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Walking into a four-star hotel can seem intimidating, especially when you have no sense of direction. However, upon entering London’s PPHE Hotel Group in Vauxhall and asking where to find the modern Pan-Asian cuisine restaurant, Chino Latino, my guest and I were greeted by a friendly concierge who made a joke about us being in the wrong building—perhaps you had to be there.

After being politely pointed in the right direction, we arrived at Chino Latino, ready for our Dim Sum masterclass led by expert Chef Tom. We were welcomed by Kareem, the most wonderful maître d', with a glass of Prosecco and a delicious appetiser of salmon sashimi, bedazzled with flames and laid on a bed of rum-soaked cucumber. Kareem explained that they always blend Asian and Latin influences with the delicate flavours of China, Southeast Asia, and modern Japan, as well as distinctive Peruvian accents. We were off to a fantastic start and it was only up from here.

It was then time to start our Dim Sum class. Chef Tom talked us through the humble beginnings of Dim Sum and shared his fascinating journey to becoming the renowned chef he is today. Whether it was due to Chef Tom's extensive accolades, my innate need to impress, or the axe-like tool laying in front of me, I felt a little nervous at first. This soon passed as the Prosecco flowed. We then received hands-on instruction in creating traditional Dim Sum dishes using freshly prepared pastry. These included Har Gau (prawn dumplings) - my favourite to eat but the hardest to construct. And Siu Mai (pork dumplings) that we were able to add to the filling ourselves with ginger, carrot, celery, and spring onion. Constructing these dumplings is an intricate process that requires a delicate hand, but Chef Tom calmly guides you through (Tom, if you're reading this, you had the patience of a saint). Once you finally achieve that tiny, beautiful ball, it’s a great sense of accomplishment.

With parcels prepared and packaged away in the bamboo baskets, we got to go into the kitchen and watch as they put our dim sum into the steamer and as the condensation blasted out, it was a real "Stars in Their Eyes" moment (if you know, you know). Sitting with the London Eye and Big Ben in our sights, Kareem brought over the fruits of our labour, paired with traditional dipping sauces. We indulged while overlooking the River Thames and sipping on traditional sake, which you could enjoy either ice-cold or hot. It was both delicious and decadent.

Educational, immersive, and scrumptious, the Dim Sum masterclass is a uniquely wonderful culinary experience. Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, or simply wanting to try something new, the masterclass promises a special time for all.

The class runs every Saturday at 4 pm starting from Saturday, 29th June. Tickets for the masterclass are priced at £45 per person and include the expert-guided masterclass, a branded dim sum basket, and a rolling pin. Guests can also choose to stay for a cocktail (£55 per person) or dinner and dine on our Reign Set Menu (£90 per person).


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