or Fruit
Pairing: Green tea pairs best with milder ingredients such as chicken. It also matches well with fruit desserts such as Royal China’s Almond beancurd with fruit cocktail.

Personally I am loving the sound of the Honey Roast Pork Puffs with Keemun tea, but I’m also tempted  by the Prawn dumplings with Jasmine tea. I’ll keep an eye out for those two next month when I try a taste of Royal China for myself.

What do you like the sound of? Would you go with the expert advice or just wing it?
I’d love to know in the comments below?

For more on The Royal China group or to see their full Dim Sum Menu click here

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