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[Travel Guide] [Hongkong] The best Hong Kong dim sum   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-1-11 09:02:39 |Display all floors
Best after hours: San Hing (新興食家)
A mix of elderly folk, celebrities and drunk people on a last stop before home share tables at San Hing for a Hong Kong dim sum fix at dawn.

Located in Kennedy Town, San Hing technically opens at 3 a.m., though customers will arrive earlier to secure seats. Especially on weekends, the shop is a madhouse in the wee hours.

Staff frantically churn out a wide selection of dim sum, stacked into giant bamboo towers. Customers are perpetually hovering around the food arrival counter, while an unending stream of new customers mill about looking to snatch seats.

Photographs on the wall show Canto-pop star Eason Chan giving props to San Hing's lau sa bao -- signature yellow custard "quicksand buns."

Other San Hing specialities include quail's egg siu mai, deep-fried milk and various seasonal dishes often not listed on the menu, such as osmanthus jelly during the summer.

The cost is a bargain, with dim sum dishes ranging in price from HK$12-$17.

San Hing has been around Kennedy Town for more than 20 years, though it moved to its current location a few years ago.

San Hing 新興食家, 10 Hau Wo St., Kennedy Town, +852 2816 0616. Open daily, 3 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Celeb-worthy lau sa bao from San Hing.

Celeb-worthy lau sa bao from San Hing.

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Post time 2012-1-11 09:05:02 |Display all floors
Best VIP treatment: Fook Lam Moon

The service is six-star-hotel-perfect without the robotic-ness. They don't overservice because, you know, celebrities just want to be left alone.

But staff have real charm that they turn on for every customer that walks through their doors. Not just wealthy regulars.

Compared with San Hing above, if you're willing to pay HK$60 for a basket of siu mai, you may as well be regarded as a high-roller.

Yes, it's expensive, but each dim sum gave our tastebuds an education.

Har gau are succulent and juicy, almost to the point of being soupy; their skins perfectly translucent. A signature shrimp cheung fun has a layer of crisp bean curd sheet to add another dimension of texture to an old standby.
The lau sa bao surpassed our favorites at San Hing. The bread casing was barely a centimeter thick and the custard filling would spill out in an appropriate visual expression of its name "quicksand bun."

Fook Lam Moon,  35-45 Johnston Rd., Wanchai, +852 2866 0663, www.fooklammoon-grp.com. Open daily, 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., 6 - 11 p.m.

A very literal lau sa bao.

A very literal lau sa bao.

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Post time 2012-1-11 09:06:59 |Display all floors
Best rural experience: Choi Lung Restaurant (彩龍茶樓)

Choi Lung Restaurant is a three-story family-run teahouse on the waist of Hong Kong's highest peak, Tai Mo Shan. It is a great place to recharge after a hike.

Go early to secure the freshest Hong Kong dim sum experience in this self-service teahouse. Diners have to prepare their own tea and rest on simple plastic stools.

Despite the humble set-up, Choi Lung has been running for more than 40 years with a group of dedicated fans.
Visit Choi Lung at weekends as some dim sum are not served on weekdays, such as the black sesame rolls.

Choi Lung Restaurant 彩龍茶樓, 2 Chuen Lung Estate, Route Twisk, Tsuen Wan, +852 2415 5041. Open daily 5 a.m. - 3 p.m.

To get there, take a taxi from Tsuen Wan station for around HK$60 or take minibus 80 at Chuen Lung Street near Tsuen Wan wet market.
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Post time 2012-1-11 09:08:22 |Display all floors
Best value: Tim Ho Wan
The secret didn’t last long. When former Lung King Heen chef Pui Gor opened this hole-in-the-wall joint in Mong Kok, those in the know flocked here for top-quality Hong Kong dim sum at rock-bottom prices.

Then came a Michelin star. And the masses descended. A two-hour wait became a daily phenomenon. And that's considered short.

The thing is, Tim Ho Wan is still worth it, wait and all.

