You dim sum, you lose some
Dim Sum. A Hong Kong classic, there’s a dish for everyone, and it’s the perfect food to enjoy with family and friends. With so many amazing dim sum spots in the city, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites, so whenever a last minute family lunch pops up, you’ll know just where to head…
City Hall Maxim’s Palace – Best For the Authentic Experience
For many Hong Kongers, nothing beats City Hall Maxim’s Palace for dim sum. The perfect place to take visitors, the biggest appeal of this banquet hall are the dim sum trolleys that make their way through the tables. There are a huge variety of traditional and delicious dim sum on offer to suit any palate. One of our personal favourites is the wu gok (deep fried taro puff) – it’s got just the right balance of crunch on the outside with a pork and mashed taro filling on the inside. We have to get at least two plates of these every time we go! If you’re veggie, have no fear – there are equally delicious meat free options here. While the price is a tad steeper than other dim sum restos out there, it’s worth it for the fresh ingredients and friendly service.
City Hall Maxim’s Palace, 2/F, Low Block, City Hall, Central, Hong Kong, www.maxims.com.hk
Tien Yi Chinese Restaurant – Best for Family Gatherings
A firm favourite amongst the team is Tien Yi in Pacific Place. Always bustling with family gatherings on the weekend, it’s a great spot to bring visitors as the unique and modern takes on the old classics are (dare we say!) better than the original. A must-order for us is the Fried Rice Rolls with XO Sauce served in a piping hot stone bowl. Sumptuous and totally satisfying. Another great option is the Korean Kimchi Chicken Spring Rolls – crunchy, tart and a slightly spicy. You also can’t go wrong with ordering the Honey Stewed Barbecue Pork aka char siu. At a reasonable, but slightly higher cost than typical dim sum, this spot is worth it for the special dishes and friendly staff. Plus, the receptionists always have balloons on hand for your little ones!
Tien Yi Chinese Restaurant, Shop 003, Level G1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, www.tienyirestaurant.com
One Dim Sum – Best for “No Frills”
One of our favourite local dim sum spots is One Dim Sum in Prince Edward. Our favourite items to order will always be char siu bao and siu mai, but we can never bring ourselves to leave without having at least one egg custard bun (no matter how full we are). Be sure to get there early. The doors may open at 10am but there is always a queue at this popular spot!
One Dim Sum, Shop 1 & 2, G/F, Kenwood Mansion, 15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Dim Sum Library – Best For a Modern Take on Classics
Dim Sum Library serves classic dim sum with a fresh, quirky twist. The cool, modern interiors make it easy to forget you’re in the heart of Pacific Place (conveniently just metres away from Zara. Bonus). With familiar flavours and a mouth-watering menu, Dim Sum Library is ideal for when you have family in town. One of our favourite dishes is the Black Truffle Har Gau. The delicate rice-paper is stuffed with a juicy, meaty shrimp and the subtle hint of truffle is not at all overpowering. Don’t leave without trying the Wagyu Beef Puffs with Black Pepper, featuring tender and peppery beef encased in crispy layers of delicate pastry. Stroller accessibility and parking make this a stellar option for parents.
Dim Sum Library, Shop 124, Level 1, The Mall, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong, www.dimsumlibrary.com.hk
Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists – The Best Value
A Hong Kong classic with a few locations scattered throughout the city, from Hong Kong Station to Sham Shui Po, Tim Ho Wan is a must try. This local spot is possibly the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world, meaning the queues start early, but the wait is oh-so worth it. It’s no reservations, so plan your timing strategically and make sure you order the world famous Crispy Char Sir Baos! The crunchy, yet light-as-air buns burst with sweet, tender pork and BBQ sauce and come on a serving plate of three buns. We usually order a plate each – don’t judge it ’til you’ve tried it. Even eating to our heart’s (and stomach’s) content, we never seem to spend more than $50 to $80 per person!
Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists, Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, 2332 2896
Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists, Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall), Central, 2332 3078
Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists, G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, 2788 1226
Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists, Shop B, C, & D, G/F, 2-8 Wharf Road, Seaview Building, North Point, 2979 5608
Mott 32 – Best For Special Occassions (without the little ones!)
Treat-yo-self at the stunning Mott 32, for higher-end contemporary twists on your fave Dim Sum and Chinese classics. An absolute must-try is the charred-but-sweet signature Barbecue Pluma Iberico Pork with Yellow Mountain Honey – they only make 8 portions a day so make sure you reserve this ahead of time! South Australian Lobster Har Gow and Black Truffle Siu Mai are just a few of our picks from the decadent Dim Sum list. The selection of Hong Kong-themed cocktails (and mottails) are just as delicious as they are fun, including the Hong Kong Ice Tea and the Milk Tram!
Mott 32, Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2885 8688 www.mott32.com
Hutong – Best For Out of Town Guests (and family activities!)
For high-end dum sim, coupled with one of the best views in the city, Hutong is the place. Opt for Hutong’s Fēng Wèi Brunch brunch, complete with 18 dishes, including a selection of appetisers, dim sum, Northern Chinese mains, and desserts. From heavenly poached Boston lobster wontons and steamed siu mai topped with scallop and crab roe, to gloriously fluffy mushroom bao (perfect for younger kids). We were pleasantly surprised to hear about how family friendly it is! On top of the scrumptious food, there’s various live entertainment, including a famed fortune telling bird, handmade noodle pulling, Chinese rainbow calligraphy, a puppet show, and a dedicated area for adults and kids to learn about Chinese traditions (which we think qualifies as having a ‘play area’!). We also love the dim sum making demonstrations and basic lessons. All dim sum here is made fresh, on site, so you’ll be tempted to try everything on the menu. Though there’s no children’s menu, kids under 12 years old get to eat brunch for free. Make the most of it before your tiny tot becomes a teen!
Hutong, 28/F, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.hutong.com.hk
Yum Cha – Best for Instagram Mamas
When it comes to adorable and unique dim sum, we look no further than Yum Cha. Home to the famous “vomiting” custard buns, this resto is a child’s playground! With locations in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui, Yum Cha is easily accessible whichever side of the harbour you’re on. It also has incredibly attractive offerings for lunch and dinner that you can order alongside the famous custard buns. The delicious char siu bao (BBQ pork buns) even look like the three little pigs! Not only is a meal at Yum Cha engaging and totally Instagram friendly, it tastes wonderful too.
Yum Cha, Nan Fung Tower, 2/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central, Central, 3708 8081
Yum Cha, 3/F, 20-22, Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 2751 1666, www.yumchahk.com
Lin Heung Teahouse – Best For an “Old-School” Experience
Not for the faint of heart, this old-school gem has all the classics, along with the excitement of jostling for the best dishes as they come right out of the kitchen. After you wash your dish and chopsticks in tea (as is the custom), you’ll want to spend a moment observing the scene so you can make a plan of attack. Watch the regulars and when in doubt, do what they do! We love taking visitors here for a taste of old Hong Kong. The atmosphere won’t disappoint, even if you can’t outmanoeuvre the locals for the best dishes.
Lin Heung Teahouse, 160-164 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Duddell’s – Best for Boozy Brunches and Alfresco Dining
Love a weekend brunch, but also looking to satisfy your dim sum cravings? Head to Duddell’s, a chic Cantonese dining room, for its popular brunch set that serves some of the best dim in the city. Not only are these mouth-watering traditional delights fresh and absolutely delicious, but you can also revel in the joy that comes with free-flow champagne in a buzzing atmosphere. You’re sure to leave with a happy heart and stomach!
Duddell’s, 3-4/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 9191, www.duddells.co
Dragon-i – Best for Free-flow Dim Sum!
This iconic nightclub in Hong Kong promises to serve excellence on a platter (or a bamboo basket…) with its succulent dumplings including chilli pork and Shanghainese! It may not be the most authentic dim sum experience in the city, but we can’t argue with the free-flow deal, cool vibe and fancy drinks.
Dragon-i, UG/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong,3110 1222, www.facebook.com/dragonihongkong
Fook Lam Moon – Best for Spotting VIP’s
This upscale restaurant offers dim sum lovers truly classical Cantonese fare. With its reputation for hosting some of the cities highest fliers, it’s the place to see and be seen. It’s not without reason that this Michelin-starred restaurant is known as the “tycoon’s canteen”. They serve Cantonese dishes alongside traditional and authentic dim sum, made to perfection.
Fook Lam Moon, 35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2866 0663
Fook Lam Moon, 53-59 Kimberly Road, Tsim Tsa Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2366 0286, www.fooklammoon-grp.com/en#restaurants
Dim Sum Square – Best For a Cheap and Quick Lunch
If you’re simply looking for a local dim sum dining experience, opt for Dim Sum Square for its old-fashioned and wallet-friendly dumplings and other dim sum delights! Good for a quick lunch or midday bite, dim sum here is satisfying and definitely a great value for money.
Dim Sum Square, G/F, 88 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2851 8088
Read more: Where to Host Your Next Party