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Best Dim Sum in Hong Kong

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  • Nox Aug 17, 2006 05:05 AM
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I'll be going to Hong Kong for the first time in the fall, and am hoping someone might point me in the direction of one of the better (best?) dim sum restaurants in the city. I'm particularly interested in knowing if there is a restaurant that offers an extremely wide selection of dishes, since I'd ideally like to sample things I can't easily get anywhere else (I like har gow, siu mai, etc., but I want to find new and creative offerings).

I don't care a jot about ambiance, old world charm, language issues, cleanliness of the washrooms, or service (as long as it's not so atrocious, it gets in the way of enjoyment) - it's all about the food for me.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. Lung King Heen and Yan Toh Heen. I'll be posting a short review on Chopstix in the next week.

    1. Agree, the 4 seasons restaurant is the best. Not a big selection though.

      1. Lee Garden is excellent

        2 Replies
        1. re: tk467

          I second Lee Garden. I usually go to the one at North Point. And they DO have creative dim sums as well.

          1. re: jennjen18

            hi jen,
            i'll be in HK for the next 3 wks visiting my grandmother. she lives in North Point. do you have recommendations for area restaurants? my grandmother can't cook b/c she hurt her arm and she doesn't trust my cooking so i'm trying to find as many good restaurants in her neighborhood as i can. thanks in advance!

        2. Luk Yu is good in central. Its been around for quite a while (maybe not that location). Its like old world dim sum atmosphere. I recommend going early. They still serve with these steamers they carry on their shoulder. Later in the day you order on paper. Its best to go early. I was there around 9am and it was not crowded. They serve a good dinner there too.
          This place is a classic.

          1. I was at Luk Yu Tea House yesterday for lunch. The place was packed. I was a bit nervous going by myself (first time) and not speaking the language. They couldn't have been more hospitable. The service was terrific. I had very crispy Calimari, Siew mai, and Choy sum. The food was delicious.
            When I visit HK, I always have a meal at Luk Yu.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Cerise 37

              I am glad you got good service at Luk Yu. My experience as a Chinese American has been less than stellar. Unless you are a regular there, you get down right rude service, including questions about how long you are going to take because you are sitting at a table for a regular who may show up anytime.

              1. re: PeterL

                Luk Yu is for wealthy old customers just like Fook Lam Moon and Yung Kee. There are many more good restaurants there as long as you are willing to spend. Yung Kee sucks as they always tell you to go there after 9:30 PM but Luk Yu is easier to locate a booth in the evening.They are in the same neigbourhood within short walking distance. Try Red Star on Wyham Street. It is much cheaper.

                1. re: 138ctf

                  I know this might not be that helpful, but I just want to say that despite all the nasty allegations which are unfortunately 100% true, Luk Yu can be spectacular if you have a connection with the restaurant and order their signature dishes. For instance, I think their sweet and sour pork (!) is phenomenal and something I just can't find anywhere else in Hong Kong (well, maybe at Sang Kee in Wanchai). Their chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, partridge porridge, pig's lung soup with almond essence, and prawn toasts are also incredible.

                  1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                    Agree! Luk Yu uses a 'secret ingredient' - Haw Berry tablets in the sweet and sour sauce!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      No wonder! A friend swears by - of all things - its cha siu bao.
                      I am a 3-rd generation Luk Yu regular. As for the statement "Luk Yu is for wealthy old customers", I am not yet old and not remotely wealthy. :-(

                      1. re: Parigi

                        We went to Luk Yu Teahouse for lunch today and it is bad. Quite frankly the worst dim sum of my life - and I don't just mean in HK..

                        We are used to navigating HK service and it took some persistence to get seated as all three floors were booked out. We ordered a reasonable selection including the standard test of har gow, these arrived first, the skins were thick and chewy and the prawn lacked that great fresh crunch you get with great ones. A poor start and the meal went further downhill with a giant steamed bun filled with rubber chicken, and some steamed duck rolls with the texture of shoe soles. The best dish was a BBQ pork pie, which I assumed was a mis-translation; it wasn't it came out as a nice little pie with quite sweet pastry (which was a bit thick).

                        Was this a hearty winter menu designed to line the stomach and keep out the cold (it is bloody freezing here this week), or did they let the washer-up have a go at making the dim sum as an experiment, or is it really a place for regulars where the food is incidental?

                        1. re: PhilD

                          @ PhilD: LOL!!! I was surprised to read your post on Luk Yu! A serious foodie like yourself falling into the tourist trap! Man! This place is so ooooooold school. My Grand Pa used to frequent the place years ago for the atmosphere, the birds singing in cages and a place to read the newspaper whilst having dim sum in a steamer or two to munch on. Its not unlike going to Les Deux Magots in Paris for the 'experience rather than bistro food'!
                          Better luck next time!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu

                            Yes convienience got the better of us as we were heading to the hardware shops on Wellington Street to try and insulate our windows to keep the freezing weather at bay. I did feel quite sorry for the all the "happy" tourist couples who were arriving as we left. What really mystified me was the number of locals obviously entertaining visitors: why there...! My dinner yesterday was also less than stellar - more sbout that on another thread.

                            1. re: PhilD

                              My first time in Luk Yu was in the 1960s, as a wide-eyed 6-year-old accompanying my parents (we were holidaying in HK), hosted by our HK uncle & aunt. Luk Yu was so posh then, A line of Rolls Royces were parked outside, regulars in checked jackets inside sipping tea, old-school dim sum borne out to the dining room by stout waitresses on trays, each announcing what they had in a sing-song voice. What stuck in my mind then were the brass spittoons on the floor for customers to clear their throats in-between their sips of tea and nibbles of dim sum (yech!). The place was posher than anything we had in Singapore then.

                              The very last time I went to Luk Yu was in 1992 (Gawd, has it been 20 years now?!). Still a line of Rolls & Bentleys of the regulars parked outside. You'd recognize the owners of the cars inside the restaurant sipping their morning tea over their newspapers - as the waiters would be fawning all over them whilst pretty much ignoring the rest of us Plebeians (much like how Yung Kee treats people *today* actually). Spittoons were still there, though more decorative than for actual use. The dim sum, borne by elderly waitresses - heck, the women could still had been the same ones from my first visit, but aged significantly thence - were, even then, not really the best in town: they were large - almost golf-ball-sized, but lacked the lightness & subtlety in taste that we looked for in good dim sum. I went there then to re-visit a little part of my childhood. My more adult tastebuds then revealed to me Luk Yu's kitchen shortcomings. I'd never gone back there again since.

                              P.S. - I think locals still bring visitors there just to experience the old HK teahouse, albeit a rather posh one, atmosphere.

                            2. re: Charles Yu

                              Better than Deux Magots !
                              Bird-song contests ! That is one thing that has disappeared in tea houses, along with the large dimsum platter strapped on long strap around the waitresses' neck, much like the cigarette girls' dégaine in Bogie movies.
                              Men of leisure - obviously, since they spent all morning there, - would bring their bird in an ornate cage, and the birds would engage in a singing contest.
                              Now in London there are antique dealers specializing in those vintage bird-cages.
                              Last time I went to Luk Yu, the bras spittoons are there. But don't, I repeat DON'T, spit into them ! They are now used for storing the bill for the meal.
                              And the Sikh doorman was still there too.

                      2. re: hong_kong_foodie

                        "For instance, I think their sweet and sour pork (!) is phenomenal and something I just can't find anywhere else in Hong Kong"

                        Purists swear by:

                        得龍大飯店 (Tak Lung Restaurant) in Sun Po Kong

                        http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...

                        very famous for their 50+ yr old classical sweet and sour pork receipe (along with 金錢雞 (chicken liver wrapped with cha siu), 古法太爺雞 (tea leaves smoked chicken) etc.

                        But yes, those are indeed the best dishes you mentioned at Luk Yu.

                        1. re: K K

                          Tak Lung is indeed very good if you are looking for very traditional Cantonese food though the location is very inconvenient for most visitors, or even Hong Kong residents.
                          But the best "sweet & sour pork" I had is at Tim's Kitchen in Macau!

                2. For the life of me, I don't get Luk Yu. Maybe the attraction is the old Hong Kong ambience given the modern anonymous metropolis feel of 2006 HK. Perhaps for the inexperience dim sum eater, the food seems exotic and unique.

                  As a Chinese-American who has experienced fine dim sum in the NYC, SF, LA, Honolulu, Vancouver and Toronto, I find the food at Luk Yu to be as dated and musty as the decor, the service gruff and the dining room a cliche. It is always listed as a must see in travel guide books and tourists seem to rave about it. Would someone enlighten me??

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: billee

                    billee -- I'm with you. My wife and I hit Luk Yu a couple years ago, and found the whole experience unsatisfying. Tables were grungy, waiters not helpful, food - as you say - mushy - as well as greasy. No interest at all in returning.

                    We're heading to HK again in a couple weeks. What we'd love to find is a "modern" source of dim sum, friendly to English speakers, and with a range of vegetarian offerings.

                    1. re: fpatrick

                      What does a dim sum lunch at Luk Yu cost these days? Last time I went with family was in the 80s, it was like HK$600.

                    2. re: billee

                      Luk Yu is a very famous tea palor and my family use to have a room reserved for dinner everynight. This was a long time ago and don't know how the dinner is there now. Its best to go early in the morning to avoid the hustle and bustle. There are other places that offer better Dim Sum, but I like this place because they served previous generations of my family.

                    3. I usually have dim sum at Cheena over in Causeway Bay. I wouldn;t consider this the best dim sum place in Hong Kong, but it's a little fancier and they have EVERYTHING. The menu is extensive and in english. No carts, but everything comes out in a steamer basket per one. Dim sum is usually big enough to be shared amongst 2 people, and everyone also has their own tea pot.

                      1. I think anyone interested in dim dum in Hong Kong owes it to himelf or herself to check out the gallery of the best items from the best dim sum establishments by Primo Hong Kong food blogger Cha Xiu Bao:

                        http://chaxiubao.typepad.com/photos/t...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Gary Soup

                          Gary - What an great link to an incredible collection of food photos!! It is 8:00 AM and I am drooling. Thanks!

                          1. re: kstroble

                            Seconded. I'm going to Hong Kong in a month, and other than 5 or 6 different items, I don't know the names.

                            This will allow me to know what I'm looking at or order what I want. Plus now when i eat dim sum in London, Paris, or the US, the name of the same thing is always different, even in the same language because either the translation is different (one restaurant calls it paté de navet, another "galette de navet" i.e. fried turnip cakes), or because the translator didn't know the name for the food in that language. This way, wherever I am, I can order lo bak go and get what I want!

                        2. Victoria Harbour Seafood takes gold for me.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: s0memale

                            If I had to pick one place for dim sum it would be Victoria...has enough selection and at the same time the quality is very high. If I felt like fighting for my food then it's off to Metropole (名都). No doubt some of the hotels also do a very good job, but they suffer in terms of selection.

                            Luk Yu is nowhere on my list for dim sum...I can do without old, arrogant waiters and food quality that probably hasn't improved in 50 years while the rest of the world has moved on. I can, however, understand that people go more for nostalgia...

                            1. re: Peech

                              Do you prefer the Victoria City Seafood at Sung Hung Kai Plaza or Citic Tower? I just had Dim Sum at the Citic branch 2 weeks ago. Will recommend the very delicious Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao: the crab roe is from 黃油蟹 (English translation: ???), it is in season now, I don't know how long it will last though.

                              Agree to forget about Luk Yu.

                              I can't really name the "best" Dim Sum place. There are too many items there; hard to say one that is the best in all the items. But one of my favorite that is not mentioned here is Golden Leaf at Conrad Hotel; the Dim Sum menu is very innovative, food is very delicious with top notch service as well. Need to reserve early as it gets full all the time.

                              1. re: FourSeasons

                                Used to go to SHK only but these days CITIC is more convenient for me. Yes, definitely splurge on the yellow oil crab xiaolongbao.

                                I've always had a soft spot for Golden Leaf, but as I mentioned before, all these places do a good job but suffer on selection.

                                1. re: FourSeasons

                                  Hi FS,

                                  I also really like Victoria and I think their soup dumpling is probably the best in Hong Kong, beating most of the places that called themselves specialized in soup dumpling. While the crab roe xiao long baos with yellw oil crab (ok, i made this name up) are good, I actually like the ones with hairy crabs. I found the roe to be more flavorful with more "character" (sort of abstract but I hope you know what I mean). But that we will have to wait later in the year.

                                  Yellow oil crab season uses to end about now, but this year the hot days came late. I don't think it will last much longer, the most will be mid-Sep if it continues to stay really hot.

                                  Back to dim sum, I really like Cuisine Cuisine at IFC on the more innovative takes. For more traditional, Fook Lam Man and Fu Sing mentioned by Charles below are pretty safe bet, albeit lack of variety like Peech mentioned. A very underrated place that I really like is the Royal Garden at the basement of Royal Garden Hotel. I found them to be very consistent in quality both at lunch and dinner.

                                  As for Luk Yu, while I agree that their dim sum sucks, their dinner is very very good! Of course that's provided that you know to order their specialty.

                                  1. re: kobetobiko

                                    Hi Ko:

                                    Yes, agree the hairy crab roe is much better than the "yellow oil crab" but we have to wait for another 2 months and I am happy to settle for the "yellow oil crab" for the time being. I used to love the hairy crab roe xiao long bao at Victoria but on a visit 2 years ago, I was disappointed and then realized the main chef has moved and opened his own restaurant Fu Shing, which I thought the hairy crab row xiao long bao was truly marvelous, probably the best one I ever had. But I have a rather mixed review of Dim Sum at Fu Shing, some were excellent (like the char siew bbq, the xiao long bao were just so delicious) and some were just mediocre. I actually preferred the dinner there; the hua tiao flower crab was simply the best in town based on my experience.

                                    As to Cuisine Cuisine, I gave a thumb down on their dinner dishes and service level which I wrote on another thread. Never tried the Dim Sum there. I was also quite disappointed with the Dim Sum at the legendary Foo Lam Moon. It was decent but I was expecting better than that due to the legendary name. I have never tried the Dim Sum at Royal Garden or dinner at Luk Yu so not able to comment.

                                    1. re: FourSeasons

                                      Hi FS, I used to LOVE yellow oil crab - until I read HK foodblogger Cha Xiu Bao's write-up. Apparently, during the hot summer months, 1 or 2 out of 10 female crabs will get sick. These fevered crabs' roe melted due to their illness & oozed out as the yellow oil.

                                      http://chaxiubao.typepad.com/chaxiuba...

                                      1. re: FourSeasons

                                        Hi FS,

                                        Actually I haven't tried dinner at Cuisine Cuisine but have ordered non dim sum items during lunch time. I thought they were quite good! I will try to look up your review and see where the discrepancy appeared.

                                        As for Fook Lam Moon, I think their stronger "dim sum" are the non-dumpling styled dishes, like their chicken/duck feet braised with abalone sauce, beef balls, roast pork (燒腩仔, take me forever to search for the Chinese word as I can't type Chinese...) at lunch time. Perhaps to be technical I should say their lunch is pretty good rather than dim sum, though I tend to mix and match.

                                        By the way, you recalled I used to like Farm House's dim sum? I went there after they moved and was very disappointed by the food. No where close to what they use to be. I don't know if it's an off day and simply because they changed chef /moved to a new location, but I don't think I will be back anytime soon unless I hear some good reviews from friends.

                                        1. re: kobetobiko

                                          Hi Ko,

                                          I agree that Farm House has gone downhill and I will probably not go back. See my earlier experience: http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...

                                          I thoroughly enjoyed FLM's dim sum during my last lunchtime visit. I really had nothing to complain about in terms of food quality.

                                          1. re: kobetobiko

                                            Hi Ko:

                                            My review of Cuisine Cuisine is at the bottom of the thread "TOP END..." :
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/519768

                                            I cannot remember what I ate at Foo Lam Moon. That was 2 years ago, before joining Chowhound. Pre-chow era: I don't keep much details, only assigned a rating of "excellent", "good" or "mediocre" at the end of the meals. After joining Chowhound, I am amazed by how much details serious foodies like you, Peech, klyeoh, CharlesYu keep on the journals to remember all the fine points. So now I am trying to have this "good" habit too.

                                            But the problem of reviewing a place that has been recommended by gourmands is the elevated expectation prior to entering the restaurants. Using the Wall Street term, it is about "beating the expectation", whether the experience at the end of the meal "beats" the benchmark I set for the meal. For Foo Lam Moon (refer just Dim Sum meal) and Babbos (on our previous discussion on Manhattan Board), I thought they were good but I was expecting them to be "great". I can't review them just like any restaurant that I stepped into due to the "legendary" names they have in the marketplace.

                                            I have not been back to Farm House for like 3-4 years. With the downgrade review by Peech and you, there is just no reason to return there again then.

                                      2. re: FourSeasons

                                        Yes! I strongly concur with FS recommendation of Golden Leaf at the Conrad. Not only was the Dim Sum very good, dinner was excellent as well. I recalled having a sauteed grouper fillet with shrimp eggs and yellowing chives that was heavenly, the last time I ate there!

                                        Now back to the subject of 'Best Dim Sum' place(s). IMO, I think trying to single out 'the best' in a gourmet paradise like HK is mission impossible! With so many dim sum places to choose from, I noticed even 'second tier' places very often can come up with unique or ultra tasty signature dishes that lure patrons back for more. A few such examples include the addictive ultra juicy B-B-Q pork pineapple buns of Wan Chai's Fu Sing. The unique and tasty 'crispy skin' Har Gow with prawns and 'broth' filling of Causeway Bay's Star of Canton and last but not least, the heavenly braised chicken feet and peanuts with an intense abalone sauce of 'Toh Yuen' on Hysan Avenue close to Da Domenica. The sauce was so good that I was almost tempted to get a baguette from the pasry/bistro down the road just to mop up this great sauce!

                                        Finally, there's always the 'seasonal' occasions when restaurants use 'in-season' ingredients such as Hairy crab meat and roe in the fall or 'Truffles' in their Dim Sum repertoire to elevate the degree of wowness. Lung King Heen in the Fourseasons Hotel using ' Australian' truffles in their Dim Sum dishes was one such example. Does the ability of the Dim Sum chef to use such exotic ingredients in their creation elevate the restaurants to being 'the best' is open to debate! However, I do admire the innovativeness of the chef!

                                    2. re: s0memale

                                      Thanks to all for the recommendations of Victoria City. I ate at the Sun Hung Kai Centre branch yesterday, and enjoyed the meal immensely. My level of expectations for dim sum have been raised several notches by this experience. All of the food was very fresh; the fried foods were so light and flaky (even better than a good croissant's shell); the dumplings were steamed to just the right point, neither too gummy nor falling apart; the soup dumpling was just as you all have described. My only complaint might be that the the rice rolls I had could have been warmer and a tad bit firmer.

                                      The staff told me that they change the selection of dim sum items on the menu every day. And that they usually have a broader range of dishes on offer on Sundays than on Saturdays.

                                    3. Does anyone know of a place in HK that does great soup dumplings like what they serve at Joe's Shanghai in NYC?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Jer

                                        yes, Victoria Harbour Seafood, has the soup dumplings with crab meat. Its 28HKD for one, but worth it!

                                        1. re: Jer

                                          Joe's soup dumplings are just an individual's "take" on xiaolong bao. Asking for soup dumplings "like Joe's Shanghai's" in HK or China is like going to Rome and asking for pizza like Patsy's or Difara's.

                                          1. re: Jer

                                            Yes, though bear in mind that as with pretty much everything, portions are smaller in Hong Kong, and this is no exception -- the dumplings are smaller sized. You can get them at Shanghai Kitchen, Shop 322, 3/F, Maritime Square (exit A2 from Tsing Yi MTR/AX station), which also has other wonderful Shanghai treats.

                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                              Thank you for the suggestions! We leave tomorrow and I'm looking forward to trying Victoria Harbour and Shanghai Kitchen.

                                          2. i hope to be eating at china club this xmas weekend. unfortunately its private members only, but is supposed to have super rockin dim sum. and the contemporary chinese art collection is museum worthy...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: modernist

                                              China club
                                              Had the dimsum lunch at China Club a few years ago, invited by the then owner. Great experience. But it's the whole experience, not just the dimsum...
                                              China Club used to offer temporary membership, with a different fee; probably still does. -- Or you can kidnap a member to take you there.

                                              Luk Yu
                                              Am also a Luk Yu habituée. Yes partly out of nostalgia, but not entirely. I like to go very early - like congee hour - or very late, around 2pm. A late lunch there is surprisingly leisurely, for HK standard anywhere. And let's be fair: the dimsum is good.
                                              Or maybe because I live in Paris, am used to the concept of withstanding some degree of humiliation to get good food...

                                            2. I had a most memorable Dim Sum lunch at 'FU SING' Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant, 353 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, a few days ago. Choices were very varied and unique with some new creations as well as variation on some old theme. Casing point, the 'pineapple/bbq pork bun' with its gloriously delicious filling is to die for and a must try! Even the common Har-Gao was made to perfection with whole, ultra crisp, fresh prawns and super thin wrapping that doesn't break. Some of their BBQ meat dishes reflect the best Hong kong could offer. Prices are a little bit more expensive but, if one would like to try top notch Dim Sum, then this is one of the place to go to. Definitely rated in the top 3 of Dim Sum places.

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                Hi C.Y.

                                                Going to try out Fu Sing. Sounds interesting and I've always trusted your comments in the Ontario forum. Visiting HK after a trip to Macau this week and going with a couple colleagues...going to try Fu Sing. Luk Yu was another choice but the food (dim sim) was mediocre at best my last two tries...ambience was fun but but my stomach say elsewhere.

                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                  I ate at Fu Sing about a year ago or so, and wanted to ask a couple questions about my experience. This could have all been attributable to being sort of hurried (very hungry, late lunch, small child):

                                                  1) I felt like I was having a lot of trouble communicating just using English & Mandarin. Admittedly my Mandarin sucks, but by comparison, it was good enough to sail smoothly through a dim sum meal at Dao Heung (稻香). I realize that Cantonese is the mother language of Hong Kong, and this complaint is sort of like complaining that Spanish & French aren't enough to have a meal in New York. But I'm not about to learn Canto anytime soon (I can't even say my name correctly), so I figured I'd ask.

                                                  2) Relatedly, I felt like I was having a lot of trouble reading the menu. I don't think it was just the simplified vs. traditional characters - I felt like the dishes had sort of obscure names, like one dish was called "brothers something something" when it was in fact cha shao or har gow. Again, my only real points of reference are the abovementioned Dao Heung, and also Victoria Harbor Seafood. At those restaurants, reading the menu was pretty easy.

                                                  3) The dishes did not seem that traditional to me, but more like re-inventions or riffs on traditional dishes. (I don't think the presence of the kid had anything to do with this). The example I can think of was that the baked cha shao bao had large pieces of 1,000 year preserved egg. Which may be traditional, but was the first time I'd ever run across it. I recall something different about the har gow (xia jiao), but it was a year ago or more and I don't remember.

                                                  4) As you say, it is significantly more expensive than Dao Heung or Victoria Harbor.

                                                  I don't mean to come across as complaining; I greatly appreciate your writing on this board and the suggestions you've given me in the past. I'm just curious if my experience was accurate or perhaps unduly influenced by a sort of crazy afternoon.

                                                  I should add, that traditional or not, expensive or not, the food was of very high quality. Thanks again.

                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                    I tried to have dim sum at Fu Sing today (Sunday). I say tried because I was a single diner without a reservation. Why would I attempt to get in on a Sunday at noon without a reservation?, you ask. Because I had no problem doing that yesterday at Victoria City (Sun Hai Kai Centre); in fact, I didn't even have to wait to get a table to myself at Victoria City, even though they were reasonably busy.

                                                    I don't yet know how the food at Fu Sing tastes, but I can say unequivocally that the front of the restaurant is managed VERY poorly. Two elevators open directly onto the area of the host's desk, and into that tiny space, measuring no more than perhaps 15 x 8 feet, more than 30 people were crammed, all trying to get the host's attention. Meanwhile, the servers were also trying to squeeze through the same space, carrying trays loaded with food to the dining areas, on the one hand, and dirty dishes back to the kitchen, on the other. The germophobe in me was aghast at the way all of the waiting customers were breathing on and talking over the food passing by. And every 3 - 5 minutes, the elevators would open, bringing another load of people to further pack into the "waiting area."

                                                    Unlike me, most of those parties had reservations, yet they still had to wait. At least one party which arrived after me waited 45 minutes or more to be seated, even though their name was near the top of the reservations list. Several waiting customers complained to others in their parties (in English) about how horrible the crowding and long wait were.

                                                    I asked one of the other customers whether the restaurant is always this busy on Sundays, and he said that this crowd wasn't bad at all. Ordinarily, there would be long queues downstairs; there were no queues downstairs today because of the recession, he said.

                                                    There is a table in the corner to the side of the elevators that the management should remove on busy days like this to provide more space (with chairs) for those who are waiting to be seated. The crowds should be kept out of the servers' way. And a member of the staff (perhaps a couple of members) should be assigned to crowd management, not allowing people to come up from the lobby until there is room to accommodate them.

                                                    Despite these grievances, I saw so many dishes that looked utterly amazing, and so many customers leaving with smiles on their faces, that I will surely be back to get a taste for myself. I just hope they offer the same menu (and cooked with the same care) on weekdays as they do on the weekend.

                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                      Hi racer x:

                                                      I don't know if you realize that Sunday afternoon is the favorite time for Hong Kong families to gather together for Dim Sum. Not only that, they tend to spend more time finishing their meals since they don't have to rush back to work. If you want to avoid the crowd, don't go for Dim Sum on a Sunday in Hong Kong. Period. Sorry for what happened to you but I will still suggest you to make a reservation for weekdays as well and try to get there early before the office crowd goes for lunch. I don't know how the business has been affected by the recent recession, but it was really full too on weekdays on my past visits but certainly not as bad as your description.

                                                      1. re: FourSeasons

                                                        Yes, FS, I realized that Sun afternoon is a popular time for dim sum (it certainly is in cities in the States and Canada where I've eaten dim sum), but in most of the restaurants I can think of, the staff do a vastly superior job of caring for the customers who are waiting -- giving them an estimate of how long they may have to wait, queuing them up (even using walkie talkies to communicate between the host in the dining hall and the staff downstairs at some of the larger restaurants in NYC), etc. I think the fact that so many of the other customers who were waiting with me today were also disgusted by the experience is very telling -- I can't imagine that all of us were tourists visiting there for the first time.

