Cantonese food is deservedly famous throughout the world, but if you ask most people what food they most associate with Hong Kong, they will tell you Hong Kong Dim Sum. But in a city full of Chinese restaurants, how do you know where to go to try the best dim sum in Hong Kong?
Here we help narrow it down a little, and give you our pick of the best restaurants in Hong Kong for dim sum, including those serving Michelin star dim sum, traditional dim sum and where to find the best cheap dim sum in Hong Kong.
Best Dim Sum Central Hong Kong
Maxim’s Palace City Hall
Probably the most famous dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong, Maxim’s Palace at City Hall offers the quintessential Hong Kong dim sum experience. Set in an enormous banqueting hall, Maxim’s Palace is big, bright and brash and crammed to the rafters with noisy dim sum goers.
It is one of only a few restaurants left in Hong Kong where dim sum is still served the traditional way – from steaming carts, piled high with bamboo baskets, pushed around by surly uniformed waitresses. If you don’t know the names of the City Hall dim sum dishes in Chinese, just point and smile and hope for the best. If you can, avoid the weekends – or be prepared to queue for a long time.
Tim Ho Wan
Tim Ho Wan made world headlines in 2010 when it became the cheapest restaurant in the world to earn a Michelin star, although not so surprising when you learn that the chef came from 3-Michelin starred Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons. The prices at Tim Ho Wan belie the quality of its dim sum, and the baked Char Siu Bao with a crisp sugary coating is arguably the best in town. Definitely one of the best places to eat in Hong Kong on a budget.
Unfortunately the original hole-in-the-wall joint in Mongkok (where I once queued for 2 ½ hours for the most famous dim sum in Hong Kong!) is now closed, but there are four other locations where you can still enjoy cheap and good dim sum in Hong Kong, including a handy outlet at IFC Mall close to the Airport Express station. This cheap eats Hong Kong restaurant has recently opened several branches in Singapore, and has also now expanded into Australia, so they must be doing something right!
Luk Yu Teahouse
Luk Yu Teahouse is the most famous teahouse in Hong Kong and is a great place to stop-off for a fill of dim sum if you are shopping or sightseeing around Central. Luk Yu Teahouse has been operating since 1933, and stepping through the doors here is like walking back in time to this era, as you are greeted by wooden panelling, marble countertops, stained glass windows and cosy wooden booths.
I’ll be honest – this may not serve the best dumplings in Hong Kong, but the atmosphere of Luk Yu makes up for it. The Teahouse made headlines in 2002, when a Chinese businessman was killed by a hitman while dining with his family – but nothing like this has ever happened while I’ve been in here, so I shouldn’t worry too much!
Lung King Heen
Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons hotel was the world’s first Chinese restaurant to be awarded the coveted Michelin three-star rating, and it’s not hard to see why. If you are big foodies, you should add this to your Hong Kong must eat places list now. If money is no object and you have a refined palate, then this is the best dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong for you.
The seasonal dim sum at Lung King Heen goes beyond the traditional to give you such delights as Steamed Lobster and Scallop Dumplings, and Crispy Shrimp Spring Rolls with Crab Meat and Shrimp Roe. There is also a separate children’s menu, although with dishes such as Braised Bird’s Nest Soup with Minced Chicken and Steamed Egg Custard with Conpoy and Minced Pork, your kids will need a pretty adventurous palate. Note also they only allow children aged 3 and above.
As you would expect, the setting here for Michelin star dim sum in Hong Kong is elegant and refined and they have a dress code, so don’t turn up in your beach gear.
Lin Heung Tea House
The Lin Heung Tea House dishes up a good dose of Hong Kong nostalgia, having remained largely unchanged since it first opened its doors in 1926. It’s cramped in here, and you will often find yourself sharing a table with strangers, but it’s all part of the Lin Heung charm, as are the surly trolley-pushing waitresses and the ancient waiters serving tea. If you are looking for the best teahouse in Hong Kong for a traditional atmosphere, this is it.
If you have a squeamish Western palate, you will need to inspect the bamboo baskets on the trolleys carefully – Siu Mai topped with pork stomach, Cheung Fun with Pork Liver, Beef Offal and Duck Feet are all the rage here, but Lin Heung Tea House should definitely be on your hit list, if you’re looking to enjoy some traditional dim sum in Hong Kong.
Duddell’s is a stylish modern Chinese restaurant set over two floors in the heart of Central. This beautiful space includes a chic salon and an intimate timber-decked garden terrace, while its interior walls are given over to an ambitious art exhibition programme.
Dim sum here is of high quality, as testified by its two-Michelin star status. Traditional dim sum is given a modern twist, resulting in unusual pairings such as Shrimp Dumplings with Capsicum, and Steamed Rice Roll with Beef and Tangerine Peel. The most exciting offering from Duddell’s though, is its Weekend Salon Brunch – unlimited dim sum washed down with free-flow Veuve Clicquot champagne. Now you’re talking!
With so many good restaurants in Hong Kong, Mott 32 remains one of my all-time favourites. Located in the basement of the Standard Chartered building in Central, Mott 32 is super-stylish, with a convivial atmosphere and the dishes coming out of the kitchen are guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds.
Dim sum offerings include their famous Kurobuta Pork, Crab and Caviar Shanghainese Dumplings, and South Australian Lobster & Yunnan Ham Har Gow, and they also claim to serve the best Char Siu in Hong Kong, using Prime Iberico Pork, served with Yellow Mountain Honey.
My only criticism of this fabulous restaurant would be that its basement location means no natural light coming in, making one of the darkest dim sum places in Hong Kong for lunch. But the food quality of this recommended dim sum in Hong Kong more than makes up for this – and they also serve a selection of dim sum on their dinner menu, when you don’t mind sitting in the dark so much.
Best Dim Sum Wan Chai
Fook Lam Moon
Fook Lam Moon in Wan Chai is nicknamed “the tycoon’s canteen” as it is the Chinese restaurant of choice for many of Hong Kong’s high profile businessmen. This culinary landmark has been dishing up high quality Cantonese dishes to the rich and famous since 1972, and you will often find paparazzi lurking outside its front doors. Inside you will find four storeys of sleek modern décor filled with jam-packed tables of hungry diners.
Dim sum here remains traditional in style, but with a Michelin star to its name you are pretty much guaranteed high quality cuisine at Fook Lam Moon. Dim sum is served every day of the week, although the weekends are the most fun when it is abuzz with large family outings who come here for some of the best yum cha in Hong Kong, and the dim sum menu is extended.
Dim Dim Sum
This restaurant is small and crowded, but they have a reputation for dishing up some of the best dim sum in Hong Kong – at a reasonable price. You can expect all of the favourite traditional dim sum dishes such as Siew Mai and Har Gao, in addition to some more innovative dishes such as Truffle Xiao Long Bao, Crispy Rice Rolls with Shrimp and Eggplant with Seafood in Teriyaki Sauce.
They also have one of the best selections of vegetarian dim sum in Hong Kong. Don’t forget to order the cute little piggy custard buns for the kids! A great option for cheap dim sum in Hong Kong.
There are locations of Dim Dim Sum Hong Kong in Wan Chai, Jordan, Mongkok and Sha Tin.
Best Dim Sum Tsim Sha Tsui and other Kowloon Dim Sum
Above & Beyond
Located on the top floor of the Hotel Icon in Tsim Sha Tsui, Above & Beyond is a great option for good dim sum in Hong Kong after a visit to the Science Museum or Hong Kong Museum of History. With interior design by Terence Conran, you are guaranteed a stylish setting for your dim sum experience, and this is where to eat dim sum in Hong Kong to enjoy fabulous skyline views across the harbour.
Chef Joseph Tse, formerly of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, is the man behind the menu of innovative dim sum dishes, such as Pork Dumplings with Halibut and Black Mushroom, Baked Goose Liver and Pineapple Puff, and Mushroom Dumpling with Pumpkin. Above & Beyond also offers a dim sum afternoon tea at weekends and public holidays. Many people believe this to be the best dim sum in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Tin Lung Heen
Tin Lung Heen boasts one of the most stunning locations of any Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong, located on the 102nd floor of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Kowloon. This elegant restaurant has been awarded two Michelin stars and its dim sum menu reflects its dedication to high quality innovative cuisine.
Expect such fanciful offerings as Steamed Rice Roll with Shrimp and Caviar and Steamed Golden Shrimp Dumplings with Bamboo Shoot and Asparagus. Service is slick and the views outside the window are sensational – save this one for a special occasion.
Hong Kong Disneyland Dim Sum
Although I wouldn’t count this as the best dim sum place in Hong Kong, if you are looking for cute dim sum in Hong Kong, this is a great option. At Crystal Lotus at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, they dish up Disney and Pixar character dim sum, which is great fun for the kids!
Dishes include Mickey’s seafood glutinous pancake, little green men pork and vegetable bun, Olaf steamed red bean bun and my son’s favourite – the three little pigs barbecue pork bun.
Disney dim sum is available at weekends and public holidays at lunchtime only. They ask that you book 24-hours in advance, although we didn’t and still managed to order several of the dishes. You don’t need to be staying at the hotel to eat here.
Jumbo Floating Restaurant
Jumbo Kingdom Hong Kong is something of a local institution having been established in 1876 and played host to many internatiional celebrities, including HRH Elizabeth II, Tom Cruise and Chow Yun Fat.
Eating at this Hong Kong floating restaurant is a real experience. You take a little shuttle boat from Aberdeen typhoon shelter and make your way over to this famous landmark with its elaborate imperial architecture and traditional Chinese décor.
Let’s be honest: Jumbo dim sum is not the best you will find in Hong Kong. You don’t come here for the food, you come here for the experience. Your kids will love a trip to Jumbo Hong Kong. I still have memories of eating here when I was a little girl.
Jumbo restaurant Hong Kong is huge, seating up to 2,000 diners, but it is also one of the most famous dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong so you might want to book ahead. Note: Jumbo restaurant provides a free shuttle boat across to the restaurant. You do not have to pay for a sampan to take you there.
Did I miss your favourite Dim Sum restaurant in Hong Kong? Let me know in the comments below so I can go and check it out.
Don’t know your Char Siu Bao from your Har Gao? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Dim Sum here.
Read more articles about Hong Kong here!
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