Saying the quality is high and ingredients are fresh is an understatement. Simply, this is what dim sum is meant to taste like.

The beef balls are firm but tender, with plenty of coriander. The pig liver cheung fun is impeccably earthy. The siu mai is packed with plump shrimp and succulent mushrooms. The radish cake actually tastes like the white radish it is made from.

Be sure to try the cha siu pineapple buns, which are now widely imitated but never matched. Most dishes cost between HK$10 and $20.

In addition to the original location in Mong Kok, there's a second shop in Sham Shui Po, but the quality there is less consistent.
Tim Ho Wan, original location, 2-20 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok, +852 2332 2896
Tim Ho Wan, Sham Shui Po, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po, +852 2788 1226
Open daily, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
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Post time 2012-1-11 09:09:17 |Display all floors
Best way to get fat: Tai Wing Wah
Sure, we live in a weight-loss obsessed world, but in Yuen Long, Tai Wing Wah is making a killing off of hearty "walled village cuisine" made with lard.

Punti and Hakka villages that were settled in Hong Kong during the Ming and Qing dynasties were protected by high village walls. The food originating from these walled villages are the focus of Tai Wing Wah's menu.

Hugo "To To" Leung is the culinary brains behind the restaurant and he is adamant about maintaining authenticity.
That means, apart from Hong Kong dim sum classics, such as excellent har gau, or a bright yellow and delicious Malay sponge cake, Tai Wing Wah also serves a rustic white rice mixed with lard and soy sauce that is impossibly morish.

Leave your diet at home.  
Try to get a table and order before 11 a.m. when most of the dim sum costs HK$12.

Tai Wing Wah Restaurant, 2/F, Koon Wong Mansion, 2-6 On Ning Road, Yuen Long, +852 2476 9888. Open daily 6:45 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.; dim sum available until 4:15 p.m.
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Post time 2012-1-11 09:13:27 |Display all floors
Best "hot, noisy" atmosphere: Lin Heung Teahouse
Originating in Guangzhou, Lin Heung Teahouse expanded to Hong Kong and opened three branches in the early 20th century.

The one that remains today in Central opened in 1918. Its longevity alone is worth applauding.

Lin Heung's decades-old recipes produce the most traditional Cantonese flavors. Dim sum typical of Lin Heung are siu mai topped with a slab of liver and Chinese sausage rolls -- old-fashioned dishes hard to find anywhere else.

The atmosphere is of classic Cantonese dining. The space hasn't changed much in the past few decades and old ladies push dim sum carts through the dining hall in the traditional manner of hawking.

Diners rush up to the carts to fight over the bamboo baskets of dim sum that just can't seem to come out of the kitchen fast enough.

Service is typically sour, but we find the attitude easy to ignore as we become engulfed in the irrepressibly jovial "hot and noisy" atmosphere (yeet lau) favored by Chinese diners.
Lin Heung Teahouse, 160-164 Wellington St., Central, +852 2544 4556. Open daily 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. for dim sum; 5 - 10:30 p.m. for dinner.
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Post time 2012-1-11 09:14:08 |Display all floors
Best unpretentiously posh: Lei Garden
It's Michelin-starred and a haunt for celebrity families, but the atmosphere at this Hong Kong dim sum restaurant is relaxed and unpretentious.

Offering superbly executed Cantonese dishes and very popular for its dim sum, Lei Garden also stands out for warm service. It is rumored the wait staff are trained more vigorously and compensated more handsomely than at any other Cantonese restaurant chain in town.  

The plain cheung fun are al dente at first bite and perfectly tender inside; the siu mei is moist and meaty, with a nice crisp snap to the skin of the siu yuk and roasted duck. Lei Garden’s har gau are stuffed with fat shrimp and expertly wrapped.

Essentially, it’s a procession of Hong Kong dim sum hits, with only a few slight misses, like the underwhelming xiaolongbao.

Dishes cost between HK$30 and $50.

Multiple locations. See www.leigarden.hk for details.

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