The Best Dim Sum in Hong Kong: 2020 Edition
From dim sum trolleys at the long-standing Lin Heung Tea House to weekend dim sum brunch at Duddell’s, one cannot deny that dim sum is part of Hong Kong’s identity. Whether you prefer to stick to the classics—char siu bao (barbecued pork bun) and har gao (steamed shrimp dumplings)—or try something a bit more modern, there's plenty of options to get your dim sum fix in Hong Kong. Here's our list of the finest dim sum restaurants in the city—plus the best dishes to try:
1/17 Spring Moon
The grand dame of hotels is not only a destination for afternoon tea, but a trusted stalwart for refined dim sum. Spring Moon, as the hotel’s flagship Chinese restaurant, is a beautiful backdrop for enjoying exquisite teas and delicate morsels designed and crafted by executive chef Lam Yuk-Ming and his brigade.
An expert in Cantonese cuisine, chef Lam helped secure one Michelin star for the award-winning Pearl Dragon restaurant in Macau prior to moving back to Hong Kong. Among his menu, you’ll find classics such as baked barbecued pork puffs as well as elevated treats such as the signature steamed Sicilian shrimp and minced pork dumpling.
While we recommend eating the delicate dumplings without extra sauces and condiments, Spring Moon’s signature XO sauce (made since 1986) is the perfect accent for dishes that can take an extra punch of flavour.
Spring Moon, 1/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, 22 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2696 6760; peninsula.com
2/17 Mott 32
Editor's Note: Mott 32 reopens from 1 May, 2020
Few places does dim sum like Mott 32, where time-honoured dim sum recipes are given a modern spin with premium ingredients. With restaurant locations in major cities including Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Las Vegas and Vancouver, Mott 32 is the epitome of modern Chinese dining.
Here, steamed buns, dumplings and rice rolls are a celebration of Hong Kong culture, but you can expect the unexpected with dim sum dishes executed with classic technique and ethically sourced organic and sustainable ingredients. The siu mai made with soft quail egg, Iberico pork and black truffle is a crowd-pleaser—the runny quail egg yolk marries beautifully to the black truffle that is bursting with flavour. Other must-haves include the crispy prawn rice roll, a homage to traditional rice rolls but with a satisfying crunch; and the showstopping taro croquettes made with chicken, prawn and shiitake mushroom that is perfectly fried to give a tantalising gold colour.
3/17 Lin Heung Tea House
One of Hong Kong’s most iconic dim sum parlours is a veritable time capsule, where trolleys still trundle around the packed room of diners and the majority of staff are wizened old-timers who know their regulars from their fair-weather tourists.
For atmosphere, this is one of the best places to rub elbows with Hongkongers—ranging from silver-haired, newspaper-toting grandpas to students and traders here for a taste of nostalgia. Keep your eyes on the trolleys full of steamers that house all manner of classic, rustic dim sum, from hefty chicken buns to mandarin-scented beef balls to sweet steamed sponge cakes.
Lin Heung Tea House, 160 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2544 4556
With the introduction of new executive chef Li Man-Lung and dim sum chef Lau Chi-Man, Duddell’s redefines traditional dim sum with a modern spin, using only the best locally sourced, seasonal ingredients paired with creative presentation. The garoupa dumplings with shrimp and spicy termite mushroom is one example—a delightfully aesthetic dish presented as a “fish pond” where two lively goldfish-shaped dumplings appear to be swimming.
Other classics reinvented are just as impressive, notably the crispy taro puff with scallop and crab meat and red vinasse—the crab meat is tender and flavourful, wrapped in a fried taro puff to give a pleasant contrast of textures. The crab meat dumpling with imperial bird’s nest, milk and egg white is dim sum at its most premium. The imperial bird's nest adds a nourishing factor to the dish, and if it tastes too light to your liking, a dollop or two of Duddell’s housemade XO sauce will leave you wanting more.
5/17 Man Ho
After months of refurbishment, the acclaimed restaurant Man Ho at JW Marriot has just reopened in October with a new look. Serving up authentic Chinese fare and homemade dim sum crafted with quality ingredients and refined recipe, Man Ho proves that some things are worth the wait.
Entering the main entrance and the dining area of Man Ho, guests will be greeted by a beautiful water fountain with lotus sculptures, as well as two handmade luxury Chinese Cloisonné enamel walls with floral motifs—all the Chinese aesthetics that help set the perfect ambience for intimate gatherings.
This Cantonese establishment is no doubt a beautiful and inviting space, where guests can sample a luscious array of dim sum—including signature steamed minced garoupa dumpling, as well as steamed scallop dumplings in a sophisticated atmosphere.
6/17 Lung King Heen
Dining at one of the city's most beloved five-star hotels—Four Seasons Hong Kong—is always a classy, elegant affair, and Lung King Heen is no exception. With breath-taking views overlooking the Victoria Harbour, this restaurant is a go-to spot for diners who fancy a dim sum feast served with spectacular harbour views.
Apart from their best-selling signature baked barbecued pork bun with pine nuts and fermented tofu, Lung King Heen also specialises in other dim sum treats such as steamed lobster and scallop dumpling, baked whole abalone puff with diced chicken, and steamed Racan pigeon dumplings with taro to name a few.
7/17 Celestial Court
Celestial Court has long been Hong Kong diners’ go-to restaurant for dim sum, and it’s not uncommon to see all the tables filled with regulars on weekends. The old-fashioned interior has its charm, but the kitchen is not shy to add modern touches to classic dim sum dishes. The baked charcoal bun with barbecued pork is absolutely delicious, with perfectly proportioned filling of pork and barbecue sauce, all encased within a mildly sweet bamboo charcoal-infused bun.
Another dish that seems to be on every table is the steamed rice roll with shredded turnip and conpoy, which hits the spot with its textural contrast with just the right amount of crispiness to go with the steamed rice roll. Dumplings are refined and expertly curated, notably the steamed scallop and beetroot dumpling as well as the deep-fried glutinous dumpling with foie gras, assorted meat and shrimp wrapped in a thick and doughy skin that is both filling and satisfying.
8/17 John Anthony
Editor's Note: John Anthony is temporarily closed from February 24, 2020 until further notice
Located at the basement of Lee Garden Three in Causeway Bay, John Anthony has become a firm favourite among Hong Kong’s discerning dim sum lovers. Inspired by bold flavours from regions along the Spice Routes, the restaurant’s approach to Cantonese classics is progressive yet true to tradition.
The steamed rice roll with soft-shell crab and squid ink, for example, is a Hong Kong favourite traditionally enjoyed with a generous drizzle of soy sauce. John Anthony’s version swaps the usual fillings of prawn or pork with crunchy soft shell crab that adds texture and flavour to the squid ink-fused rice roll. Spicy specialties such as spicy pork soup dumplings and Cantonese chili wontons are unmissable classics, while the aromatic vegetarian black truffle siu mai is a great alternative to enjoy dim sum.
9/17 Duen Kee
Located near the start of the Chuen Lung Family Walk off Tai Mo Shan’s famous hiking trails, this daytime-only dim sum restaurant is a well loved classic for those who enjoy traditional bites with the added bonus of the fresh mountain air.
The format here is freestyle, where guests choose their own seats, fetch their own bowls and chopsticks and—most importantly—choose their own freshly made dim sum from the ground floor “kitchen”.
Take a peek under the bamboo lids to find your favourites, but at Duen Kee some of the best are the meaty quail egg siu mai, the rich and runny salted egg yolk custard buns, and the steamed rices. There’s a watercress farm out back, too, so don’t forget to ask for a plateful of them freshly stir-fried or poached to enjoy their natural sweetness.
Duen Kee, No.57-58 Chuen Lung Estate, Route Twisk, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2490 5246
See also: Hong Kong Hikes—Plus Where To Eat And Drink After
10/17 Man Wah
Atmospheric décor, exceptional service, and exquisite Chinese delicacies—these words just perfectly describe Man Wah at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. This Chinese fine dining restaurant might not have an extensive menu when compared to other dim sum establishments in Hong Kong, but that doesn’t mean it lacks scrumptious creations to impress.
Aside from traditional flavours, chef Wong Wing-Keung and his reputed culinary team at Man Wah has been bringing a touch of innovation to their menu. Guests can enjoy unique dim sum, such as wagyu beef puffs with black pepper sauce, deep-fried pork and dried shrimp dumplings, as well as pan-fried rice rolls and jumbo dried shrimp seasoned with homemade XO sauce.
With its gold-plated ceiling lamps and expansive windows showcasing splendid views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong skyline, it's hard to resist a dim sum experience with unparalleled dining ambience like this.
11/17 Seventh Son
If you’re looking for a restaurant that epitomises a classic dim sum experience in Hong Kong, make your way to Seventh Son. It's an upscale Chinese eatery that established by the seventh son of reputed Fook Lam Moon founder, Chui Fuk-chuen.
Using only the finest ingredients and the most traditional cooking methods, Seventh Son is one of the few places in Hong Kong that strives to offer Chinese cuisine with a strong focus on enhancing the natural flavours, freshness of food. Diners can expect an extensive selection of iconic dim sum including steamed pork dumplings with crab roe, steamed char siu buns, and pan-fried cured meat and radish cake.
