Having been raised in Cebu, my go-to fast food joint was never the usual burger joint. Instead it was Dimsum Break--and when I first moved to Manila for college, I couldn't understand why none of the dimsum places I went to had what was then simply called steamed rice. Well, they did, but instead of the bowl of brown rice topped with pork and shrimp I had come to expect, all I'd get when I ordered steamed rice was plain white rice.
So when I learned that a branch of my favorite fast food restaurant had opened its doors in SM North EDSA, I was keen to try it. I finally got the chance a week ago.
Dimsum Break's Metro Manila branch works just the way its other branches does. You pick up a tray, line up cafeteria-style at the counter, choose the food you want to buy, and pay up at the cashier. All steamed and fried dimsum dishes cost P65 each, all rice pots cost P68 each, vegetable dishes cost P55, noodle and soup dishes cost P80, and shaopao costs P38. Unless they run out of a particular dish, most food is dished up immediately once you indicate you want it, with the exception of the Steamed Hakao, which may take up to 12 minutes to be served.
It's well worth the wait, though, as it's my favorite dimsum dish--the shrimp inside is juicy, the flavors are rich, and the dumpling wrappper is delicate yet holds together. Any and every dish you might order goes with Dimsum Break's Original Steamed Fried Rice (they added the word "fried" so people would stop confusing this with plain white rice), which is a cupful of brown rice with a heaping of pork, shrimp, peas, and gravy poured over it. Not a fan? You can also try the Yang Chow Fried Rice or the Beef Steak Rice, which both also go for just P68 each.
Other dimsum faves include the Crab Pincers, which should be dipped in sweet and sour sauce, and the Bacon Shaomai, which is a pork dumpling wrapped in bacon instead of the usual wrapper. For dessert, Dimsum Break offers a choice of Buko Pandan, Buchi, Leche Flan, Coconut Cream, or Mango Custard for P55, but if you're going for the bang-for-your-buck pick, it'd definitely be the Halo-halo, which is a big bowlful of dessert for just P60.
Click through the gallery below to learn more about some of Dimsum Break's menu items.
Dimsum Break's only current Metro Manila branch can be found in SM North EDSA's The Annex, but there are 12 branches in Metro Cebu and plans for a branch in Manila's university belt. For more information, check out the restaurant's Kristn.com directory listing or Facebook fan page.
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- The Original Steamed Fried Rice, P68This rice pot is a meal on its own, if you're not too hungry. Brown rice is topped with pork, shrimp, and peas in a salty gravy-like sauce. Hungry diners are encouraged to order two of these.
- Crab Pincers, P65Crab pincer meat is rolled into balls and deep fried--the pincers are kept in the dish for easy handling as much as food styling.
- Sweet & Sour Pork, P65Pork is glazed in a sweet-salty sauce and made sour with the addition of pineapple chunks.
- Shaomai, P65You can't go wrong with a juicy pork-and-shrimp shaomai.
- Quail's Egg Shaomai, P65Here's another classic dimsum dish.
- Mushroom Shaomai, P65Slices of juicy button mushrooms top these pot stickers.
- Bacon Shaomai, P65Instead of your usual paper-thin dumpling wrapper, when you order this dish, you get bacon.
- Steamed Hakao, P65This steamed shrimp dumpling is a crowd favorite--and cheap, at just P65 per order!