Cantonese is pretty high on the list of the hardest languages to learn, so it’s reasonable to assume that when you order dim sum (in Hong Kong or elsewhere) it’s probably based on previous experiences with dishes you know, haphazard guessing based on a picture of the bite sized item, or our favorite, the point-and-order crapshoot.
But thanks to Yum Cha Dim Sum, the handiest dim sum app for your iPhone, you’ll soon be ordering tasty Chinese treats with confidence and flair.
If you’re confused as to what dim sum is, don’t worry – you’ve probably consumed a dim sum menu item without even knowing it. You know all those delicious little buns, dumplings, and finger foods that come in bamboo steamer baskets or on tiny little plates in certain Chinese restaurants? Those are all dishes prepared in the dim sum style. It’s basically like going out to eat and ordering 7 different appetizers for the table but no main course.
But with so many options when ordering dim sum, the task can quickly become daunting. What if you mispronounce a pork dumpling and end up with something your’re allergic to, or worse – deep fried chicken feet? Being adventurous eaters ourselves, our biggest fear is having the waiter laugh at us or spit in our food when we say something offensive when trying to order in proper Cantonese.
Yum Cha Dim Sum has you covered on all those fronts. The app offers photos of over 100 dim sum dishes with accompanying English descriptions, the name in Chinese characters, and Cantonese pronunciations. You can even sort the dishes by calorie counts and key ingredients, which is immensely helpful for frequent dieters and picky eaters, respectively. The “search by description” feature and “favorites list” are also beneficial for those moments when you’re just too damn starving to peruse a menu and need a tried and true snack ASAP:
This dim sum app is $2.99, which isn’t that much in everyday life but a fortune in the app world, so you might only want to download it if you plan on hitting up Chinatown on the regular or are setting sail for Hong Kong sometime soon. But with the global prevalence of dim sum, you never know when you’ll find yourself face-to-face with an unintelligible menu full of delicious yet mysterious items – so it’s better to be safe than sorry.