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 to enjoy Buntod
  2. World bids Gabriel Garcia Marquez ‘Adios’
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  8. Garcia Marquez left unpublished manuscript
  9. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  10. Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks