FOOD AND DRINK

Sa­ti­ate your dim sum and Can­tonese food crav­ings at this invit­ing tea­house lo­cated in one of Kuningan’s best sit­u­ated ho­tels, the Man­hat­tan. Freshly pre­pared dim sum and South­ern Chi­nese clas­sic meals are what drive this in­ti­mate restau­rant.

Indonesia Expat - - Featured - BY MAY TIEN Dim Sum King Restau­rant Man­hat­tan Ho­tel, Fifth Floor #1 Jalan Prof. Dok­tor Sa­trio, Kuningan, Jakarta 12950 Tele­phone: +62 21 3004 0888 ext. 7081 Web­site: www.ho­tel- man­hat­tan.com

Eat­ing Like Roy­alty at Dim Sum King

The term ‘Chi­nese food’ is ac­tu­ally a mis­nomer. The cui­sine in China in­cor­po­rates the var­i­ous re­gions of the coun­try that vary widely in taste, in­gre­di­ents, prepa­ra­tion and cook­ing styles. His­tor­i­cally, not long af­ter the ex­pan­sion of the Chi­nese em­pire dur­ing the pe­riod around 200BC, the

Han peo­ple started to em­bark on a type of clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem for cuisines that had been in­cor­po­rated into the new king­dom. How­ever, issues sur­round­ing bound­aries, po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity and the con­stant shift­ing of cul­tural iden­ti­ties dur­ing these early days pre­vented au­thor­i­ties from cre­at­ing a de­fin­i­tive sys­tem. That there were great dif­fer­ences in each re­gion rang­ing from cli­mate, re­sources and in­gre­di­ents didn’t help mat­ters much.

As time pro­gressed and China’s bor­ders be­came more rigidly sim­i­lar to what they cur­rently are and Han cul­ture be­came preva­lent (via a merge or im­po­si­tion with other eth­nic­i­ties and cul­tures), schol­ars cre­ated a clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem called the ‘Eight Great Re­gional Cuisines.’ One of these great tra­di­tions is the Yue, or more pop­u­larly re­ferred to in English as Can­tonese cui­sine. Within this stra­tum, there are fur­ther clar­i­fi­ca­tions of each cul­tural style of Can­tonese cui­sine, with some hav­ing more in­flu­ence and pop­u­lar­ity in other cul­tures such as Hakka or Fu­jian.

Per­haps the most well-known style of cui­sine to arise from Can­tonese cui­sine is that of dim sum. It is served in smaller por­tions and eaten along­side a hot pot of tea. In Hong Kong, many of these tea­houses re­quire servers to push carts around loaded with steamer bas­kets or plates full of bits and pieces of savoury and sweet del­i­ca­cies such as meat­balls, dumplings, pas­tries, cakes, roasts, soups, char­cu­terie and so on. Usu­ally, peo­ple eat dim sum with fam­ily and friends as a brunch on the week­ends, and it’s more for­mally called yum cha in this in­stance.

At Dim Sum King, one can find many of the clas­sic dishes within this great cui­sine from a mod­est, but ven­er­a­ble menu served fresh upon or­der. On a re­cent visit, we were treated to beau­ti­fully steamed dim sum bas­kets of Tim

“At Dim Sum King, one can find many of the clas­sic dishes within this great cui­sine from a mod­est, but ven­er­a­ble menu served fresh upon or­der.”

Kaki Ayam ( fung jau) and Sio Mai (the ha­lal ver­sion of siu mai). Tim kaki ayam are quite the del­i­cacy, as they are more or less chicken feet and an­kles. There’s a fa­mous say­ing in China: "Any­thing that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is ed­i­ble." There is a nat­u­ral con­tin­u­a­tion to that proverb in this case: “No ed­i­ble part of the an­i­mal goes to waste!” It takes skill to make that part of the bird soft and sup­ple, in­fused with aro­mat­ics and sea­son­ings no less wor­thy of any other more ex­pen­sive part. The Sio Mai at Dim Sum King are del­i­cate and beau­ti­ful lit­tle bites of ground chicken wrapped in a golden pas­try and steamed, ten­der to the bite.

Dim Sum King also of­fers de­li­cious mains and sides in ad­di­tion to their dim sum menu. We en­joyed the Fried Crispy Noo­dles in As­sorted Seafood, which fea­tures a large mix of fresh seafood stir fried with Asian veg­eta­bles and light gravy that is then driz­zled over crunchy noo­dles. The Black Pep­per Beef Hot Plate was very sat­is­fy­ing; the beef sliv­ers were ten­der and the sliced sweet onions were a nice con­trast to the spicy black pep­per sauce. This dish is best poured over a bowl of steamed rice and eaten with a spoon.

At the Dim Sum King, there is am­ple space for fam­ily and friends to come to­gether and en­joy a feast. The din­ing room is kitschy chic, with many Chi­nese em­bel­lish­ments for good luck and for­tune scat­tered through­out. It is lo­cated on the fifth floor of the Man­hat­tan Ho­tel, a stoic business ho­tel lo­cated in Cen­tral Kuningan. Dim Sum King is a great place for ca­sual din­ing, and a good op­tion for those who want tra­di­tional Can­tonese food in the area with­out hav­ing to en­dure lines or long waits. The staff are at­ten­tive and friendly, they pro­vide a change of plates and also keep your tea cup filled to the brim.

Week­ends are a spe­cial deal at Dim Sum King. On Fri­day evenings and mid­day Satur­days and Sun­days, there is a spe­cial all-you- can- eat buf­fet. One would be hard pressed to find dim sum, shabu-shabu, de­li­cious mains and desserts at the in­cred­i­ble price of Rp.128,000 (US$9.60) net, per per­son. This is the time to bring fam­ily and friends and en­joy much of the kitchen’s cre­ations. As it is sit­u­ated in the Man­hat­tan Ho­tel, there are am­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties to have a cock­tail be­fore or af­ter a meal at one of the lounges or even a cof­fee at the Cen­tral Park Restau­rant.

One of most in­ter­est­ing deals at the Man­hat­tan Ho­tel (as well as their sis­ter ho­tels, Sun­lake and Mer­lynn Park) is that they of­fer cul­tur­ally ap­pro­pri­ate wed­ding pack­ages for clients who would like to pro­vide their guests with a spe­cial en­gage­ment. The Chi­nese ban­quets on of­fer are grand, and for happy cou­ples look­ing for a nice op­tion at a com­pet­i­tive price, the Sun­lake Group of Ho­tels has some of the best of­fers in greater Jakarta.

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