7.236 Yum Cha


28 (Sat) August 2016

Yum Cha


at Li Li

(see most recently 7.121 Steamed King Prawn…)

-New World Manila Bay, Manila-

with the family

In the Chinese culinary tradition, yum cha is a light meal involving dim sum and tea — “yum (飲) = drink” + “cha (茶) = tea”** — typically sometime between late morning and early afternoon, like brunch.

I can’t recall ever hearing the term “yum cha” in the States, even while living near the country’s biggest Chinatowns in the SF Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles — just something along the lines of : “Let’s do dim sum for brunch.” — though the usage is mainstream in the Philippines.

Technically, “dim sum” — “dim (點) = touch” + “sum (心) = heart” — refers specifically to the food itself, not the occasion.

Conversely, as noted in a post very long ago (see 2.333 Roast Duck), the Chinese characters for “dim sum” are read in Korean as “jeom (점) sim (심)” and refer generally to the occasion of the lunchtime meal, regardless of composition.

(To find that post, it didn’t come up in the many many searches that I tried.  Then, recalling that Number One Fan LY had dropped a snarky remark about the etymology of “jeomsim” being  “the first … useful bit of info” in the blog, I combed for over an hour through archived comments, finally recovering it on the 21st of 30 pages, the 2,098th of 2,955 comments (from the old host on blogspot).

The characters for “yum cha” would be read in Korean as “eum (음) cha (차),” though that combination doesn’t actually exist.

The buffet …
… includes the Congee & Soup Station, Live Cooking Station, and Roasting Station, as found on page two of the menu below.
Dessert buffet.

Any, way.

Li Li offers an all-u-can-eat yum cha at midday.

Fairly pricey at 1,850 PHP per person, plus 12% service charge, I had two free coupons from my membership card.

Dim Sum — as many pieces as your heart can touch, as many times.
Also offers made-to-order à la carte dishes from the Wok Station.

The food was awesome.   Nothing stood out in particular, some items better than others, but everything held its own, making for a fine spread across the board.  Li Li, never disappointing.  Too bad that they don’t do this for dinner.

Oolong Tea-Smoked Shrimps (2.5)
Steamed Scallops and Bean Curd in Black Bean Sauce (3.25)
E-Fu Noodles with Mushrooms (2.5)

In fact, because this was lunch, I didn’t start off taking photos — as a general rule, I don’t take photos of lunch.  But after the first round, I quickly decided that it deserved to be highlighted as the featured meal of today’s post.  More photos next time, for sure.

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