What is dim sum? What we think of as dim sum in the UK has a number of translations, both literally and from the history of dim sum.


If you look at the traditional translation of dim sum, it means ‘touch the heart’, which in language terms, doesn’t really explain what it is.

If you Google the term ‘dim sum’, you’ll find an array of answers, of which many will be true.

To understand the context, you must know some of the history.

In physical terms, dim sum is bite sized portions of food that are usually served in steamer baskets. Their fillings can be savoury or sweet – there is no set ingredient. Each mouthful should be bursting with flavour.

Due to their size, they were not originally intended to be a meal, more to ‘touch the heart’ with flavour and love from the chef, though as time has passed and the eating of dim sum evolved, eating a variety of dim sum can indeed be a meal.

Dim sum was commonly served as a packed lunch for workers who would not be able to take a full meal to their place of work. And bars would have dim sum on offer to accompany drinks for guests, so would be regarded as snacks.

Dim sum originates from southern China. In the north, they refer to this style of food as dumplings, which are small bite sized portions served in a steamer basket, fried or boiled.

At Lu Ban, our cuisine is inspired by the flavours of Tianjin, which is in the north east of China, so steamed dumplings are the type of dim sum we serve. 


We know that guests can’t get enough of our dim sum dishes, so we’ve introduced GIN SUM THURSDAYS at Lu Ban.

It’s where you can dine on our special dim sum dishes and enjoy two specially paired gin cocktails, from specialist gin suppliers.

Gin Sum costs £29.50 and is available on Thursdays from 5-7pm.

Find out more about Chinese culture and customs here.

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