Large crowd of people pass through Churchgate station at all hours of the day. During the peak hours, there is just enough space to walk in the same lane where the crowd is moving, it is not possible to stand or even to bend down to scratch your knee. However there are quite a few kiosks tucked on the side of the passage that sell fast food like Frankie, Batatawadas, samosas, puri bhajji and other fried stuff and there is also one tiny room that sells Dim sum, fried rice, noodles and some delicious soup.
Many years ago, on my visit to Cantonese restaurant in Hongkong, I was highly impressed by a waitress, who carted around from table to table with assorted dim sum, and we had the freedom to select our preference, and take as many as we wanted. “How do they bill us?” I had asked my cousin and she told me she counted the plates on my table and charged according to the size and the number of the plates. I will never forget that evening when I had the tastiest dim sums of different fillings that ranged from stir fried vegetables to minced meat, fish, pork, chicken and many other variety, that was the first time that I had ever tasted something so slimy that melted in my mouth leaving behind the delicious taste.
"Originally a Cantonese custom, dim sum is inextricably linked to the Chinese tradition of "yum cha" or drinking tea. Teahouses sprung up to accommodate weary travelers journeying along the famous Silk Road. Rural farmers, exhausted after long hours working in the fields, would also head to the local teahouse for an afternoon of tea and relaxing conversation.
Still, it took several centuries for the culinary art of dim sum to develop. At one time it was considered inappropriate to combine tea with food: a famous 3rd century Imperial physician claimed this would lead to excessive weight gain. As tea's ability to aid in digestion and cleanse the palate became known, tea house proprietors began adding a variety of snacks, and the tradition of dim sum was born." (Source)
In Mumbai, people have developed taste for this dish mainly because it is nutritious and it is steamed. Many stalls just specializing in dim sum have sprung up in different parts of Mumbai, so it’s no surprise that there is one at Churchgate station too.
What attracts you is the sign outside the restaurant that says Dim Sum and more. Many people stop by the little window and pack the steamed Dimsum with garlic sauce for their long train journey, but for those who decide to eat inside the tiny room, there are high bar stools and tables where one can comfortably dine. It’s a tiny room which can seat just 10 persons, shoulder to shoulder and if you are lucky to find a seat, then it’s worth it, because you can sit and enjoy the hot delicious Chinese meal which is cooked in small portions just for you.
The menu card has limited dishes but they are worth it. At Rs50 a plate of 6 pieces of Dimsum and Rs28 for a bowl of soup, it makes a fair bargain. The place is quite clean and food quite satisfying.