                                                        1. re: racer x

                                                          Yes, this is a problem that many of the traditional restaurants failed to improve yet. Their businesses are so good that they don't feel a need to focus on the service. The hotel restaurants would grab the business (especially for tourists) where the customers want to have better attention, service and ambiance. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Michelin refuses to award star to the traditional ones. My suggestion would remain to make a reservation for an earlier spot than the office crowd on a weekday. But then the next problem maybe communication problem like what JTS above experienced.

                                                          1. re: FourSeasons

                                                            Funny you should mention the Michelin stars. I could swear that prominently displayed on the wall between the elevators directly across from the host's desk at Fu Sing was an article announcing that Fu Sing has been recognized by Michelin. I didn't actually read the article, so I could be wrong. But someone should take a look at the article (or the actual Michelin guide, not the news reports) and see what's what.

                                                            1. re: racer x

                                                              Sorry for that erroneous information about Fu Sing and Michelin. The article posted at the entryway at Fu Sing is just a blow up of the Fu Sing entry in the Michelin guide. No stars or other special recognition.

                                                      2. re: racer x

                                                        I went back to Fu Sing for dim sum today, Monday, a single diner without a reservation. Arrived about 11:30.

                                                        What a different experience. There were only 2 other tables occupied (although by the time I left just after 1:00 about 75% of the tables were occupied). The entryway seemed much more spacious, as the staff had removed maybe 4 or 5 tables that had been in that area to help seat the capacity crowd of the weekend. I could actually appreciate the restaurant's rather elegant design with all of those extra people out of the way.

                                                        Now I understand why this place is so popular. The dim sum I had was very, very good. Some of the best, if not the best, fried turnip cakes I've ever had, hot and crispy on the outside, succulent inside. Very tasty "famous" hairy crab roe soup dumplings (although the soup dumpling I had at Victoria City the other day was even better). A few dishes I ordered I'd never seen before; such as steamed eel with fish maw and celery; deep fried ginko nut with shrimp on a skewer; and tiny sweet tarts filled with barbecued diced chicken and topped with walnuts (these looked delicious, but were not my favorite dish, mostly because I didn't like the walnuts). The har gow were the weakest dish, with wrappers that were just a little too gummy, but they were still better than at many other places. For part 2 of the dessert, I had a sago cream soup with mango and pomelo bits, also pretty good. I preferred the tea (jasmine tea) here over the somewhat more bitter tea I had had at Victoria City (Sun Hung Kai Centre) a couple of days ago. I also ordered a fresh apple juice drink (no doubt to the horror of dim sum purists), again very good. Unfortunately, I could not find the pineapple/bbq pork bun mentioned by Charles on the menu (this could have been the result of my inability to read Chinese -- maybe the bbq pork buns that were on the menu had pineapple, but I assumed they were just regular bbq pork buns like at any other restaurant, so I didn't order them).

                                                        As for difficulties communicating with the staff in English: I initially began to panic because the dim sum menus at the table were just in Chinese; but no worries, the staff brought an English-version of the dim sum menu when I requested one (I assumed there probably was one because the regular menu, which was also at the table, is in both Chinese and English). When I tried to ask several servers questions, they referred me to their captain, who was able to answer my questions. However, even she had trouble understanding me when I tried to explain that I had already been given my desserts (the kitchen seemed to think that the desserts hadn't been sent yet, and were preparing to send them again). I finally was able to get the message across by pointing to a few crumbs from the chicken and walnut tart that were on the tablecloth!

                                                        Note that their dim sum menu changes weekly. The same items are available on the weekend as on weekdays, so if you have the option of going on a weekday rather than on the weekend, I would strongly suggest you avoid the madness of Sunday and visit on a weekday.

                                                    2. I went to London Dim Sum at the Good Hope Building along Nathan Road. Not sure if that's the best but it was really great compared to what I had back in Malaysia. In terms of sizes, appearance and ingredients. All I can say is dining dim sum was really satisfying!!!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: penangtuapui

                                                        Second the recommendation of London Restaurant. I attended a banquet there several weeks ago. Usually, Chinese banquet food is pretty awful. To my amazement, the dishes at London were really good. The set banquet we had didn't include many of the standard "give face to your guest" ingredients like shark fin and abalone. Instead, they presented a series of great, home-style Cantonese dishes with humble ingredients like tofu, yam, vegetables. I was quite surprised by the quality of ingredients and the standard of the cooking.

                                                        I haven't tried their dim sum yet, but if they can get banquets right, I'm sure their dim sum is also worth trying.

                                                        This is a classic old joint, by the way--been on nathan road in mongkok for years and years.

                                                      2. Has anyone eaten at the restaurant that is on the 3rd floor of the building, Sunrise Plaza, that the Wan Chai Fu Sing Shark Fin Restaurant is in? As I was leaving Fu Sing, I rode the elevator up to the 3rd floor and saw, when the doors opened, a bustling restaurant that was even more crowded than Fu Sing. I asked a customer who joined me on the elevator as he left that restaurant how their dim sum was. He said it was very tasty and he felt not too expensive, considering the quality of the food. (He was accompanied by 3 or 4 tweenage girls, in uniforms, a couple of whom told me that they thought the food was expensive). It was their first time there, so they had been happily surprised at how good the food was, but they had never been to Fu Sing, so they couldn't offer a comparison between the two places.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: racer x

                                                          Sounds like you're talking about Tak Wing Restaurant...

                                                        2. I've been looking for innovative dim sum dishes, and T'ang Court at the Langham Hotel fit the bill nicely today. (At least most of the dishes on today's dim sum menu were things that I've never in the US.) Apart from the a la carte dim sum items, which cost about HKD $40 - 60 each, a set dim sum menu, for one or more diners, was available for about $240 (if I remember right).

                                                          The food was very good (except for some steamed dumplings that had been overcooked and fell apart), and they really pamper you there.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                            Just went to T'angs today. Wow, definitely true about the pampering. Lots of plate changing, lots of serving, lots of pouring tea for you... very attentive and considerate. We said that a baby will be in our party, and instead of setting a place, she put a plate, a bowl and a fork, which, the dad of the party appreciated a lot.

                                                            Food-wise. We had lots of good num nums:
                                                            Har gow
                                                            Siu mai
                                                            Stir fried cheung fun in XO sauce
                                                            Satay beef with cheung fun cooked in a pot
                                                            Black bean intestines with peppers
                                                            Gon chow ngau hor (the best there)
                                                            E-noodle in soup with crab meat (next best)
                                                            Roast pork (cha siu) bun
                                                            Fried bun with sweet egg in the centre
                                                            (so good....)

                                                            1. re: jennjen18

                                                              Hello jennjen18!
                                                              Happy CNY!
                                                              Fellow CHer skylineR33 is also in HK right now, so you might bump into him without knowing it?!
                                                              Is your 'T'angs' the same as 'T'ang Court' in the Langham hotel? If not, where about is it? I'll be visiting HK next month and would love to try out the 'Gon Chow ngau hor'
                                                              Thx!

                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                Oh I've only checked this post now (end of April...)!
                                                                How was your trip, Charles?
                                                                Yes, T'ang's is the same as Tang Court...
                                                                Hahaha.. I guess it was a popular time to visit HKG, it being CNY and all... :)

                                                          2. I had dim sum at Lung King Heen in the Four Seasons Hotel, near Honk Kong MTR station, today. The service there was of the highest calibre, unmatched by any other place I've visited in HK so far. The dim sum menu of several dozen choices was also the most innovative, with twists on all of the standard dim sum fare. (You can view the menus at the Four Seasons' website.)

                                                            It was hard to choose among the many tempting dishes, and I wanted to try more than I ultimately did, but I had had a large dinner late last night, so I finally settled on just four items: siu mai; baked barbecued pork and pine nuts buns, rice rolls with garoupa, preserved egg, and coriander; and steamed roast dumplings with minced vegetables (carrots, a spinach-like leafy green vegetable, and I think something else, don't recall).

                                                            Although I enjoyed the meal, the food did not quite live up to the wonderful service, stunning view of the harbour, and the expectations offered by the descriptions of the dishes on the menu. The wrappers of the duck dumplings disintegrated as I attempted to pick up each of them. The inclusion of pine nuts in the bbq pork buns, which were covered with a yellow sugary topping (kind of like on Chinese Mexican buns), made for a tasty addition to the standard bbq pork bun, but the sauce was a bit too rich, to the point of being cloyingly sweet and salty. The rice rolls were unexpectedly bland (I say unexpected in part because dishes with cilantro are rarely bland), but it's possible that that was what the chef was aiming for. I was able to rescue the rolls with some of the spicy sauces provided. And the siu mai were pretty standard dim sum fare. Most of the dim sum items cost HKD $45-80. The items on the standard lunch menu, which was also available, were much more expensive (lots of shark's fin, bird's nest, etc choices.)

                                                            Overall, I would rate the dim sum I had earlier in the week at Fu Sing and Victoria City as better tasting, but I will certainly return to Lung King Heen on future visits to HK.

                                                            18 Replies
                                                            1. re: racer x

                                                              racer _x, your description of "the bbq pork buns, which were covered with a yellow sugary topping (kind of like on Chinese Mexican buns), made for a tasty addition to the standard bbq pork bun" in Lung King Heen - that's exactly the "pineapple/bbq pork bun mentioned by Charles on the menu" in your earlier posting on Fu Sing which you said you missed. So, looks like you managed to taste "po lo bao" after all.

                                                              1. re: klyeoh

                                                                Yes! I believe klyeoh is correct!
                                                                I wonder how the b-b-q pork filling of the LKH 's version is like? As tasty and full of sauce as the Fu Sing Version? Fu Sing claimed their's to be ' #1 Bao under the sky!! ".

                                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                  The version at LKH had pine NUTS, I don't think it had pineapple -- at least, I didn't recognize any pineapple flavor.
                                                                  At any rate, I thought the filling was just too salty and too rich. Could have been an off batch.

                                                                  1. re: racer x

                                                                    Ha-ha, racer x - a HK pineapple bun is so-called not because it contained any pineapple at all (it doesn't). Rather, it's because the sugary top-crust has a criss-crossed design which, when baked golden-brown, somehow resembles the skin of a pineapple.

                                                                    I grew up eating the plain (unfilled) type which usually comes sandwiching a slice of butter - these are served in the "Cha chan tengs" or snack houses. Nowadays, the bbq pork-filled version seems to be gaining popularity in the dim sum restaurants.
                                                                    You can read a bit more here:
                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineappl...

                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                      i just went to fu sing last weekend, and the baked char siu bao was excellent.

                                                                      thx very much for the recommendation. also, the quality of victoria seafood has just gone downhill. fu sing is much much better

                                                                    2. re: Charles Yu

                                                                      Hi Charles,

                                                                      I had the regular bbq pork buns at LKH in the past (not the one with pineapple bun) and they were really good! Certainly some of the best-looking pork buns I had in Hong Kong. The filling was of high quality bbq pork without being too sweet or cloying. You could tell that they used the good parts of the bbq pork as the filling rather than the leftover bits for the buns.

                                                                      I recalled having the char siu at Fu Sing and it was SO delicious. I just can't
                                                                      do a direct comparison with LKH's as I dined at these two places too far apart to give a fair judgement. Will certainly do a taste test next time I am in Hong Kong

                                                                  2. re: racer x

                                                                    Hi racer x,

                                                                    I just checked for you and the restaurant on 3rd floor is Tung Yuen (East Garden). (There are a few Tung Yuen in Hong Kong, but I don't think they are related). I asked my friends and they said their dim sum is ok - cheaper but not as good as Fu Sing. Good for a lunch but not worth a special visit.

                                                                    Other thing that I remembered was that the chefs and staff at Fu Sing were all from Victoria Harbour. Of course there could be changes in staff and chefs, that considered that they are able to maintain the quality I imagine there wasn't any big turnover in their staff.

                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                      I'm sorry to report that I had my first-ever meal at LKH today and was utterly disappointed. I ordered 4 dim sum items and the hit rate was only 50%... Some of the other dishes fared no better.

                                                                      Based on my meal today, I would not even give the place a single star...Maybe my expectations were raised to unreasonable levels thanks to Mchelin...

                                                                      http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...

                                                                      1. re: Peech

                                                                        Oh dear, does it mean that (like what we've been suspecting all along) Michelin-ratings are pretty much swayed by ambience & service as well, and not, contrary to their claims, solely dependent on the quality and taste of the food served?

                                                                        1. re: Peech

                                                                          Wow!!!!

                                                                          Fourseasons also found the food at the 2* T'ang Court so-so! Definitely not 2* standard!

                                                                          Looks like Michelin is way off with some of its ratings?!

                                                                          In your opinion, so far, which rating is spot-on? Some of the 'western' places like Amber or L'Atelier may be? However, IMO, the 2* Tokyo L'Atelier is better than the HK's 2* L'Atelier! May be Michelin should start awarding 'half stars' as well?!

                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                            My logic is this: I would go to Fook Lam Moon and Golden Leaf any day of the week instead of Lung King Heen. Those two only received 1 star, so where does that leave LKH in my book?

                                                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                              L'Atelier got ** partly because there is a "jardin de joel robuchon" as well as an l'atelier. the jardin is slightly more "fine" compared to a "workshop"

                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                Hey Charles, just had dim sum at Tang Court and it is great ! We order like 10 dim sum and we like 7 of them, the order 2 is ok. The abalone puff is great, half price of the one at LKH, but they use mid east abalone instead, the flavour is really well-balances with a very soft and crisp skin, abalone is tender. Lobster Seafood dumpling in clear broth is also great, the broth is so sweet. I also like the shrimp & sea cucmber dumpling, skin is so delicate.

                                                                                We had a really expensive dinner at LKH last year and the food is not that impressive either...

                                                                                1. re: skylineR33

                                                                                  Hay! You're in HK! Lucky you! Its freezing here in TO! So much snow!

                                                                                  That abalone puff sure sounded appertizing, especially I havn't had breakfast yet! The other dim sum sounded pretty 'noveau' as well. How's T'ang's Har Gow? I always use that dish as my measuring yardstick for dim sum. Guess we need another chowmeet after you come back?! Need your valuable input before my trip to S'pore and HK end of February!

                                                                                  BTW, did you check out the TO board? evansl put Splendido as 'Worst in Toronto'! Wow!

                                                                                  Continue to have fun! Hope you can still have some 'live' chicken. Ha!

                                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                    Hi Charles, thanks ! I have not order Har Gow at Tang Court, but the shrimp with Sea cumumber dumpling is familiar with a more expensive ingradient used. The skin is delicate, it is great.

                                                                                    OpenRice does not work like this. I don't think there is a "best" in there, a restaurant can be given a "smile", a "ok" or a "crying face" and with all the written details. So it is hard to say whether a restaurant with 150 reviews of "100 smile, 50 crying face" is better than a restaurant with 15 reviews of "10 smile,5 Ok". I think one really needs to read the detail of the reviews to tell what is good or bad about a rated restaurant in there.

                                                                                    And I have given up on evansl. Yeah, we can arrange for another chowmeet when I return, I am stuffed to death in this trip !!!!!

                                                                                2. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                  Hi Charles:

                                                                                  Just need to clarify that I have a "lukewarm thumb up" on Tang's, that is certainly better than a "so-so"! I thought the dinner meal was good, but certainly did not live up to the 2 star standard that I expected prior to the meal. And since this is a Dim Sum thread, I would not comment on the dim sum standard at Tang's since I only had dinner there. But I do have to confess I do not have the taste bud of a Michelin when it comes to judging Chinese food as many of my favorite ones do not rank so high up on its list.

                                                                                  1. re: FourSeasons

                                                                                    Pardon me again, Fourseasons.

                                                                                    BTW, wonder how 'Openrice' rated T'ang court? Which is Openrice 'best' for Dim Sum and Cantonese dinner?

                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                      One of the problems with Openrice is that they categorize restaurants with tags, not single categories. For example, most fancy Cantonese restaurants that serve both dinner and dim sum will be categorized as "Cantonese food; dim sum" so if you search for the highest-rated dim sum restaurants you will get a lot of regular Cantonese dinner places that may or may not serve good dim sum.

                                                                            2. I stand by Dim Sum on Sing Woo Rd in Happy Valley. They make everything fresh (instead of using frozen dim sum like many other places). It's tiny and on the weekend there is often 30-60 minute wait (but there is a pacific coffee 2 doors down) but it's totally worth it. I used to live a block down and go almost once a week. No visit to HK is complete without a meal there. The lobster and Shrimp steamed dumpligs are amazing. They are also one of the only Dim Sum houses that serve in the evening.

                                                                              1. Aren't you all forgetting about lin heung teahouse?

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: alchung

                                                                                  definitely, surprised it's been brought up so late.

                                                                                  can't beat it for "authenticity", "nostalgia", food (pig liver siu mai, pig stomach siu mai, custard bun, custard "ma lai" cake...) and value (<$100 per person)

                                                                                  1. re: Sher.eats

                                                                                    Am ashamed that I've never been, even though my friend's family owns it...

                                                                                    1. re: Peech

                                                                                      ?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!

                                                                                      WHY.

                                                                                      1. re: Sher.eats

                                                                                        its really local, which i like. but local tends to be a bit on the greasy side for me.

                                                                                        1. re: schung

                                                                                          the "ma lai go" uses the same "starter" they've been using for decades, can't beat the flavour!

                                                                                2. Why wait in line when you can have a very good dim sum in a nice environment, without everyone talking at high decibel, with no one hacking and spitting out chicken bones around you. Go to Jasmine in the basement of Jardine House for an easy and relaxing meal with pre-booking available. Not fabulous but sometimes you just don't need hotel star quality or down and dirty originality. As to Northpoint you cannot go past Fung Seng. As authentic as you get.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: MR8888

                                                                                    eh? how do you eat chicken feet without spitting out the bones?

                                                                                    this thread is titled "the best" not "where to get"...

