Dim sum originated as a Cantonese cuisine where small bite-sized portions of food are served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. In Chinese, it is traditionally called “Yum Cha”, meaning drink tea. The original practice used to be in the form of a relaxing morning meal with a pot of tea to aid in digestion. Now, it is more common to enjoy this as a weekend brunch or lunch, usually with a group of people to share.
Dim sum can be cooked by steaming and frying, and the serving sizes are usually small, normally served as three or four pieces in one dish. Dumplings are the most common, along with buns, vegetables, soups, and chopped meats. The more common and traditional way of serving dim sum is the Hong Kong style, where trolleys are pushed through the restaurant, and diners pick the food item. The price of the food item are in categories, and can range from $1.60 for a simple dish to $5 or more for a more complex or expensive dish. The trolley employee will place your dish on the table, and mark a sheet which will be tabulated later for paying.
For our particular lunch, we flagged down the trolley with the hot steamed items, and selected (from top left, clockwise):
Ha Gow, shrimp dumplings steamed inside a rice wrapping
Pork spare ribs in black bean and garlic
Xi Long Bao, a juicy pork dumpling in a rice wrapping
Siu Mai, a pork dumpling in a won ton wrapper
Later, we found another trolley with steamed Chinese broccoli, and a rice noodle roll filled with barbecue pork, called Churng Fun. The rice noodles are first steamed, then filled with different types of meats or vegetables and cut into bite size servings. We also found a different trolley which had soups and congee, also known as porridge. Below is our pork and salty egg porridge, topped with onions and fried won ton chips.
Lunch was served family style, where the food is placed in the center of the table, and everyone shares the dishes. Our lunch came to $51 before tip, which is usually 10-15%. The food was hot and fresh, and the service was not bad. The parking, however, can be a challenge, as it is located in a busy Asian strip mall with multiple tenants.
Seafood Cove II is located on the second level at 9211 Bolsa Ave in Westminster, California.