Dim sum is served in all its glory at Dim Sum Emperor. Editor Marissa Carruthers and photographer Charles Fox sample its menu.

I often find myself craving for a feast of dim sum spread across the table. Thankfully, there are plenty of offerings in the capital to appease my hunger.

Opting for Dim Sum Emperors, which occupies the upper floor of Blue Pumpkin in BKK1, on a lazy Sunday afternoon was a good choice because we had the restaurant, all to ourselves.

With a wealth of offerings, the restaurant specialises in Hong Kong dim sum with the menu spanning everything from taro buns ($3.30) and sesame sweet balls ($3.80), to xiao long bao ($3.80) and Peking dumplings ($3.80).

After scouring the menu meticulously, we opted for a range of dishes, which were all brought to our table at pretty much the same time, and presented in the authentic way – stacked in wooden steamer baskets to keep them fresh.

The steamed shrimp dumplings ($3.30) are a staple when dining out on dim sum. While they are never the prettiest dish to look at, the taste usually makes up for it, and here they didn’t fail to disappoint.The simplicity of the dumplings means mistakes often stand out, with them often having an almost rubbery outer layer. Here, it was perfectly soft yet firm to the bite.

The pan-fried dumplings ($3.80 for six pieces) were another stand out dish, with the pot sticker-style dumplings, again, cooked perfectly. It’s all too easy to leave them in the pan for a few seconds too long, with the result being the dumplings become too crispy. The outer layer was slightly crunchy, while the texture remained smooth.

The steamed buns and diced barbeque pork ($3.30) also got the thumbs up. The bun was soft and fluffy, and filled with flavoursome meat covered in lashings of sweet barbecue sauce. Slightly more meat would have made this option even better.

The prawn dumplings in chili sauce ($3.30) looked like they would be as hot as hell, served in a fiery-looking sauce. While I prefer food on the spicy side, this scared me. However, the result was way tamer than expected, with the sauce adding a welcome but not overpowering kick.

Our final dish was the steamed beef with salted cabbage ($5.50). This was a big mistake. What turned up at the table was not the most pleasant to look at, with the meat giving off a rather strange glow.

While it tasted slightly better than it looked, the meat was chewy and relatively bland, as was the cabbage.

The restaurant is a light and airy space, decked out in red and white, with nods to China included in the decor – Chinese lamps hanging from the ceiling and letters adorning the backs of chairs. The range of booths and tables offer plenty of seating.

When it comes to the extensive range of dim sum on offer, Dim Sum Emperors excels. There is a strong consistency to the cooking, with the menu catering to everyone from the inexperienced through to the proficient dim sum dabblers.

12a Street 57, Phnom Penh.
Tel: 023 99 18 16.
Open daily from 6am to 11pm.