                                                                                  2. the dim sum chef of Lung King Heen (four seasons, 3 michelin stars) has opened his own dim sum restaurant in mong kok with "people's prices", I will be trying it tommorow and will report back...

                                                                                    http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...
                                                                                    http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/sting-life...
                                                                                    http://lmkhea.blogspot.com/2009/03/mk...

                                                                                    17 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Sher.eats

                                                                                      sher.eats, do the reasons whose links you've posted speak english? ? did you receive the email?

                                                                                      1. re: kev.mla

                                                                                        hmmmmm????

                                                                                        1. re: Sher.eats

                                                                                          do the "restaurants" sorry about that. my bad! :D

                                                                                          1. re: kev.mla

                                                                                            Lin Heung & Fung Sing, definitely no.

                                                                                            all the ones in Hotels and Fook Lum Moon, yes.

                                                                                            the one opened by former dim sum chef of Lung King Heen? probably not...

                                                                                            =)

                                                                                            1. re: Sher.eats

                                                                                              I am looking for a good dim sum recommendation which is both moderately priced and english friendly. I'm sure that so many of the best places in this region have menus that are almost entirely in Cantonese but I would like to order without having to point at the plates of my fellow diners.

                                                                                              1. re: BaltimoreSlim

                                                                                                I disremember the name of the place but also in Maritime Square there is a decent, not terribly expensive place for yum cha. I believe it's 3/F along with Shanghai Kitchen, but on the other side of the centre, near the D exit from the MTR station. The menus are in English as well as Cantonese.

                                                                                                1. re: BaltimoreSlim

                                                                                                  You have to check out Che's in Wanchai - I would seriously say that it's the best dim sum in HK - non hotel, non fine dining at reasonable price. Must make reservations though. The Broadway Building 4th Floor Wanchai Lockhart Rd. We go almost every weekend.

                                                                                                  1. re: onlygoodfood

                                                                                                    delete

                                                                                                    1. re: FourSeasons

                                                                                                      If you are into pinapple top bbq buns, that's what they're most famous for. Che's is highly recommended.

                                                                                        2. re: Sher.eats

                                                                                          Did you ever try the dim sum restaurant in mong kok opened by the chef of Lung King Heen? If so, what did you think?

                                                                                          1. re: sadashek

                                                                                            Overrated.

                                                                                            The dim sum quality is ok and the price is cheaper than hotel's dim sum restaurants but not really outstanding. It's more hype than anything else. Not worth the wait at all.

                                                                                            1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                              Thanks kobe...! I was planning to give it a try on my next trip. Guess now I'll head into Ming Court in the Langham instead!
                                                                                              BTW, how often do you visit HK? My next trip is March next year and I'm meeting up with Fourseasons for another chowmeet! Interested in joining us?...and talk about Bobba and the NYC dining scene?! Ha! Last tome HKtraveller, Peech, Sher_eats,Schung...etc attended. This time S'pore foodie klyeoh might fly up and join us too?!

                                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                Nowadays I actually travel fairly often, about once every two months, if not a month! But I usually just stay for a week so it depends on the timing. I would love to join you guys if our schedules fit!

                                                                                              2. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                Thanks for the info. We'll have one full day (a Saturday) and the following Sunday morning in Hong Kong. We will be staying near the Peninsula hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. Do you have favorite dim sum places you'd recommend in that area? Or any other favorite restaurants?

                                                                                                1. re: sadashek

                                                                                                  Two of my favourites are within walking distances. Tan'g Court inside the Langham Hotel ( Michelin 2*! ) and Yun Toh Heen inside the Intercontinental. Both places have very good Dim Sum. Make reservations or go early as it is weekend!

                                                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                    Do either serve dim sum from carts? I love to watch the parade, but am also happy to order off a menu. Any particular dim sum you adore at either place?

                                                                                                    1. re: sadashek

                                                                                                      Hi sadashek,

                                                                                                      There are only a handful of places in Hong Kong that still have carts for dim sum, most of them being very old dim sum places (and quality isn't too good).

                                                                                                      In TST, the ones suggested by Charles are very nice, albeit quite expensive (as they are hotel restaurants). Another two options are Lei Garden and Royal Gardens (the two are very close by)

                                                                                          2. I agree with many of the postings - Lung King Heen, Tang, and Yan T Heen are all great places, but super expensive and in luxury of hotel. If you want a casual place to go, don the fine dining ambiance, expensive tab but still enjoy THE MOST AMAZING DIM SUM. You have to check out Che's in Wanchai. It is one of the most hidden gems in HK dim sum scene. All the well to do families and tai tais come here..and reservations IS A MUST otherwise, forget about getting a table. I've been living in HK for over 4 years now and must say, we go almost every weekend. The food is impeccable, service as you would expect from local owners, and ambiance is alright. It's clean place, but the food is exceptional and the bill won't break your bank. Expect to shell out 350-400 for two - not cheap. Their signature is BBQ Pork bun - baked one with crunch crust top and melt in your mouth soft center. AMAZING. There's only a limited number per day, so order it first thing when you sit down. Shrimp dumpling, ribs, raddish cake, siu mai, lotus leaf rice wrap, signature shrimp sauce veggie in clay pot is to DIE FOR.
                                                                                            It's call Che's in Wanchai The Broadway Building, 4th floor on Lockhart Road. Try it, I know you will agree and be back!

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: onlygoodfood

                                                                                              A friend recommended Che's two years ago but I did not try because the review at openrice seem to be mixed: http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...

                                                                                              1. re: FourSeasons

                                                                                                I have been to Che's and I found it somewhat overpriced for what it offered. The service really sucked. I much prefer Fu Sing at Wan Chai which is also non-hotel restaurant with delicious dim sum at a reasonable price.

                                                                                                1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                                  I've been to Che's a couple of times, and while I thought the food was pretty good, it is waaaay too crowded and noisy. I find myself still going back to Victoria and the underrated Golden Leaf.

                                                                                                  1. re: Peech

                                                                                                    Ah! Golden leaf! Totally agree with you! klyeoh and my favourite also! Foodies do think alike, Ha! BTW, have you lost the pounds you gained during your France trip yet?

                                                                                            2. Whilst I am fairly well rehearsed with my French and Italian fine dining, I am a complete amateur when it comes to the Cantonese version.

                                                                                              I love a good dim sum, but most my experiences have been limited to restaurants in universities, Maxim's, Peking Garden (and other such restaurants in Cityplaza/Pacific Place).

                                                                                              Are the likes of Lung King Heen and other hotel restaurants any different in terms of taste in food and variety (ignoring ambience and service for a minute).

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: chinmoy.lad

                                                                                                So I've read through this entire thread and been to a handful of places in Hong Kong myself since I came back 3 months ago. My thoughts:

                                                                                                Yung Kee (Central): I actually go here almost every weekend for dim sum in the past 2 months cause it actually pretty convenient location wise from my parent's church. Food is good but lately I've found the place to be more on the 'ok' side (even the roast goose I think is slipping).

                                                                                                Fook Lam Mun (Wanchai): Went here for the first time in years with a few friends. Quality of food to me is very high. The standouts include the BBQ pork pastry (叉烧酥), shrimp dumplings (蝦餃) & egg tarts (蛋撻). The grilled pork belly (燒腩仔) was good too but it felt a little out of place for dim sum. Place is really nice and service is great. Although not super expensive I felt at times we had to hold back a little while ordering the bill was still about $200 each.

                                                                                                Canton Room (Wanchai): Not sure may people would consider this a great dim sum spot but I think they serve up some real quality dim sum here. Standouts for me include the shrimp dumplings (蝦餃), scallop xiao mai (燒賣) and the braised ox tail (not so much dim sum but still a very good dish). The cheung fun (腸粉) is amazing thin (looks translucent) which I don't particularly like but I think a lot of other people might consider great. Place is also comfortable and service is great. Only downside for me is it is a little out of the way by Glouster Road.

                                                                                                Lin Heung Kui (Sheung Wan): We went here cause my mom can't stand how 'dirty' Lin Heung Tea House is in Central and this is newly opened. Food was pretty good but to me nothing really to write home about. The standout by far was their tea and malay cake (馬拉糕) but I can't say I would come back here mainly cause A) not convenient at all to get there unless you are driving or live in Sheung Wan B) the chaotic nature of the place wasn't a plus in my book. Service was passable and the place was pretty simple.

                                                                                                Sportful Garden (Causeway Bay): I know the name sounds funny but I believe they are traditionally famous for abalone. Anyway, I came here a few weeks ago and the quality of dim sum is actually very good. The standouts include the cheung fun (腸粉) and spring rolls (春捲). Cheung fun's skin to me was exactly the way I like it. Super smooth but not super thin. The spring rolls were also super crunchy and light (so surprised). The other 'famous' dishes (like the abalone xiao mai or abalone BBQ bun) to me tasted pretty average. The place isn't as nice as Fook Lam Mun/Canton Room but still a pretty decent place.

                                                                                                Maxim's Palace (Central): Been here a few times. Spectacular view and actually pretty high quality dim sum overall. Pretty tourist friendly. My main gripe is not being able to reserve on weekends which kind of blows cause I hate waiting in long lines.

