THE southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is the birthplace of Cantonese cuisine, and there could be few better places to experience an authentic yum cha breakfast than Panxi, in the historic Liwan district. Follow the red lanterns (and queues) at this Tardislike dining spot (40 rooms seat a toal of 3000 diners) before taking a ticket and a seat in the lobby. A world of dumplings and roasted meats, congees and soups awaits when your number is called. Our group tucks in to chicken spring rolls, a delicious congee packed with seafood, delicate slices of water chestnut cake, steamed barbecue pork buns and chicken’s feet in a piquant sauce at this enduring restaurant, established in 1947 and the haunt of everyone from Henry Kissinger and George W. Bush to Helmut Kohl and Malcolm Fraser. When that final dumpling is polished off, head for the adjacent gardens, the exclusive playground of emperors past. More: gzpanxi.com.cn.