How To Let Your Dim Sum Server Know You Need A Hot Water Refill

Enjoying fresh dim sum at a lively dim sum restaurant is a wonderful experience, but it can also be overwhelming for first-timers. There are a variety of dishes to choose between, from xiao long bao to har gow to not-too-sweet desserts like mango pudding. Then, there is the vast array of teas to pair with your dumplings. Should you enjoy your dim sum with oolong, jasmine, or chrysanthemum?

You'll be surprised at how fast the tea goes down when you enjoy dim sum. Amidst the bustling environment, how can you let your dim sum server know that you need a hot water refill? The answer lies in the teapot itself. Or rather, on the teapot. Simply take the lid off the teapot. Once your server sees this, they will know you require a hot water refill for your tea.

Of course, you can always flag down your server and verbalize your need for a hot water refill, but then again, it's just more fun and charming to follow the unspoken rules and etiquette of enjoying a meal at an authentic dim sum joint. It is also more efficient, as dim sum restaurants tend to be noisy and lively. 

Embracing time-honored tradition and modernity in dim sum dining

After your server provides you with a hot water refill, be sure to thank them by tapping two fingers on the table. This unique 2-finger method to show gratitude when enjoying dim sum is also used when someone pours you hot tea. Of course, nothing will happen to you if you don't follow the unspoken rules and etiquette of enjoying dim sum. After all, these days, not everyone has tea with their dim sum; you can opt for soda or cold beverages like juices, soy milk, or boba tea, which don't require a hot water refill. 

The truth is, dim sum dining and enjoyment are ever-evolving. However, engaging in traditional dim sum etiquette — even through small gestures like the two-finger tap or removing the teapot lid — connects us to dim sum's rich historical and cultural heritage. Participating in a time-honored culinary tradition while enjoying the flavors and communal spirit of dim sum is simply wonderful. The next time you're enjoying dim sum, consider performing these small, non-verbal gestures of dim sum etiquette. You'll undoubtedly find your appreciation and enjoyment of this cuisine deepening with every small gesture.