In the vicinity of Jalan Datoh Tahwil Azar, Ipoh, my home town ( a city really), there are at least 7 restaurants, or tea houses, which serve the delicious dim sum, and Foo San is probably the largest and better known outlet that specializes in catering this type of delicacies.
Dim sum is quaintly translated into English as "a touch of the heart". It is a collective name for various types of food that comes in small dishes or portion. A smaller tea house may provide 20 kinds of dim sum, but Foo San may cater twice as many.
A number of dishes are considered typical or commonly served in almost all Chinese tea houses in any parts of the world. These include steamed items such as pau, (with barbecue pork or chicken or mashed beans fillings); siew mai (minced pork or chicken wrapped in very thin, almost transparent rice flour skin), har kau (shelled prawn, wrapped in thicker rice flour skin), and fish balls. Other items are fried, or deep fried (spring roll, yam puff) or baked (egg tart). If you do not want to be looked at in shock, you should ask for no drinks other than Chinese tea in such places. If you prefer dark colour tea, ask for oolong or pu-er, for light colour tea, ask for Xiang pean, in between, choose Tia guan yin. Strictly speaking, you choose tea according to taste or preference, not according to colour. And for goodness sake, do not ask for Japanese tea in a Chinese tea house.
Foo San is an interesting restaurant to visit, as it comes out with new food items from time to time. If you have a good appetite, ask for chee cheong fun (noodle), nor-mai-kai, (steamed glutinous rice with braised chicken), or rice porridge (with minced pork and century egg).
if you are interested to know some long forgotten tea house etiquette, someone here may be able to tell you the "history" why hot water is added to your pot of tea only when the lid of the pot is lifted up, and why knocking the table with your knuckles is a way to say thank you when someone pours you a drink.
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