Latest Stories

Word of Mouth

Cebu dim sum comes to Manila


Whenever you visit a province or another city, is there a restaurant or diner you must dine in?

Well, I have. I first went to Cebu sometime in the early ’80s for a shooting competition of the Philippine Practical Shooting Association. In those days, the organization had less than 50 members who had a passion for the sport. Free from petty intrigues, we had fun wherever we went.

Meals were always a bonding experience. One of the restaurants recommended to us was a Chinese dim-sum house called Ding Haw. You entered the place and you had ladies pushing dim-sum carts. I have always loved this concept, which was adopted from Hong Kong.

The moment those steaming carts passed your table and you checked them out, it was like opening a basket full of surprises. You didn’t know what was in store for you. Food was good and memorable, so this place became my sure destination in Cebu.

The place has closed since then, but has been resurrected in another restaurant with almost the same concept. Dimsum Break is the new dining place with all the popular dim-sum dishes of Ding Haw. If we have what we call Filipinized Chinese food, I would call these dishes Cebu-style dim sum.

The place is such a hit in Cebu that it has opened all over this bustling province. It now has 11 branches—an indication of something good and successful.

Recently, I got a call from fellow foodie Maricris Encarnacion about checking out a new dining place at SM North Edsa. Initially, I wasn’t too excited, because I thought it would be one of the the usual dim-sum places. But when I learned that behind it was the same group, with the same recipes of the old Ding Haw, my attitude changed. Cebu dim sum comes to Manila. This, I believe, will be a hit!

I walked in and was met with a variety of stacked bamboo steamers with various dim sums inside. As soon as I stood on that line and started opening those baskets, I couldn’t help gulping in anticipation.

Must-try dishes

Here are the dishes you must try: Crispy Crab Pincers—crunchy and tasty stuffed crab claws with sweet and sour sauce; sweet and sour fish; stuffed shrimps and stuffed taro; siomai, steamed fish, quail eggs siomai; chopped chicken feet (like eating atis with the bones and all); and Empress roll (a cabbage roll).

All these must be had with cucumber and radish salad, which neutralizes the richness of the dishes. The bestsellers of the Cebu branches are all available in Manila, but I understand the menu will expand as business picks up.

One dish I just had to take home to my kids was original steamed fried rice, or what the Cebu locals know as brown rice. This dish reminds me of the time kids were fed rice, sauce and some chopped-up meat. Looks very simple and sometimes not too attractive, but, boy, this will bring you back to your childhood. The inexpensive dish of steamed rice with gravy (that’s why it’s called brown rice), topped with chopped shrimps and meat, is so delicious.

I took some home, kept it in the freezer and just microwaved it for our midnight snacks. My son Franco keeps reminding me to get more of this.

Even the desserts are worth gaining a few pounds over. The coco cream and the mango custard are winners.

How nice to see restaurants from the provinces also do good in Manila. Check out Dimsum Break.

Happy eating!

Dimsum Break is on the 3/F, SM North Edsa Annex. Call 5012469, 0915-9022569.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Dimsum Break , dining , Food , Lifestyle , Restaurants

  • piggywig70

    This guy may know how to cook but he sure can’t write. His descriptions of food are so generic. He barely conveys the aroma, texture and taste of food. He should stick to cooking.

    • DENAL

      may be alleviated by use of pictures

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  5. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  6. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  7. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  8. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  9. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  10. Philippine novelist wins US book award amid cancer and ‘Yolanda’
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Palace: Our concern is to ensure MRT runs smoothly
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics