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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Restaurant Review: Dim sum, New World

The first time I ate dim sum was when I was 15.

I'd flown all the way to Hong Kong to visit my chinese relatives for the first time. My chinese Aunty Edith decided that the best way to meet everyone was at breakfast on my first morning in HK. Understandably, after the 13 hour flight and having to meet everyone for the very first time, this as yet unknown dim sum experience was rather overwhelming at the time!

Also, at 15 years old, I was the fussiest eater possible, and my idea of a good breakfast was an extra few honey nut cornflakes in my bowl. Being confronted with dim sum on my first day was therefore pretty stressful. I mean, who eats dumplings for breakfast?! However, little did I know that this little toe dip into the world of dim sum would spawn a love for it which I know will never fade. Dim sum is still one of my favourite meals.

Dim sum is a breakfast and lunch thing and broadly speaking is a chinese version of tapas - steaming bamboo baskets full of a never ending variety of dumplings delivered on hostess trollies.

Dim sum in London is obviously slightly different to authentic dim sum in HK. The chain Ping Pong has brought dim sum to the masses and, although I'm as fond of a visit there as much as the next person (particularly because their cocktails are so good), the quality of the food can be a little hit and miss, and there isn't a trolley insight.

New World restaurant resides in London's busy China Town and is one of the only places where they still deliver dim sum on trollies. The reason why I love going there so much is because it turns lunch time into such an event. You sit down in your typically chinese dining room which is always heaving because New World is so popular. A pot of jasmine tea is delivered and you sit having a long and leisurely lunch for hours while trollies trundle past full of delectable goods.

You effectively hail down the waitress/waiter with their trolly and they show you what they've got. All their trollies contain different things so it's worth hanging on and not going too mental at the first trolly. Dim sum is great sharing food and it's fun stopping the trolley for what feels like the 15th time just in case there's something on there that you haven't tried yet.

Today we ordered plenty of my favourites including char sui buns. These are barbecued pork pieces encased in the fluffiest bread imaginable. Simply divine.

We also ordered:

Prawn and chive dumplings

Pork puffs

and unpictured spring rolls, pork slices and chicken and peanut dumplings.

The waiter keeps track of what you've eaten by making an illegible scribble on what looks like a score card. When the bills comes, it's totally impossible to work out what cost what, but it always seems good value so who am I to query it??

Dim sum costs approximately £15 per person depending on how greedy you are. As I said, I love it and if you're wanting to try something different, New World is the perfect place. 


  1. I think we tried out his restaurant when we were in London one time. I love dim sum and I remember it was pretty good here.

  2. I've always meant to try New World but whenever I've gone there's always been too much of a queue (a good sign!) so have always gone instead to the nearby Jade Garden which I can 100% recommend too - it doesn't have the trolleys but has the bustling feel other HK establishments have, and the food is of great quality & isn't too expensive (we spent around £10-15 each and had to literally roll ourselves out of there!). Hmm, now I want to eat dim sum!

    1. Oooh, thanks for the recommendation! New World is always so busy so I'll definitely search out Jade Garden.