Of course, no dim sum feast is complete without sweet pastries—so make sure you save room for Seventh Son’s popular leaf-wrapped glutinous dumpling with red bean paste and steamed layered custard cream and coconut cake.
12/17 Old Bailey
Situated in Tai Kwun, Old Bailey pays homage to Jiangnan cuisine, which encapsulates flavours from Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and neighbouring provinces. Classic dishes on the menu are given a contemporary interpretation using premium ingredients, notably the Shanghainese xiaolongbao which comes in three variations: mala (Sichuan spicy), hairy crab roe and traditional.
Unlike the usual dim sum restaurant setup, Old Bailey’s airy outdoor terrace makes for an ideal place to enjoy steamy dim sum. Diners are encouraged to experience a variety of dishes, which includes vegetarian and vegan options such as vegetarian xiaolongbao, steamed vegetarian dumplings and steamed silver thread mantou.
13/17 Hoi King Heen
If it’s classic dim sum crafted with modern twists you’re after, look no further than Hoi King Heen. Here, guests will be spoilt for choice with a delicate dim sum menu prepared by experienced executive chef Leung Fai-Hung.
While offering refined classics such as premium shrimp dumplings, fish maw and abalone dumpling in soup, Hoi King Heen is also keen on exploring new ways of crafting dim sum with innovative recipes. Pan-fried glutinous rice dumplings filled with peanuts and chicken, steamed rice flour rolls with scallop, pumpkin and Yunnan cucumber are just some of the standout dishes that exemplify how the restaurant successfully takes the dim sum tradition to new heights.
For those with a sweet tooth, don't miss Hoi King Heen's homemade almond cream with egg whites and deep-fried egg custard spring rolls.
14/17 One Harbour Road
Despite its slightly dated decor, One Harbour Road is one of the most visited Chinese restaurants in town, boasting Victoria Harbour views matched with refined Cantonese cuisine. This split-level restaurant of Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is where dim sum aficionados enjoy classic dishes and contemporary options.
The execution of traditional dim sum is faultless, while some dishes on the menu are given a modern interpretation, such as the steamed beetroot and preserved meat dumplings, which have a lovely puce hue and a slight sweetness that comes from the preserved meat. The baked lamb pastries made with leeks, cumin and coriander, on the other hand, is pungent and a delightful upgrade from the original BBQ pork puffs. It’s worth noting that the restaurant offers most dishes in lighter half portions, so that diners can opt for a greater variety of dishes to enjoy.
15/17 Kin's Kitchen
Located in the heart of Wan Chai, Kin’s Kitchen is an icon for family-style dim sum. With its warm-toned décor and soft lighting, this restaurant is a great place for groups to enjoy meals in a relaxed setting.
Kin's Kitchen prides itself on offering an extensive array of steamed dishes. From shrimp and meat dumpling topped with truffle paste, to pan-fried glutinous rice buns with meat and steamed beef ball with tofu sheet, it’s certainly a challenge not to find something you love from their menu. (Tatler tip: Kin’s Kitchen’s dim sums are seasonally based, and half of them can be ordered by piece.)
Don’t leave the restaurant without trying the classic Cantonese sweet treats, such as sesame rolls, egg tarts and water chestnut pudding with osmanthus for a taste of old Hong Kong.
See also: 5 Must-Visit Hong Kong Sites For A Glimpse Of The City's History
Since the revamp of its interiors late 2014, Dynasty at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel has kept its Cantonese classics. As one of the few hotel Chinese restaurants with a specific section on the menu dedicated for clay pot casseroles including a year-round availability for clay pot rice, the hotel’s Cantonese restaurant is home to well-executed dim sums.
Always order the establishment’s signature barbecued pork (available in half-portion serving). Dim Sum selection is humble but the quality is great, particularly classics such as shao mai, and har gau (shrimp dumplings). Also recommending their deep-fried taro puffs.
17/17 Luk Yu Tea House
This multi-storey Hong Kong staple on Stanley Street has been a must for tourists. Its vintage interiors, wooden furnishing and old settings transport you back to the golden days of yum cha. Brew a pot of pu’erh tea and order from the dim sum sheet with ever-rotating selection from steamed dumplings to ethereal pastries and noodle soups.
Some of its iconic dim sums come from diminishing recipes, such as shao mai with beef, and pastries with sweet jujube puree. The restaurant’s roast goose is highly recommended for sharing, and the deep-fried wonton crisps in soup with crabmeat is an exclusive off-menu item everyone should try on their visit.
Luk Yu, 24 Stanley St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2523 5464