Everyone must taste yum cha (the art of drinking tea*) with dim sum at the Royal China Restaurant. Yum Cha can only be successful if it is paired correctly. The Royal China shares its tea pairing tips.
Dim Sum is a unique culinary Cantonese tradition which began thousands of years ago and has grown increasingly popular in the Western world. Travellers along the ancient Silk Road through China would often need a place to rest before continuing their journey. To meet their needs tea houses opened up along the roadside of southern China and when it was later discovered that tea helps with digestion, teahouse owners began offering bite-sized snacks as an accompaniment, this is how yum cha was born. Dim Sum is inextricably linked to yum cha, the art of drinking tea.
Today, drinking tea with dim sum is essential in Chinese cultures – with tea being equally as important as the dishes you are eating. Each tea has its own unique taste and aroma, so it is important to pair the dishes with the correct teas to experience the full flavours of the cuisine.
The Royal China Club offers a vast tea menu of 40 different teas, all stored in a traditional Chinese tea chest. With such a huge variety of teas on offer, it can be difficult to choose the most suitable for your dim sum feast.
The tea experts at Royal China Group have provided their top tips on which teas to order with dim sum to make the most of the oriental flavours.
Dim Sum Dish: Prawn dumpling
Pairing: Light dishes pairs 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.
The Royal China has 6 branches across London and dim sum is served between Noon and 4.45pm. Bookings can be made from Monday to Thursday.