For a long long time I felt aversion to the the word dim sum. The culprits are many Israeli catering services and restaurants which served unappealing frozen sacks and dared to name those “dim sum”. This all changed when I visited Hong Kong a few weeks ago. I discovered an amazing culinary world to which complete injustice was done here.
We just got back from a tour of southeast Asia which included Hong Kong. Naturally, we were intrigued to find out if Hong Kong Dim Sum hits close to home.
This dim sum eatery was opened by Willi Tang and Chef Ho. Both used to work at Furama, another chinese restaurant adjacent to Hong Kong Dim Sum.
In the menu you’ll find various cold dishes (mostly priced at ₪14\$3.5), fried and steamed dim sum (₪14\$3.5 for 2 or 3 pieces, depending on the dish). There are also two sticky rice dishes, which are the priciest items on the menu and some soups. For those not familiar with the dim sum terminology there are small photos next to most items. The same photos are posted in the restaurant above the counter.
Hong Kong Dim Sum is not very large. There are a few tables inside and a cute small backyard with some more tables. When we got there at 19:00 the tables were sparsely populated but by the time we were done, at around 20:30, the place was packed.
One thing isn’t true to Hong Kong though, and that is the fact that you can eat while relaxed and at ease. Unlike in an actual Hong Kong eatery, here you don’t feel pressured to eat quickly and leave – and that’s definitely a good thing. The large glass panel in the backyard does a great job filtering some of the noise from the busy Ben Yehuda street, creating a small spot of tranquility.
From the Cold Dishes section we ordered the Chinese Five Spices Beef (₪14/$3.50) –
Seven cold and thinly sliced beef pieces seasoned with a sweet sauce and sesame seeds. In the middle a small salad of cucumbers, carrots and radish. The salad was light and refreshing and complemented the sweet beef well.
From the Fried section we ordered the Wo Tip – Pan-fried dumplings filled with beef (₪28/$7). A crunchy exterior with a mixture of minced beef, carrot and scallions. The dumplings weren’t too oily and the flavor was mild and to our liking.
From the Steamed section we had three dishes, two of which were similar to items we had at Tim Ho Wan, Hong Kong’s famous (and the cheapest) Michelin Starred restaurant.
Shrimp Cheun Fun – Cantonese rice noodle roll filled with shrimp and bamboo shoot (₪28/$7)
This is probably the dish that most reminded us Tim Ho Wan. A generous portion of shrimp and a chewy rice noodle roll made this into a delight.
Bao – Cantonese steamed buns filled with pork (char siu) (₪28/$7)
This was perhaps the dish we most anticipated, since Tim Ho Wan’s version was amazing. Perhaps the comparison is a bit unfair, but while this version had a tasty filling, a few things were off. For example, the ratio of bun to filling was such that the bun was thick and doughy at some places. While not perfect, this dish had its merits.
Zhong – Sticky rice with Chinese mushrooms and nuts, wrapped in a Lotus leaf (₪40/$10.50)
The most expensive item on the menu and the one we enjoyed the least. Inside the leaf we found a mush of rice, chestnuts, walnuts and corn. It tasted simply weird and disjointed, the components not adding up in a way that makes sense. We took two bites and moved on.
Following the main courses the waitress told us about Hong Kong Dim Sum’s two desserts, and since I can’t say no to desserts I said yes to both.
The first to arrive was the Pudding coconut and tapioca (₪14/$3.50)
The pudding tasted cheap, especially with the chocolate-flavored syrup that felt supermarket-bought and added nothing but the taste of industrial sweetener and preservatives.
The second dessert was Sweet buns with azuki red beans (₪28/$7)
These suffered from same issue the previous bun dish had. The dough was really thick and the texture felt off. The filling was generous but as someone who had many desserts with azuki in Japan and Korea, its azuki flavor felt really mild to me, almost undetectable.
The bill came up to ₪152/$40. Apparently we got one of the dishes on the house, but no one mentioned this to us. All in all, it’s a pretty good deal. Their menu is inconsistent in quality, so stick to the dim sum and skip the rice and desserts and you’re in for an enjoyable evening with quite authentic dim sum.
Hong Kong Dim Sum Online: