Oriental Inn Restaurant
The entire bill for our recent dim sum meal at Oriental Inn came it at $39 for two – less than you'd pay for a single main course at many Perth restaurants.
The dim sum is delicious and authentic as well as being inexpensive. Oriental Inn is popular
, but small groups can usually get a table without a wait.
This eatery is a great spot to go with friends or partners, but perhaps not for a first date, what with its plastic table cloths, purple walls and paper napkins.
The dim sum trolleys roll around with baskets of food ranging from the standard steamed buns ($4 per basket) and dumplings to more challenging fare such as tripe and chicken feet. The crowd always includes a few Chinese Australian families – which is a good sign.
As well as choosing from the steamed and fried treats on the trolleys, I ordered a dish of gai lan – Chinese broccoli – with oyster sauce from the menu to make for a more balanced meal.
The service has been efficient but otherwise unremarkable on most of the occasions I have visited, although one waiter hailed me like a long-lost friend when my dining partner told him I used to live in Hong Kong.
On weekdays, you might be expected to order dim sum from the menu if it is not busy enough to justify a trolley.
Our meals were washed down with plenty of jasmine tea. If you need your tea pot refilled, just leave the lid balanced ajar on top of the pot at an angle.
Dim sum has its own etiquette. For example it is considered rude to poke your chopsticks straight up out of a dish, which is reminiscent of incense sticks used in funeral rites, or to use them as drumsticks.
And, if someone pours you a cup of tea, you can tap two fingers on the table instead of saying 'thank you'. The tradition is believed to come from an emperor who liked to travel incognito. When he took his turn to pour the tea, his courtiers could not kowtow or his cover would be blown, so they tapped the table with three fingers to make a symbolic 'finger kowtow'.
180742 - 2023-06-16 00:12:31