                                                                                                The Graces Restaurant (Causeway Bay): Been here twice. Pretty decent dim sum but no real standouts in my book. Service is pretty good and place is decent.

                                                                                                Zi Xing Xuan (Causeway Bay): Although Cantonese it seems to have a few dishes that feel more from northern China. Dim sum is pretty decent. Place is a little cramped but service is alright.

                                                                                                So in my 12 weeks here in Hong Kong I've tried 8 places but I'm still looking for good suggestions on HK Island (since that is most convenient for me). Any good suggestions? My dad has been to Fu Sing (Wanchai) but he claims the place is overpriced and nothing special. From the reviews on Openrice I'm curious about trying the BBQ pork there.

                                                                                                I have a group of 6-10 foreigners who I want to take out for dim sum when they come to Hong Kong in 2 weeks. Where do you think I should take them besides the places I have mentioned? I want to keep the price level at Fook Lam Mun level or lower (so Lung King Heen is kind of out of the question). Basically some dim sum place with good food, relatively clean and decent service. Preferably if it was in Wanchai/Central/Causeway Bay and not too far away from an MTR station. Thanks!

                                                                                                1. re: big_apple_ken

                                                                                                  West Villa at Lee Gardens, CWB or Manor at CWB are both good for dim sum. In fact Manor belongs to West Villa so they both have great char siu!

                                                                                              2. I would recommend trying 叁去壹 (Sam Hui Yat). It's an old, non-renovated restaurant in the Western Island area of Sai Ying Pun (11, Pokfulam Road), which you can reach by the Whitty Street or Kennedy Town tramway (going west from Sheung Wan MTR).

                                                                                                The look of the restaurant might be intimidating (it was for me, who had trouble reading Chinese), but if you are nice to the waiters, they will to you. They will even recommend you the classics of dim sum, such as har gow, siu mai. When I went, I also got ribs. The prices are also extremely ridiculously cheap, at HKD$9 for each dish (about $1.25). It was very good -- feels much more "homemade" than large dim sum halls.

                                                                                                But be careful with hours, because I heard that Sam Hui Yat closes at 2:30pm-ish! (although we were there at 2pm and they didn't seem to mind us).

                                                                                                11 Pokfulam Rd, Sai Ying Pun, Western District, HK Island.

                                                                                                1. Now that I finally made it to both T'ang Court and Sun Tung Lok... I will put Sun Tung Lok near the upper end of dim sum places in HK. Quality was very high, and it's much, much better than the other popular place in my neighborhood - Dim Sum...

                                                                                                  T'ang Court: http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...
                                                                                                  Sun Tung Lok: http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Peech

                                                                                                    Peech - any thoughts on the Sun Tong Lok 新同樂 in Tsim Sha Tsui? It looks like the one in Happy Valley is no longer in business.

                                                                                                    Also, what did you think of T'ang Court 唐閣?

                                                                                                    1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                                                                                                      They closed HV and moved to TST. Haven't been to the new one.
                                                                                                      T'ang Court is good, but I'd also give Fan Tang a try as the quality is very high... almost STL and FLM quality

                                                                                                      1. re: Peech

                                                                                                        Just went to the Sun Tong Lok 新同樂 in Tsim Sha Tsui and really enjoyed the meal. Also tried T'ang Court but thought the food was average at best and definitely not in the same league as Sun Tong Lok and Fook Lam Moon. To be honest, I was quite disappointed by T'ang Court and most likely won't return.

                                                                                                  2. I have one day stopover and wonder about dim sum in hong kong near the star ferry--any ideas?freddychef

                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: freddychef

                                                                                                      "star ferry"

                                                                                                      HK island side or Kowloon side?

                                                                                                      1. re: freddychef

                                                                                                        On the Kowloon side, there's the Victoria City inside the Harbour City complex. It's all the way on the other side (the south side) of the complex, so maybe 10-15min walk. A very solid place.

                                                                                                        1. re: chowmouse

                                                                                                          If one is on the Kowloon side in the area of TST, might as well go for the best and have Dim Sum at Sun Tung Lok inside the MIRA Hotel!! The 1* Yun Toh Heen inside the Intercontinental is also very good so is Tang Court inside the Langham Hotel! I would rate the aforementioned three ahead of Victoria City if one is talking about 'the best'!

                                                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                            Sun Tong Lok definitely ranks higher for me than Tang Court. Best Dim Sum in Hong Kong.

                                                                                                            1. re: theperfectcookie

                                                                                                              IMO. even Yan Toh Heen inside the Intercontinental is better than Tang Court.
                                                                                                              Also, do not overlook 'Celestial Court' in the Sheraton. Their Har Gow is at par with FLM if not better!!

                                                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                Charles:
                                                                                                                Are you sure??? Har Gow at FLM is really outstanding!!!

                                                                                                                1. re: FourSeasons

                                                                                                                  I saw Celestial Court being reviewed in a HK TV food program and was both skeptical and curious. The program specifically high light the Har Gow and the Dim Sum chef. ( Apparently he won an award for the morsels! ). During my last HK visit, I had a chance to have lunch there during a high school reunion. I was very impressed with the overall taste and quality of the dim sum especially the HG. The presentation was very traditional and so-so though! Unfortunately, I didn't zap any photos with my camera since I didn't want to look and act 'weird ' in front of some classmates whom I haven't seen for years!

                                                                                                      2. We are gradually exploring the Dim Sum options across HK, aiming to try one a week and broaden our base and expand our knowledge. Thought it useful to relaunch this thread, so far:

                                                                                                        Fu Shing in (Wan Chai), much has been written about this chain and it remains a good choice with some great classics ad a few that push the envelope. Been here a few times and every time service and food has been good.

                                                                                                        Chiuchow Garden (under Jardine House, Central), one of my colleagues categorises this as a "family restaurant" that she enjoys for a relaxed meal as opposed to one for a special occasion with her husband. As a relative Dim Sum novice I thought it was very good and I would put it in the top league, the food was very very fresh, with some interesting dishes. Service was good even though it was packed just before CNY.

                                                                                                        Shu Zhai (Stanley) part of the Wang Workshop Group that also owns Shui Hu Ju in Soho. The place has the same traditional/rustic "woody interior"that screams tourist trap, and it does attract a significant number. But, we thought the DS were really quite good, fresh and with some interesting choices. Probably worth a revisit if over that way. Question: was Shui Hu Ju one of the original restaurants that Amber group opened around 2002? I thought it was as was as it was so similar to Watermargin in Times Sq and also Hutong.

                                                                                                        Maxims (City Hall) this has been here forever and has been revamped with added glitz and glamour. However, it is still dim sum from carts which may be OK for tourists taking in the view but it doesn't deliver great dim sum.

                                                                                                        Metropol (United Centre), I am going to avoid cart restaurants from now on. Enough said.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                          Chiuchow Garden is actually quite ok!

                                                                                                          For Traditional Dim Sims, hard to go past these places:

                                                                                                          - Tim Ho Wan (so cheap! and quite good, but only the Mongkok store)
                                                                                                          - Fook Lam Moon (not as exceptional as people say though. Its good, tidy but not perfectly executed in skins and fillings as you'd imagine for $60 a basket.)
                                                                                                          - Dynasty (very well executed dim sims and fillings. I mean eating the har gow and spring roll here convinced me they use better ingredients than FLM already. Dinner not that good though, just went there last week again.)
                                                                                                          - Manor's dim sims are actually quite good. Probably similar to Fu Sing but I haven't been to Fu Sing surprisingly, as I cancelled the last 3 times I was meant to go there. :(
                                                                                                          - Lei Garden's dim sims are good, some are even great, but too limited in choices.
                                                                                                          - Tsui Hang Village is actually quite good.
                                                                                                          - 新興食家 - beats Lin Heung's hands down but watch out for their weird opening hours.
                                                                                                          - Luk Yu - some ppl don't like this oldie place's dim sims, but its much better than Lin Heung Lau/Kui for this traditional style stuff already. But its night dinner when they really excel - easily the best Cantonese dinner you can get in HK. I don't go there for dim sims as its not entirely my style :p But some Taiwanese people really love this place for some reason.
                                                                                                          - 龍逸軒 is under-rated for some reason, and they've recruited a Tim's Kitchen chef. It used to be one of the best yum cha places in town when it was still downstairs and called another name. They killed it when they renamed it for no apparent reason. Loong Yuen opposite here is quite ok too for both lunch and dinner.
                                                                                                          - Spring Moon - some people like this style of dim sim. But for me its no longer exceptional, considering the price too!

                                                                                                          Newer Style Dim Sims-
                                                                                                          - Sun Tung Lok is well executed. Har Gow skin was too thick, but other items are quite good but its their hot dishes which excel. Excellent.
                                                                                                          - Man Wah Teng is expensive, but many locals agree it serves the best dim sims in Hong Kong overall, and I easily agree with this statement. The morsel designs are great, so is the execution. Has WOW factor. Albeit in an oriental type of way
                                                                                                          - Yan Toh Heen. Had some awesome dim sims here, but not everything worked but those that did were WOW. Not that expensive either.
                                                                                                          - Lung King Heen. WOW in looks as the presentation is great and the dim sims look like pieces of art, but taste is good rather than very great for some unknown reason, may be the seasoning or the ingredients, especially when compared to say Sun Tung Lok, Dynasty, Man Wah Teng, and Yan Toh Heen.

