[Hong Kong] Updated March 2015. Dim sum means ‘touch your heart’ and it is impossible to go Hong Kong without trying out one of their celebrated dim sum items, from steamed, baked, pan-fried to deep fried.
When in doubt, order the classic ones – pork dumplings, BBQ pork buns, shrimp dumplings, rice rolls and egg tarts.
The Hong Kong experience comes when you go for yum cha with family and friends, essentially ‘drinking tea’ and having dim sum in a group.
After much research, guide book readings, reference to Michelin and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants guides, Hong Kong bloggers’ recommendations, I travelled multiple times to short-list to this final 10 Best Dim Sum Restaurants in Hong Kong. (Bookmark this page for your next trip!)
Sun Tung Lok 新同樂
4/F, Miramar Shopping Centre, 132 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Exit B2)
Tel: +852 2152 1417 (Reservations required) $$
Opening Hours: 11:30pm – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm Daily
Daniel’s Food Diary Personal Favourite
Sun Tung Lok was the 1st non-hotel eatery and 2nd Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong to receive 3 Michelin stars (the first being Lung King Heen). Now it has 2. The restaurant founded in 1969 is surprisingly off-the-radar, at least to Singaporeans.
I didn’t get the sense of super glamour and magnificence upon enter the restaurant, which could imply their food surely impresses.
Their creations strike a balance between being traditional in taste and innovative in terms of choice of ingredients.
Every dim sum item I ordered was remarkable and a stamp of high quality. The Royal Dessert Platter (HK$188 serves 2) has the most amazing Salted Custard Bird Nest Glutinous Rice Balls and Osmathus Jelly. (Read: Sun Tung Lok 新同樂)
Tin Lung Heen 天龍軒
102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon MTR)
Tel: +852 2263 2270 (Reservations required) $$$
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Mon to Fri), 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Sat to Sun)
Highest in the World
The view literally stole my breath away, the food did too. Located on Level 102 of the Ritz Carlton, the 2-star Michelin restaurant is dramatically elegant with a picturesque view. Service is top-notch gentlemanly.
Chef Paul Lau Ping Lui is one of the top Cantonese chefs in Hong Kong, and items such as the Steamed Golden Shrimp Dumplings with Bambo Shoots and Asparagus (HK$86), Baked Abalone Puffs with Roasted Goose (HK$116), Foie Gras Dumplings wrapped with Shredded Pastry (HK$78), and famed Iberico Pork BBQ Char Siu (HK$268) are must-tries. Price is on the very high side too. (Read: Tin Lung Heen 天龍軒)
Lung King Heen 龍景軒
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Podium 4, 8 Finance Street, Central (Hong Kong MTR)
Tel: +852 3196 8888 (Reservations 1-2 months ahead required. www.fourseasons.com) $$$
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:30 pm; 6pm – 10:30 pm
3 Star Michelin
Lung King Heen at Four Seasons Hotel is the world’s first Chinese restaurant and the only Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong awarded the coveted maximum of 3 Michelin stars.
With a name that means “view of the dragon”, it almost feels that you are walking into a palace with an open dining hall offering a panorama of the Victoria Harbour.
Executive Chef Chan Yan Tak does an amazing job with creating menus serving exquisite delicate dim sum, with popular items including Steamed Lobster and Scallop Dumpling, Baked Whole Abalone Puff with Diced Chicken and Steamed Shrimp and Pork Dumplings with Crab Roe.
Be prepared to pay at least 3-4 more than the usual dim sum restaurants. (Read: Lung King Heen 龍景軒)
Fook Lam Moon 福臨門
Shop 3, G/F, Newman House 35-45 Johnston Road, Wanchai Hong Kong (10 min walk from Wan Chai MTR)
Tel: +852 2866 0663 (Reservations required) $$$
53-59 Kimberley Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon Tsim Sha Tsui MTR, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2366 0286
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am-3pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-3pm (Sun). Dinner 6-11pm Daily
Number 19 in Asia
Fook Lam Moon 福臨門 is known to be a popular Chinese restaurant for the rich and famous, with a status of being the ‘Cafeteria for the Wealthy’. It is also ranked as ranked No.19 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 , up 29 positions from the year before to be the highest climber on the list.
The regular dim sum is pricier than the usual restaurants, with each basket or dish costing between HK$50-$60.
I would recommend the Baked BBQ Buns, Deep Fried Beancurd Skin with Prawns and Salted Custard Liu Sha Bao, mainly done the old-school way. The rich has been loyal supporters, and it shows through its food quality. (Read: Fook Lam Moon 福臨門 )
Cuisine Cuisine 國金軒
3/F, The Mira Hong Kong, 118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon (10 min walk from Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Exit B2)
Tel: +852 2315 5222 (Reservations required) $$
Opening Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm & 6:00pm-10:30pm (Mon-Sat), 10:30am-3:00pm & 6:00pm-10:30pm (Sun & PH)
Central Branch: Shop 3101, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2393 3933
Nouvelle Cantonese Styles
Cuisine Cuisine, located at one of my favourite hotels in Hong Kong at The Mira, has a different take to dim sum – with a mix of traditional and nouvelle Cantonese styles, and taste is not compromised. The restaurant is sleek classy in emerald green, suitable for business lunches as well.
The Pan Fried Turnip Cakes with Parma Ham and Prawns in XO Chilli Sauce (H$68) is one of the best and most memorable I ever eaten (plus it’s photogenic), and its Steamed Wild Mushroom and Black Truffle Dumplings, Baked Barbecued Pork Buns (HK$58 for 3 pieces) and Shanghai Steamed Xiao Long Bao (HK$48) are all made delicately, are rich and of high quality.
Luk Yu Tea House 陸羽茶室
24-26 Stanley Street, Central (Central or Sheung Wan MTR) Tel: +852 2523 5464 (Queue up) $$
Opening Hours: 7am – 5pm Daily
Traditional Hong Kong Tea House
For a taste of old traditional Hong Kong tea house, Luk Yu that has been opened since 1933 would be a perfect backdrop. You almost feel that you are entering a Cantonese movie set, with the elderly service staff dressed in white urging to order Chinese tea.
Dim sum are about HK$40 per basket, with the usual recommendations including steamed rice with duck meat wrapped in fresh lotus leaves, deep-fried Chinese ham-and-chicken meat pie, and jumbo-size chicken bun.
I say you can come here if you want to experience old Hong Kong, without the madness of Lin Heung a 10 minute walk away.
Lei Garden Restaurant Group 利苑酒家
Shop No. 3007-3011, 3/F., International Finance Centre IFC, Central, Hongkong (Central MTR)
Tel.No.: +852 2295 0238 (Reservations required) $$
Opening Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m, Dinner: 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m (Mon-Sat); 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m, 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m (Sun)
Branches at Elements, Kowloon Bay Telford Plaza 1, Kwun Tong Millennium City 5, Mong Kok, North Point City Garden, Sha Tin New Town Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui Houston Centre, Wan Chai CNT Tower
If there is one word to describe the Lei Garden group, it would be ‘consistency’. Almost every single one of its restaurant has a Michelin star, and the “Principal” Mr Chan and his chefs make it a point to taste its food every day.
They were the ones who created the oh-so-famous XO sauce, and Chilled Mango Sago with Grape Fruit dessert, and customers never fail to order their classic-double boiled soups.
While not all dim sum items are hits, most would be better than the average restaurant out there.
One Harbour Road 港灣壹號
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Wan Chai MTR)
Tel: +852 2584 7722 (Reservations required) $$$
Opening Hours: 12:00-2:30pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm (Mon-Sat), 11:30am-2:30pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm (Sun)
Dim Sum with Amazing View
Located at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong at Wan Chai, One Harbour Road has a view of all views to beat, facing the famous Victoria Harbour where you can see both Hong Kong island and Kowloon if you get the best spots.
The duplex restaurant has a grandeur Shanghainese mansion feel, complete with the fully carpeted floors and plates each with a different floral design. Service is also unparalleled – very attentive, individualized.
The One Harbour Road’s Dim Sum Garden meant for two persons (HK$208) is a gorgeous basket combination with eight pieces of delicate items such as Steamed Dumpling with Truffle. Good quality though not without its flaws. (Read: One Harbour Road
Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists 添好運
9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po 深水埗福榮街9-11號地下 (10 min walk from Sham Shui Po MTR)
Tel: +852 2788 1226 (Queue up) $
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 9:30pm (Daily)
Other branches: Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall
Shop B, C, & D, G/F, 2-8 Wharf Road, Seaview Building, North Point
Shop G, 72A-B, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kwok Tsui
Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant in the World
Tim Ho Wan is the hole-in-the-wall dim sum restaurant that scored One Michelin Star, thereby earning its reputation as the ‘cheapest Michelin Star restaurant in the world’. Owner-chef known as Pui-Gor (Chef Mak Kwai Pui) is formerly from 3-star Michelin restaurant Lung King Heen.
His signature Baked Bun with Barbecued Pork (HK$16 for 3) is seriously the best I ever eaten. Very similar to a bolo bao, the sweet pastry covered bun is light and fluffy, with skin so thin, and saucy char siew pork within almost oozing out.
The rest of the other dim sum were inconsistent, and service the typical hurried and no-frills. (Read: Tim Ho Wan)
Lin Heung Tea House 蓮香樓
162 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong (Sheung Wan MTR Exit E2)
Tel: +852 25444556 (Queue up very early) $
Opening Hours: 6am – 11pm
Dim Sum Warzone
No matter how much I tell my friends to get mentally ready for the Lin Heung ‘warzone’ experience, they never really are. If you do not speak Cantonese (or at least pu tong hua), and have no understanding of the dim sum trolley culture – good luck.
First things first, grab your seats or wait around like a vulture till you get some empty ones. You definitely have to share the table with complete strangers.
Dim sum ladies would come out pushing trolleys of food. For popular items like the cheong fun, this is a competition of fastest runner and fastest hands first.
The price is cheap, though quality nothing to shock about. It is probably one of the 10 things you must experience in Hong Kong if you are a foodie.
I may have left out some of your favourites in Hong Kong. Tell me which ones touch your heart in the comment boxes below and why! (I promise I will check them out next time.)
Other Related Entries
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014
5 Best Hong Kong Cafes
Tim Ho Wan 添好運 (Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong)
One Harbour Road 港灣壹號 (Wan Chai, Hong Kong)
Fook Lam Moon 福臨門 (Wanchai, Hong Kong)
Lung King Heen 龍景軒 (Central, Hong Kong)