August 8, 2004

T & S Chinese Restaurant

Things are looking up. I've been in and out of Austin for about 11 years now. I've had Dim Sum here in town a total of three times only because the Dim Sum here sucks. Today was one of the three times and my first time at T&S Chinese Restaurant. I had heard about it last year from a Chinese friend and I'm sad I waited this long to go try it. It was actually pretty damn good. A few of the items were a little off but I would dare say most of the selections could rival some Dim Sum restaurants in Houston (where we go have Dim Sum every time I visit my parents because I was going through withdrawal). This gives me hope. The selection of good Chinese food in town is slowly growing at a steady pace. Sooner or later Austin will have Soup Dumplings offered at some local Chinese joint, I can feel it in my bones.

While we were pouring our tea I explained to present company that when Chinese people pour tea for someone, they thank that person by tapping on the table with their fingers, usually the index and middle. I don't know why people do this, I just grew up watching and learning from my dad. So I looked it up! TGFTI (thank God for the internet).

From Chinese Teas 101:

The story goes like this. In the Ching Dynasty some 300-400 years ago, the emperor liked to dress casual and visit his kingdom. Servants were told to stay low profile in order not to reveal their master's identity.

One day in a restaurant. The emperor, after pouring himself a cup of tea, filled the servant's cup as well. To the servant, it was a huge grace having the emperor pour him a cup of tea. Out of reflex, he wanted to kneel down and thank his master. But he was stopped because that would give away the emperor's identity. So instead of kneeling on his knees, the servant kneeled with his fingers.

That "thanks" knock is still in use today in the 21st century.

Posted by yi at August 8, 2004 10:58 PM

i will kneel to you with all my fingies if you will please start a soup dumpling restaurant NOW.

Posted by: penelope at August 14, 2004 4:33 PM

thanks for telling the story from 101.
I was wondering that too...HK friends were never able to tell the story....:)

Posted by: maybemars at August 16, 2004 7:49 AM

by the way, when i asked one of my friend online, he said is from Qian-long , in Qing dynesty...;)

Posted by: maybemars at August 16, 2004 7:53 AM

i've never been there, so this is strictly hearsay, but a chinese peruvian american friend at work swears that marco polo on south I35 makes the best dim sum in town. tap, tap.

Posted by: jacob at October 15, 2004 5:52 PM
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