Do you like Chinese food? These dainty dishes that were served to emperors and concubines have survived to this age and continued to tempt palates all over the world…There is a saying that the ultimate lifestyle is to have dim sum in Hong Kong, fly to Paris for lunch and dine in style in New York. In Chinese restaurants, the waiter will usually push a trolley of steaming dim sum around the restaurant and patrons will simply pick their choice. Dim sum is usually eaten with Chinese tea. Well, if you are a budding Chinese food connoisseur or planning to show off your knowledge of Chinese food to friends, you definitely need to know the vocabulary of dim sum. This is the Cantonese version:

• Ha kau – whole prawns wrapped in thin transparent sheets in the shape of dumpling. The thinner and smoother the sheets and the fresher the prawns, the better.

• Siu mai – pork made into balls; has a yellow outer layer; the premium ones have orange fish roe at the top.

• Yi mai – steamed white, round fish balls; when fresh fish is used, the taste is really sweet and satisfying

• Char siew pau – steamed white buns with sweet barbequed pork filling; the buns should be small as excellent dim sum is always dainty and doesn’t fill you up before you have a chance to taste everything; the sin should be thin and the buns don’t stick to your teeth when you chew

• Loh mai kai – steamed, sticky glutinous rice with fragrantly-marinated pork and mushroom; the rice should be soft with the right amount of stickiness

• Foo chook – steamed fish paste wrapped in bean curd sheets

• Kai kiok – marinated and steamed chicken feet; the flesh should just fall off the bones as you eat

• Chee cheong fun – broad sheets of steamed rice noodles with pork or prawn fillings, the noodles should be smooth and melts in the mouth

There are also fried versions of the dim sum though usually the steamed ones will reveal the freshness of the ingredients used and the skills of the dim sum-making master. The steamed ones are also a healthier version.