Yum Cha is alternatively known as the renowned Chinese Dim Sum breakfast. Intricate, long established and varied are three prominent characteristics of Chinese cuisine and Dim Sum is considered its most outstanding representative because it features all three. Yum Cha breakfast is often eaten in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere with a hot teapot. Family and friends gather to taste dozens of Dim Sum dishes from shrimp dumplings, dumpling rolls, sweet cakes, meatballs, chicken feet, porridge. the list goes on. These snacks are especially popular during the first days of spring as their colours and names symbolise luck and are believed to bring a year of peace, happiness and good fortune.
A true Yum Cha breakfast often begins with special shrimp dumplings in fin soup. Not only bursting with flavour this dish also symbolises a full life. Next are steamed shrimp dumplings presented in lovely bamboo bags that are steaming with fragrant flavour, symbolising wealth and prosperity, as they resemble the shape of a bullion. Shrimp dumplings symbolise happiness and health as the transliteration of shrimp in Chinese sounds like “ha the sound of laughter. Scallop dump lings express hope for and abundance of opportunities in the New Year. Abalone dumplings symbolise good luck and ground squid dumplings mean forever.
Bearing the colours of spring Dim Sum dishes are a strong feature in Chinese culture. Chicken spring rolls are yellow, the symbol of treasure. Fried shrimp Goi cake has the shape and colour of a silver ingot used in ancient China and is therefore believed to bring wealth and prosperity. Fried red bean cakes correspond to luck and fun. And Laughing Pancakes that look like smiley faces symbolise the joy of a New Year.
Just by looking at a Yum Cha breakfast, one feels cheerful and digging into the small and sophisticated Dim Sum dishes, the relaxed feeling of a spring reunion starts to spread and the hope for a good and lucky year increases.