Dim Sum Library draws inspiration from the heritage of yum cha and the tradition of Chinese teas in a new menu featuring dishes and cocktails infused with tastes and aromas of the finest handpicked leaves.
In ancient China, travellers along the Silk Road took respite in local tea houses. As well as being warming and comforting, it was known that drinking tea helped with digestion. So small food offerings were served with tea, and thus the tradition of dim sum or yum cha (literally meaning drinking tea) was born. Touched by the roots of yum cha, the chefs at Dim Sum Library have created a new menu of delectable dishes that perfectly meld the art of tea and fine food, infusing dishes with the flavours and aromas of fine Chinese teas, all in the hallmark contemporary style of the restaurant.
Amongst the tea-infused dishes, Steamed xiaolong bao with chrysanthemum flower (HK$58 for three) incorporates subtle floral extracts of chrysanthemum tea. The flavour of the mildly sweet tea cuts through the juiciness of the pork to deliver a balanced palate profile. The new xiaolong bao features alongside Dim Sum Library’s signature Dandan xiaolong bao.
For the mains, four fillets of succulent seabass have been marinated for three hours in specially selected dried rose petals and jasmine tea, giving the fish a bright pink hue. The Baked rose scented seabass (HK$338) is lightly baked so the sweet marinade permeates through alongside the natural juices of the fish. The dish is elegantly presented atop a cinnamon bark base, which hones back to a traditional Chinese cooking style. The hot aromatic taste of the cinnamon wood subtly infuses through the fish.
Also on the menu is the Jasmine tea smoked pigeon (HK$198), intricately prepared in a four-step process, first boiling to ensure the meat is cooked to perfection, the poultry is then smoked with the wood of an apple tree and mixed with dry jasmine tea leaves. Then, cooled and coated in a thick sweet layer of sugar, it is fried – giving the bird perfect crispy skin. The smoky notes are presented to guests with a theatrical mist of applewood aromas which is released at the table to invigorate all the senses.
New sweet dishes also include tea infusions; the Jasmine tea pudding(HK$58) is a Chinese-style panna cotta with notes of jasmine tea throughout and topped with a delicate layer of jasmine tea jelly set atop – a very light dessert in texture but rich in floral flavour.
In a nostalgic nod to yum cha dining spots of yesteryear, when Hong Kong’s best dim sum was enjoyed next to the bird market in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Chocolate milk tea bao (HK$62 for two) are each adorned with a hand-painted gold owl motif. The black bun is filled with sweet milk tea and warm chocolate fondant.
Perfect complements to the new dishes or for enjoyment on their own are five cocktails and non-alcoholic cold-brews which have been crafted using a variety of Chinese teas.
The creative Longjing sangria (HK$135) is an oriental twist on the classic sangria. Longjing, sometimes called by its literal translated name Dragon Well Tea, is a variety of pan-roasted green tea from the area of Longjing Village in Zhejiang Province. It is handpicked and renowned for its high quality. The Longjing tea leaves are encased in a specially crafted parcel that perches on the side of the glass, allowing the light aromatic fragrance to muddle throughout this long sangria-style drink.
Innovative flavour combinations also emerge in a selection of cold-brew teas for HK$75 each, the Oolong mojito is a refreshing, long mocktail of Oolong tea with crushed mint leaves, fresh orange and raspberries all mixed together and topped with yuzu honey. The Longjing & Lemongrass teabalances vibrant green tea with homemade lemongrass syrup and garden-fresh sprigs of lemongrass to garnish.
Appropriately served in an elegant Hong Kong tea room and evoking the glamour of the 1920s, these new dishes are served all-day until 28th February 2019 and can be enjoyed in the dining spaces and at the stylish bird cage-inspired bar.
Dim Sum Library
Shop 124, Level 1 Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong