You dim sum, you lose some
Dim sum. A Hong Kong classic. Whether you’re on the hunt for something for yourself or something to share, there’s something for everyone, especially when there’s a crowd. With its literal translation being “a little bit of heart”, it’s no wonder they’re a Cantonese comfort go-to. And with so many amazing dim sum spots in the city, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites, so whenever you need just a little more heart in your life, or if a last minute family brunch pops up, you’ll know where to head…
Hutong – Best For Out of Town Guests (and family activities!)
If you want a stunning view of the sweeping skyline and twinkling harbour to serve as a side to your high end dim sum, look no further than Hutong. We recommend the Fēng Wѐi brunch for an unforgettable experience; with 18 dishes inclusive of a selection of appetisers, dim sum, Northern Chinese mains, and desserts, it’s definitely a good idea to come prepared with an empty stomach. Dim sum here includes heavenly poached Boston lobster wontons and other “moreish” delights, ranging from the traditional siu mai topped with scallops to more innovative treats such as the shrimp, kimchi and mozzarella spring rolls. Top up with free-flow champagne or rosé for the perfect Sunday afternoon out! A selection of dim sum is also available on the dinner 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!). Did we mention it offers in-house designed cocktails and other red, white, and rice wines?
Opening Hours: 12pm to 3pm for lunch Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 3:30pm for brunch on Sundays, and 6pm to 11pm for dinner Monday to Sunday
Hutong, 28/F, 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.hutong.com.hk
Din Tai Fung – Best For Xiao Long Bao
You cannot go wrong with this 1 Michelin star restaurant (it’s the first Taiwanese restaurant to ever earn one!). Originating in Taiwan (but in locations worldwide), it’s a favourite among locals and expats alike. Specialising in in xiao long bao (classic, which is steamed pork, green squash and shrimp or chicken are top faves) and Huaiyang cuisine, its popularity is renowned, and people flock here just to sample the many dishes on offer. Get there early (you’ll most likely have to take a ticket and wait) and try out the deep fried yellow croaker, steamed eight-flavour glutinous rice dessert, or for the vegetarians, the steamed mushroom vegetarian bun.
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10pm
Din Tai Fung, Shop 306, 3/F, Silvercord, 30 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2730 6928, or Shop G3-11, G/F, 68 Yee Wo St., Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 3160 8998, www.dintaifung.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!
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm Monday to Saturday, 9am to 11pm Sundays and public holidays
Tien Yi Chinese Restaurant, Shop 003, Level G1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, www.tienyirestaurant.com
City Hall Maxim’s Palace – Best For the Authentic Experience
When in Hong Kong, do as the Hong Kongers do! Enjoy authentic yum cha by having brunch with the family at Maxim’s Palace. The local food and beverage group owns multiple chain restaurants in town and its stores are ubiquitous in Hong Kong, and for good reason. A local favourite, Maxim’s Palace is most appealing for the large variety of traditional and delicious dim sum on offer, many of which will be paraded past your table on trolleys. One of our favourites is the wu gok (deep fried taro puff) because of the perfect contrast between its outer crunch and soft pork and taro mash filling. With plenty of veggie options, everyone’s sure to find something for their palate here. The perfect place to take visitors, the fresh ingredients and friendly service are well worth the steeper price.
Opening Hours: 11am to 3pm, 5:30pm to 11:30pm Monday to Saturday, 9am to 3pm, 5:30pm to 11:30pm Sundays and public holidays, opening hours vary by location
Dim Sum Library – Best For a Modern Take on Classics
If classics with a twist are the order of the day, look no further than Dim Sum Library. Located in the heard of Pacific Place in Admiralty, the cool, modern interiors are accompanied by a mouth-watering menu. Serving up familiar flavours and fresh new tea steeped cocktails at the bar that fronts its resto, it’s the perfect option for a chill night out, whether you’re going out with the girls or on a date. Our favourite dishes include the black truffle har gau, featuring a hint of truffle wrapped in delicate rice paper along with juicy, meaty shrimp. The Wagyu beef puffs are not to be missed as well, with tender and peppery beef encased in layers of flaky pastry.
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 10:30am to 10pm Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Dim Sum Library, Shop 124, Level 1, The Mall, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong, www.dimsumlibrary.com.hk
One Dim Sum – Best for “No Frills”
A local favourite (and one of ours, too!), One Dim Sum is located in Prince Edward. Take your pick from the classics, including our all time favourites the char siu bao and siu mai. Be sure to leave space for the egg custard buns – we can’t ever leave without ordering some, even if we’re already stuffed to the brim (and the kids are sure to love the sweet treat!). With prices sitting on the lower side, it’s a great place to make a stop if you’re looking for something quick and easy. Just make sure to get there early! Doors may open at 10am, but there’s always a queue at this popular spot.
Opening Hours: 10:30am to 12:30am Monday to Friday, 10am to 12:20am Saturdays and Sundays
One Dim Sum, Shop 1&2, G/F Kenwood Mansion, 15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2789 2280
Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists – The Best Value
Possibly the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, this is a joint you don’t want to miss. With a global presence peppered around Asia (and even in Australia and America), and several locations scattered across town from Hong Kong Station to Sham Shui Po, you have no excuses not to drop by. Queues start early and there are no reservations, so be sure to plan your timing strategically and get there early (but if there’s already a queue, the wait is definitely worth it!). We recommend the world famous Crispy Char Siu Baos – the light-as-air buns burst with sweet, tender pork and BBQ sauce. The best part is the price; even eating to our hearts’ (and stomachs’) content, we never seem to spend more than $50 to $80 per person!
Opening Hours: 10am to 9:30pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 9:30pm Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, opening hours vary by location
Crystal Lotus – Best for Indulging your Disney Obsession
Unleash your inner child and return to your younger days at Disneyland Hotel’s Chinese restaurant. Indulge yourselves with its signature character dim sum, including Baymax buns and the Mickey’s Double-Layer Turnip and Taro pudding. Serving up food from the four major culinary regions of China with a contemporary flair, no tickets are needed (just be sure to call ahead to order your dim sum)!
Opening Hours: 12pm to 2:30pm for lunch Monday to Friday, 6pm to 10pm for dinner Monday to Thursday, 6pm to 10:30pm for dinner Fridays, 11am to 3pm for lunch, 6pm to 10:30pm for dinner Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays
Crystal Lotus, Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, 3510 6000, www.hongkongdisneyland.com
Mott 32 – Best For Special Occassions (without the little ones!)
If you’re out for a special occasion, #treatyoself and whomever you’re out with to delectably contemporary twists on dim sum and Pekingese at the stunning Mott 32. The gorgeous, interior design-winning atmosphere, blends lofty New York industrial style with imperial Chinese elements – the space is as impressive as the food itself. Paired with its signature Hong Kong-style cocktails (and mocktails!) or selections from its curated wine list of some of the finest from around the globe, your taste buds are in for a thrill. We recommend the South Australian Lobster Har Gow and the Black Truffle Siu Mai topped with poached quails eggs from the dim sum menu, and the signature Maine lobster fried rice off the dinner menu has us drooling over our keyboards. For drinks, we love the Hong Kong Iced Tea and the sound of the Milk Tram (how fun!). Be sure to order its signature dishes, the crispy and smoky Apple Wood Roasted 42 Day Peking Duck and the charred-but-sweet Barbeque Pluma Iberico Pork with Yellow Mountain Honey – both are only served in limited portions daily, so be sure to order one day ahead!
Mott 32, Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 2885 8688 www.mott32.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.
Opening Hours: 6am to 4pm daily
Lin Heung Teahouse, G/F Tsang Chiu Ho Building, 160-164 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Yum Cha – Best for Instagram
If you’ve got picky eaters on your hands, perhaps some cute little buns will do the trick. Home to the famous “vomiting” custard buns and an eclectic cast of bao characters, young ones will have a blast playing with their food (because, finally, they’re allowed to!). The soft minty green and white interiors and super photogenic dishes make this resto a haven for Instagrammers, and with locations in Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, its whimsical buns and delicious dishes are easily accessible on either side of the harbour. Offering up incredibly attractive options for lunch and dinner alongside its famous buns, its char siu bao (BBQ pork buns) come in a trio just like the three little pigs, and its sweet and sour pork and pineapple Singapore vermicelli is sure to whet your kids’ appetites.
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 4pm for lunch and 6pm to 10:30pm for dinner Monday to Friday, 11:30am to 4pm for lunch in Central (or 4:30pm in Tsim Sha Tsui), 6pm to 10:30pm for dinner Saturdays, 11am to 4pm for lunch in Central (or 4:30pm in Tsim Sha Tsui), 6pm to 10:30pm for dinner Sundays and public holidays
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
Fook Lam Moon – Best for Spotting VIP’s
Known as the “tycoon’s canteen”, this upscale resto has a reputation for hosting some of the city’s highest fliers, and it’s a favourite for a reason. Offering up some truly classical Cantonese fare, you can expect luxurious, traditional dishes and authentic dim sum, with everything ranging from sliced beef shank marinated in special sauce, glutinous rice with dried scallops, and chicken steamed in lotus leaf, to congee with fresh lobster and steamed lotus seed paste buns with salted egg yolk. With every dish prepared to perfection, this fancy schmancy Michelin-starred joint is truly to place to see and be seen (in business casual, no less!).
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 3pm for lunch, 6pm to 11pm for dinner
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
Duddell’s – Best for Boozy Brunches and Alfresco Dining
Fancy a weekend brunch and some quality time in an artsy interior? Hit up Duddell’s, where a rotating gallery by guest curators and organised by its resident art manager graces the walls of a beautiful interior by celebrated British designer Ilse Crawford. The chic Michelin-starred Cantonese dining room serves up some of the best dim sum in the city at its weekend salon brunch, complemented by unlimited champagne, cocktails, and an assortment of fresh juices and soft drinks. Enjoy these mouth-watering traditional delights in the buzzing atmosphere, and revel in the fact that, like the beverages, the food is free-flow as well. Perfect for a weekend brunch – you can’t go wrong with Duddell’s!
Opening Hours: 12pm to 3pm for brunch Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, lunch and dinner hours vary by location and day, more information here.
Duddell’s, 3-4/F, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2525 9191, www.duddells.co
Dim Dim Sum – Best for a Quick Bite Any Time of Day
If you’ve only got time for a quick bite, Dim Dim Sum is the perfect place to hit up. With several branches around town, this no frill eatery specialises in dim sum, but also offers up other more filling mains such as a variety of congee and steamed rice bowls. We recommend the black truffle xiao long bao (Shanghainese soup filled pork dumplings) and the “golden sand” little pig buns with sweet runny filling. There are also meat-free options, so be sure to check those out if you’re a veggie!
Opening Hours: 11am to 2am (opening hours may vary by location)
Dim Sum Square – Best For a Cheap and Quick Lunch
When the dim sum craving hits you midday, opt for a casual local dining experience at Dim Sum Square! Always good for a quick lunch or a small bite, the simple but satisfying Cantonese comfort food joint offers old-fashioned fare at wallet-friendly prices. With a wide range of the quintessential classics (including vegetarian options!), you’re sure to find your favourite on the menu!
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm Monday to Saturday, 8am to 10pm Sundays
Dim Sum Square, G/F Fu Fai Commercial Centre, 27 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2851 8088
Social Place – Best for Delicious Illusions
If you have trouble getting your kids to try new things, head on over to Social Place and teach them not to judge dim sum by its looks. Best known for its dim sum made to look like the ingredients inside, Social Place prides itself on its contemporary Chinese cuisine created with healthier ingredients. Must-tries include its truffle shitake buns that look like giant mushrooms themselves, and the “pears”, a cream soup-filled dumpling. Younger children might like the sweet potato piggy buns and the “turtle” barbeque pork buns, and anyone with a romantic side will fawn over the steamed rose floret buns.
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm
Dim Sum Icon – Best for a Fun Experience
Best known for its collaboration with Sanrio, the creator of Hello Kitty and the Little Twin Stars, Dim Sum Icon offers a creative visual twist to traditional dim sum. Recently collaborating with the Sailor Moon concept, these creative buns are sure to delight in Cantonese comfort food form. Rest assured that everything you order will be cute and on theme; your kiddos will have a blast with the funny faces steamed into the dim sum. Just be sure to snap a few photos!
Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm
Dim Sum Icon, Shop L308 3/F The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2885 1345 www.facebook.com/DIMSUMICON
This article was originally published on 17 November, 2017, and has been updated by Lucia Lau.
Featured image via Getty Images;