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Jan 23, 2008 06:39 PM

Best Dim Sum in HK, Shanghai & Beijing?

I am a huge fan of dim sum. I am finally making a trip to China. I love eating any and all types... so, I am looking for a couple of suggestions in each of these cities. If you can, let me know what are the specialities in each place.


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  1. Dim sum is a Cantonese regional speciality, so you'd normally find the best ones in Hong Kong or Guangzhou, China. My personal fave HK dim sum place is the historic Luk Yu Teahouse, but you can find some very good dim sum suggestions in HK at this earlier thread:

    Shanghai's most famous dumplings are the "xiao long bao", or soup dumplings. I liked to go to Din Tai Fung in Xintiandi. Have a look at this thread for other Shanghai options:

    Beijing's dumplings are usually the potstickers. I like those in Made in China, Grand Hyatt Beijing - which is a fantastic restaurant if you want to try other Beijing specialties, e.g. Peking duck (the real thing), hand-pulled noodles, Beijing-style pancakes, etc. There's also the very famous Gou Bu Li dumplings - these originated from the nearby port city of Tianjin, but they've an outlet in the Wangfujing shopping district, downtown Beijing.

    2 Replies
    1. re: klyeoh

      I'd second the Din Tai Feng vote, although the punters will no doubt be out soon to sing the praises of Jia Jia Tang Bao. If you're in Shanghai long enough you can try both. Also must go to Yang's Fry Dumplings for shengjian mantou, a sort of thick skinned Xiao Long Bao/pot sticker. (See for a review and info : ... ok look, a comment by Gary Soup ;)


      Don't bother trying to find Cantonese dim sum (which is dim sum as you probably know it) in Shanghai though unless you are really really desperately into dim sum, you'll be disappointed, especially after HK. If you must I'd probably go to Crystal Jade, they do ok dim sum. I'd imagine the same to be true for Beijing (?). In HK I'm a big fan of Metropole which is HK side next to Admirality metro if I'm not mistaken, they still have carts and screeching dim sum grannies which is very important. The food is good too and not too expensive.

      1. re: mbe

        Jia Jia Tang Bao and DTF's xiaolong bao are a standoff ifn terms of quality. Bao for Bao, DTF's are about 7X the price, but you get a more shiny environment and you get your butt kissed by a servile staff. Ya pays yer money and ya makes yer choice. It all depends on your priorities.

        Here's where the locals bring their money:

        If you can get through the Chinese, here's a "Top 40" list of small eats in Shanghai:

    2. Yan Toi Heen inside Intercontinental gets my vote ! One of the best in HK - great food, great view and great service. I had a superb "Shark fin & seafood dumpling in clear broth" in there.

      1. My top three Hong Kong choices are:
        - Lung King Heen, Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong
        - T'ang Court, Langham Hotel, TST, Kowloon
        - Fu Sing Sharkfin seafood Restaurant, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
        All three serve traditional as well as innovative nouveau' Cantonese/Northern dim sum.

        1. 2 best place to "Yum Cha", on east side of Beijing - try "Sampan", it's by far the best place in town has been serving dim sum for many many many years (86.10) 6515-8855 ext. 2155.

          On the west side of the town, ZEN @ InterContinental is also a perfect choice, the secret is Hong Kong flown in chefs would really pay a great deal of attention to Dim Sum making, ingredients and freshness. (86.10) 5852 5888

          1 Reply
          1. re: adidasxk

            Is that the same Zen chain that has branches in Shanghai? There's another chain, Bi Feng Tang, that I thought was as good and better priced.

            But as another poster mentioned, Cantonese dim sum is best left to HK.

          2. i wasn't a big fan of luk yu. for a good "traditional" experience with carts, noise, and clatter, go to maxim's city hall. it's a bit of a wait though, food is b+, experience a-. for excellent dim sum in a stuffier environment, i prefer the square in exchange square. recommend reservations if you go. lei gardens for dim sum in ifc is also a good bet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ckbear

              i was very underwhelmed by Maxim's...not worth the insane wait...and the random dimsum i had at HK airport was better quality...