It seems like going to China without eating dim sum is on par with going to Italy and not eating pasta. But in truth, dim sum is really a specialty of Hong Kong and Guangdong (formerly known as Canton). Fortunately, in this day and age, you can find Cantonese restaurants all over China. In Xi’an, we found a place called Star Ferry near the Bell Tower. The interior of the restaurant was decorated like a boat, and I later found out that it was named for a ferry company operating in Hong Kong.
Their menu was pretty massive and since it was breakfast nothing really tickled my fancy until I found the dim sum in the back. Since dim sum often involves meat, shrimp and other savory things, many people are surprised to find that it is a breakfast food, but breakfast it is. Since I was eating the dim sum alone, I only chose two dishes: Chinese Egg Tarts and BBQ Pork Buns. Since both were already cooked, they came out immediately.
First I went for the egg tarts. The egg tarts are similar to Portuguese egg tarts and my guess is they came to Hong Kong through Macau (which was a Portuguese colony until 1999). The eggy part is pretty much a sweet custard and tastes delicious. The crust is flaky, but not so flaky that it falls apart when you bite in. Then came the pork buns. They were served in the same steamer they had been cooked in and tasted pretty good. The BBQ sauce was really sweet and make the buns more of a sweet breakfast than the savory one I had sort of been expecting.
While both parts of my breakfast tasted good, they didn’t exactly blow me away. In fact, I kind of felt like they had been prepackaged good that were just reheated to serve. Nonetheless, it was good to have some dim sum and it certainly wasn’t a bad meal by any means.