DIM SUM AND THEN SOME
Among the many inflections and iterations of Chinese cuisine, Cantonese reigns as one of the most sophisticated—renowned for its natural flavors, simple cooking techniques (like steaming and poaching), and reliance on exquisite ocean delicacies as well as the produce grown year-round in this fertile southern region. If you were already in love with the staples of Cantonese cooking—plump dumplings, chewy buns, silky noodles—then a visit to Guangzhou, the cuisine’s undisputed capital, will wake you up to whole new levels of nuance, texture, and complexity. The dim sum here is especially legendary, and for that, the bustling teahouse Dian Dou De is a local institution. There are no rolling carts to point-and-order from, but an English menu is available to make things easier for those who don’t read Chinese. Before delving into the feast, regulars go for steaming cups of pu’erh tea from Yunnan province, which aids digestion. The handmade shrimp dumplings and pork buns are standouts, along with house specialties like red-rice rolls with shrimp, but you seriously can’t go wrong with any dish. And don’t miss the classic, jiggly egg-custard tarts for a sweet final treat.