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Dim sum at its best!

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By Madushka Balasuriya

It may be four simple words, but there are few things in this world that set the pulse racing more than the phrase “all you can eat”. Tack dim sum on the end of it and you have yourself an unqualified recipe for success.

This is precisely what Long Feng at Cinnamon Lakeside is proposing as part of its weekend dim sum lunch promotion, where for Rs. 2,500 nett per person you can indulge to your heart’s content.

Dim sum of course is one of the most authentically Chinese of cuisines, and one that has steadily grown in popularity in Sri Lanka over the years. Prepared in bite-sized portions and served in small steamer baskets, it fits neatly into Sri Lankans’ love of ‘short eats,’ while offering a flavour profile that is as familiar as it is distinct.

The most common and easily identifiable is therefore the dumpling, a dish made simply of pieces of dough wrapped around either a sweet or savoury filling. At Long Feng they certainly don’t hold back on these, providing a choice of at least three variants under each of the five main categories – chicken, pork, seafood, beef and lamb, and vegetarian. 

The ordering process is straightforward, with customers given a handy cheat sheet with all of the available items listed. They are then expected to tick off the items required, while making a side note of how many at the table will be eating each dish. 

It’s a simple enough process that serves the dual purpose of ensuring the dishes are brought to the table hot and ready to eat, while at the same time limiting any waste that may have taken place in something like a buffet lay out.


Before we get to the matter of the dim sum review though, a quick word about the appetisers. Customers are given the choice of three starters and two soups.

The deep fried sesame dusted seafood toast came with a side a deliciously sweet plum sauce, and was arguably the highlight of the three, though the golden shrimp balls, crispy and perfectly fried, were a close second. The vegetarian option of a mushroom and glass noodle spring roll meanwhile was nothing to be sniffed at either, with flavour oozing from each bite.

The soups meanwhile were the traditionally ‘Sri Lankan Chinese’ chicken sweet corn, and the asparagus crab meat. Both were made with precision, while the generous offerings of soy sauce, chilli paste, and vinegar green chilli sides, allowed us to fine tuning the spice and flavour profiles to our liking.

Dim sum

On now to the dim sum, the first thing to note is, order the lot at your peril; for the purpose of the review, we ordered two each of every dish, but by the time we came to the seafood rice (more on that later), we knew we had ordered too much. So when they say all you can eat, they’re not messing around, but on the flip side it’s certainly value for money. In terms of our favourites, while each of the meats had their merits, the highlight was definitely the lamb with spicy pumpkin. Visually a treat, with the dough given an ‘insta-worthy’ purple hue, it was positively bursting with flavour, while the homemade dumpling sauce (made with onion, garlic, tomato and soy, among other things) only served to elevate it.

We were also fans of the black pepper chicken siew mai, a variation on the dumpling, that we felt had a little more oomph compared to the other chicken offerings.

Our final shout has to go to the pork, in its variety of guises. 

The steamed black pork ribs were bite-sized in going with the spirit of dim sum, but were packed with flavour, while the meat itself was itching to fall off the bone. The taro pork roast siew mai, meanwhile, was a more traditional Chinese dumpling offering, though the star was unequivocally the marinated pork roast bao.

Sweet and spicy, think of a Chinese variation on a ‘malu paan’ but with the dough steamed not baked. The bao is something this writer will keep coming back for.

Mains and dessert

If the dim sum wasn’t enough, the promotion also includes mains and dessert. The mains included a vegetarian option in the stir fried vegetable noodles, a non-veg offering in the Seafood Fried Rice, and a traditional Chinese dish in the Chinese chicken rice porridge.

We tried the latter two, of which the former is just as flavourful as you would expect. It’s just a shame that by the time you get to it, most will have likely had their fill of dumplings. The porridge meanwhile is an unusual dish, which brings up memories of ‘kanji’ more than anything else. It’s certainly worth trying, for the experience if nothing else. As for the dessert, we were initially disappointed that there was no choice, with simply the one item on the menu. However once we tried it, it all started to make much more sense.

The mango pudding with chilled sago, lychee ice cream and cinnamon dusted honey is for all intents and purposes three desserts in one. Each element, be it the gelatinous mango pudding, the gorgeous sago, or the delightful homemade ice cream, all work separately, but even better together. It’s certainly a worthy way to end the meal. 


Having already sampled Long Feng’s dumplings at their annual Chinese Food Festival last year, we knew what to expect, and it’s safe to say we weren’t disappointed.

Long Feng unarguably does some of the best, if not the best, dim sum in Colombo, and now it can be experienced in all its glory every weekend. Don’t miss out.

Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe


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