Growing up in Luang Prabang, some of my earliest memories are of morning steam rising from bao baskets and the busyness of dim sum restaurants. Once the capitol of the kingdom, Luang Prabang sits at the heart of Laos, along the Mekong River. As the river stretches from the Tibetan Plateau, through China’s Yunnan Province, and travels south, it carries travelers, cultures, ideas, and cuisines. This is how Chinese cooking and dim sum came to Laos and arrived in my life.
Literally translated as “touch the heart,” dim sum began as welcoming bites served at teahouses along the Silk Road in China. For us, at Bhavana, dim sum means more than humbly touching the heart; it also means discipline and finesse: a mastery of our hands and their gentle but firm relationship with flour and water.
Dim sum represents a moment at the crossroads: an encounter between people and their stories. We hope the connections made at our tables are as nourishing and bright as they might have been for those ancient travelers.
Thank you for allowing us to share with you our affection and reverence for a cooking tradition that has meant so much to our lives.
-Vansana, Chef Rodney, and our entire kitchen team