November 14th, 2012
Dim sum originates from the Canton region of China and is normally served at lunchtime. It generally consists of small portions of food steamed in baskets or deep fried. The name Dim sum means touch the heart and would originally have been snack food served with tea. It’s especially popular in Hong Kong and commonly whole families go out to eat Dim sum together at weekends.
I’ve been going to New World since the 1980’s – especially with Oli and what we really like about the place is the trolley service. Girls (generally) push heated trolleys around the restaurant and each trolley contains a different set of food in baskets or on plates. The servers show you what their baskets contain and encourage you to eat the contents. New World may not be the best Dim sum in London, but there’s something special and authentic about the trolley service and it’s just not the same ordering from a menu.
Dim sum comes with a large pot of Chinese tea – I’ve no idea which kind, but we always get through two pots of it. I should make more effort to find ou what kind and buy some because it’s very good!
Deep fried squid or cuttlefish balls have an odd, fluffy and chewy texture – served with mayonnaise.
Woo Kok are stringy yam dumplings stuffed with ground pork and mushrooms.
Shark’s Fin – before you lynch me, these are fake – we did ask first and they are made with pork and prawn, in the style of the original Shark’s Fin and pork wrapped in pasta.
Prawn and vegetables are like mini spring rolls, steamed in translucent pasta.
Cheong Fun is a rice noodle roll which can be filled with beef, pork, prawns or vegetables. Also known as Chee Cheong Fun – Chee Cheon means pig intestine, which is what the shape of the noodle resembles. Normally served in sweet soy sauce.
Har Kau are another type of prawn dumpling – sometimes called a shrimp bonnet. Chefs are judged by the quality of their Har Kau – the pasta should be transparent and the dumpling should not stick to the paper or basket.
I could possibly have forced myself to eat a few more, but the above was just right for a hungry person like myself. I always feel very happy after eating Dim sum – I don’t know if it has something to do with the soy sauce, the tea or just the delicious combination of flavours releasing endorphins in my brain…
New World is at: 1 Gerrard Place, W1D 5PA
At the weekend: New World open up the first floor and basement to accommodate the extra people – my advice is to stick to the ground floor, the food is at its freshest as there’s a fast turnover and often more special dishes.
2016 – currently the trolley service is only available on Sundays and bank holidays.