                                                                                                          There might be some hidden gems out there too, but some can be disappointing. I still remembered our disastrous dim sims at Hoi King Heen and Tang Court. Whereas Golden Leaf is quite good but is priced through the roof !

                                                                                                          Haven't tried Celestial Court to comment but friend said it was just ok, but he said execution is acceptable.

                                                                                                          1. re: HK Epicurus

                                                                                                            Had the BEST Har Gow ever, at Celestial Court a few years back. (Better than FLM, Lei Garden Wanchai...etc.). Not sure if the dim-sum master responsible for creating that still works there??!!

                                                                                                          2. re: PhilD

                                                                                                            Just visited Fu Sing (Wan Chai). A little too aristocratic for my taste. Nothing was bad. In fact, the service was reasonable, the food was attractive and creative, the setting was white table cloths and a nice decor in the dining room. What I really missed was the roving carts, the bustling and shoving of trying to get what you want, and the comfort food preparations of hearty, old school style dim sum. I would definitely go back but it is better to go here when introducingdim sum people that are concerned about an experience that is too far off the beaten path. Everything here felt relatively safe.

                                                                                                            1. re: 911doc

                                                                                                              Since roving carts usually equate to dim-sum ( particularly dumplings ) remaining in their bamboo baskets for too long and hence 'overcooked', almost all top notch dim-sum places nowadays adopt the ' made to order' approach.

                                                                                                              1. re: 911doc

                                                                                                                Fu Sing too aristocratic??? I thought FS was actually a bit rundown...Which other Dim Sum restaurants have you tried?

                                                                                                                1. re: FourSeasons

                                                                                                                  That is an interesting take on Fu Sing. Was it the tablecloths, if so all mid-range and up in HK have them, its just normal. As to carts they are pretty much history as the quality of food really does deteriorate as it is wheeled around.

                                                                                                            2. A relative recently came back from HK after spending 3+ months there. Had dinner with him last night and he remarked how fantastic The Forum was for dim sum (the place headed by abalone master chef 70++ yr old Yeung Koon Yat, who was right there by the cashier and greeting/chatting with guests).

                                                                                                              In addition to saying fantastic, he remarked that an order of their famous sharks fin dumpling was a whooping HK$240, or roughly US$30....and the cost of a few people eating dim sum with the SFD already ran HK$900, and they probably could have dropped the bill down to $500 ish w/o ordering that.

                                                                                                              1) What do you guys think of The Forum for dim sum (the ones who speak/read Chinese, you know who you are)

                                                                                                              2) Is this the going rate for high end shark fin dumpling? Are there restaurants that charge even more?

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: K K

                                                                                                                I have not been to Forum for dim sum, only have dinner in there before. But my impression is their dim sum is similar to the traditional dim sum in Fook Lam Moon with similar quality.

                                                                                                                I think the HK$240 price tag for a shark fin dumpling is expensive even in top-end tier. I had the ~$110 in Yan Toh Heen and Fook Lam Moon, with generous amount of shark fin. The SFD in Sun Tung Lok is even less expensive from my memory , it is the old-tradition type with soup inside the dumpling, with good portion of shark fin inside the dumpling. Probably it mainly depends on the quantity of shark fin in the dumpling ?!

                                                                                                                1. re: skylineR33

                                                                                                                  I'm sure The Forum won't skimp on shark fin quality in their dumpling....but $240 is crazy.

                                                                                                                  Then again that's not as crazy as the restaurant (forgot which one I was told) that spent US$30,000 to $40,000 on a large exquisite and ridiculously rare "two-head" abalone or a fish-maw king, just to have it on display at the restaurant.

                                                                                                              2. Based on my eating experiences in HK these past few weeks, I would like to do a variation on this topic and post some, IMO, ' best DIM SUM DISHES' I've eaten
                                                                                                                These include:
                                                                                                                Tim Ho Wan's - Crumble crust B-B-Q pork bun. Piping hot with packed to the hilt yummy filling.
                                                                                                                Sun Tung Lok - Abalone Puff and Shrimp paste cake topped with roasted suckling piglet skin
                                                                                                                Yan Toh Heen - Diced Chinese preserved meats and shredded turnips 'strudel'
                                                                                                                Though NOT exactly a dim sum dish, these few luncheon dishes tasted sooo good, they deserve a special mention:
                                                                                                                Star of Canton - Conpoy, diced scallops and Hunan Ham, diced Gailan and egg white fried rice! Damn!! Never knew fried rice can taste THAT gooood!!
                                                                                                                Fu Sing - Stirred fry rice vermicelli in clay hot pot.
                                                                                                                Fang Tang - Similar version as above but equally good without the hot clay pot
                                                                                                                Yang Toh Heen - Stirred fry rice noodle with dried prawns, yellowing chives and premium top soy. Soooo good!

                                                                                                                As an aside ' STAY AWAY' from the Michelin 1* ' One Dim Sum'!! Totally over-rated!! Very mediocre quality that does not justify the long line!

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                  Oooh, your photos should be banned !
                                                                                                                  And yes frierd rice can be more than just stomach-filler. There is such a thing as good fried rice.
                                                                                                                  (Funny, our profile info has some parallels...)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                    Star of Canton's fried rice - now you've got me all intrigued, Charles. I've got to try that the next time I'm in HK. My fave fried rice spot in HK was actually a toss-up between Yung Kee (surprise, surprise!) and the one at Landmark Cafe, where they topped the scallops-egg-white fried rice with a teeny-weeny baby abalone.

                                                                                                                    1. re: klyeoh

                                                                                                                      Not at all my friend! Yung Kee's Yang Chow fried rice is one of my fav too!!

                                                                                                                    2. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                      Those look so good. Making me very hungry.

                                                                                                                    3. Somebody mentioned Loong Yuen above. Loong Yuen has actually been our perennial favourite. Pretty much at the top of our list of all the places we've been over the years (FLM, Victoria City, Lei's Garden, Spring Moon, etc, etc). However, I have read recent reviews about Loong Yuen somewhere that are not favorable... something about how they now have new people and the quality has declined. Can somebody confirm this?

                                                                                                                      Also, Charles mentioned Celestial Court and now I'm intrigued because we're spending some time at the Sheraton shortly. Has anybody been there more recently? And what's good there besides hargow?

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: chowmouse

                                                                                                                        Just went to Loong Yuen. It's been a long-term favorite of mine and a place I considered to be a hidden gem. But for the first time, I have to say I came away disappointed. The prices are higher than I remember, and the dim sum quality has gone down a bit. The food was still decent, but definitely not worth it when they charge the same amount as Spring Moon and Shang's Palace. Went to House of Jasmine the next day... the food quality was the same, if not better, for about 2/3 the price and with harbour view. Went to Celestial Court, but did not enter when I looked at the menu. Dim sum plates started at ~60HKD (compare to Spring Moon, where most standard plates are in 50-60HKD range).

                                                                                                                        1. re: chowmouse

                                                                                                                          You touch on a most interesting point, chowmouse!! If $$$ value is the criteria for deciding on where to have Dim Sum, then 'everyone' should be lining up at Tim Ho Won and all the fancy hotel places should be empty??!! However, based on how full those Michelin star places are during lunch time and weekends, guess local hong Kongers really do not care?!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                            I think the $ amount has to be considered for anything in life, including dim sum. But don't get me wrong, I will spend the money if it's worth it. There's certainly a place and time for expensive dim sum at 5-star hotels and, to me, Spring Moon sets the standard. If I recall correctly, a 4-piece har gau plate there is like 48HKD. That's on the pricey side but still reasonable and certainly worth it to me given the quality and ambiance at Spring Moon. But I'm hard-pressed to pay much more than that, and the dim sum better be real good if I'm going to pay that much. Celestial Court's dim sum runs generally ~10HKD more than Spring Moon, and I can't justify paying that unless you tell me it's really that good. Loong Yuen's prices are the same as Spring Moon and Shang's Palace, yet the quality and service are not on par.

                                                                                                                      2. Although there hasn't been a post to this thread in a while, I wanted to briefly summarize what I've read. The restaurants that received the most positive comments and the fewest negative ones are Yan Toh Heen, Sun Tung Lok, Fu Sing, and Tim Ho Wan (in Sham Shui Po).

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: f1i2s3c4h5e6r7

                                                                                                                          Current and updated BEST list IMO should at least include: Lung King Heen, Ming Court, Above and Beyond, Seventh Son and Fook Lum Moon

                                                                                                                          1. re: f1i2s3c4h5e6r7

                                                                                                                            I love dim sum at Sun Tung Lok (not Central branch, but the original one at Miramar Shopping Centre). IMHO, it's better than most other high end places.