10 Basic Tips on Dim Sum Etiquette

hinese food has a dish or type of eating that is undeniably interesting and friendly. This friendly, community eating is called Dim Sum. The usual timing is morning until noon. At this type of eating dim sum you can pick different types of food to share at the table. 

I am not much into eating Dim Sum - but we had one of the most interesting dim sum in Bangkok at a Tim Ho Wan restaurant. Other than that I've eaten Dim Sum at several restaurants in Milpitas, California. 
I figured for those who are not so savvy about the Asian culture, a list of tips or guide the meal's etiquette would be nice. I am not an expert at Dim Sum eating, so I figured a little research on the internet would do me some good as well. 
The next time when you are asked what is a fun way to eat with friends, suggest Dim Sum and tell your group about the tips that you will be learning here today. Enjoy!

10 Basic Tips on Dim Sum Etiquette

1. Pour tea for your guests at the table first before pouring your own cup.

 2. Leave the teapot lid half way close to let your waitress know that you want a refill.

3. Leave the tip on your table. typically 15- 20 % is customary. 

4. Pace yourself about eating, but order as you see what you like on the carts. Some restaurants only bring out certain types of trays once. 

5. Drink tea, the typical offerings are: black tea, jasmine and chrysanthemum. Tea is the heart of dim sum, don't ask for coffee. 

6. Don't ask for mild if you can't eat spicy, each tray is made to the way it is supposed to taste. It is not like Starbucks where you customize your order.

7. Be mindful who your waitress is, don't ask the captains to get you water. Chinese is big on status, so a little respect goes a long way.

8. Dim sum is one of those food that you don't have to eat with rice. You will notice that most people won't be asking for rice.

9. There is no order in eating dim sum so eat what you want with what you want, but do save dessert for last. 

10. The seat which is closest to the kitchen is probably one of the most desirable seats since the food that has just been pushed from the kitchen is the freshest.


  1. Thank you for these great tips. I ate dim sum last spring in San Francisco and it was amazing.

  2. I've never made dim sum before, but it's something I've always wanted to cook. I doubt I could ever make it, but I suppose I will not know unless I actually give it a try. It looks really good though.


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