[Hong Kong] Dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong are a dime a dozen.
In a bid to differentiate themselves from competition, some restaurants (for example Dim Sum Icon, Yum Cha, Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine) are modernizing the traditional yum cha experience, by creating “insta-worthy” dim sum pieces.
Ming Bistro attempts to stand out by giving the classic dim sum items a contemporary twist, focusing on attracting a more youthful customer base.
Therefore, expect the unexpected.
Think cute animal dumplings, chess piece cookies served on a chessboard, and edible mahjong tiles.
Ming Bistro is the brainchild of the second-generation owners of the established Ming Garden Restaurant chain.
Offering Cantonese dishes as well as Shanghai and Sichuan specialties; they currently have 3 outlets and have been operating the one at Central for 2 years now.
Abandoning the traditional Chinese restaurant look, even right down to the round table seating, the 80-seater restaurant has opted for a more modern and intimate seating arrangement – which is perfect if you do not enjoy being seated with strangers at “yum cha”.
I ordered the more photogenic-looking dim sum items, and the first dish that was served was the Deep Fried Milk Rolls (HKD48, SGD8.40).
They were really crunchy and the sweet milk custard filling tasted quite strong. Probably not for those who don’t enjoy strong milk-tasting dishes.
The Purple Yam Puff Swans (HKD58, SGD10) were little swans made from taro paste hidden in layers of fried pastry skin.
They were not too sweet, and the skin was crispy enough.
I wanted to try the Shrimp Dumplings (HKD58, SGD10), and that came served in the shape of little goldfishes.
The dumpling skin was a little thicker than the usual classic shrimp dumplings but the overall taste was good.
Rose Steamed Buns (HKD48, SGD8.40) looked interesting on the menu, but they were actually plain “mantou” with sweet chilli sauce served as a dip.
I kind of regretted ordering this item as the buns were not pillowy soft and tasted very ordinary. The dip didn’t work well with the steamed rose buns either.
I also ordered the Chicken Buns (HKD48, SGD8.40), and a basket of 3 little mice was served.
This dish was actually chicken filling enveloped in a dumpling layer made out of sago and coconut cream – sweet on the outside but savoury on the inside.
On the more classic items menu, the Fried Rice with Seabass (HKD168, SGD29.30) was nicely-flavoured, and the seabass used fresh with a generous amount.
Not sure if I am too ‘traditional’, but this was my favourite dish out of the lot.
Okay, what really caught my eye was the mahjong tiles dessert.
I ordered half a portion of Thirteen Orphans (HKD68, SGD11.90) – coconut pudding jellies made to look like half a set of mahjong tiles served along with edible money.
The food in general was nicer looking than they tasted but nevertheless it was a fun experience to have.
The portions were also more suitable for people with smaller appetites, so be prepared to order more if you are a big eater.
Ming Bistro is located on the second floor of a building, or in local terminology called “Level 1”, so it might take a bit more effort to figure out where it is.
Ming Bistro, Central
1/F, Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2180 0768
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Ming Bistro
Branch: Ming Bistro, shop 1401, 14/F Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: +852 2180 6578
Open Hours: 11.30am – 11:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Other Related Entries
Hong Lin Restaurant 康年餐廳 (Mongkok, Hong Kong)
Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine (Hong Kong)
One Dim Sum 一點心 (Prince Edward, Hong Kong)
Famous Dim Sum 名點心 (Prince Edward, Hong Kong)
Dim Sum Icon (Central, Hong Kong)
* Written by DFD’s Hong Kong Correspondent @kara_the_explorer, who is the Singaporean “tai tai” living the foodie dream in Hong Kong. Daniel’s Food Diary paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.