Lung King Heen, led by chef Chan Yan Tak, owns many accolades – it is the first Chinese restaurant in the world to receive three Michelin stars; ranked #17 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant 2017; and received 5 stars from The Fobes. Naturally – our expectations were set very high. I booked a table for lunch and got all excited for my first three starred Michelin restaurant experience.
Egg tarts (蛋撻) are a very popular traditional snack in Hong Kong and a must in the tasting list of any first-time-visitor to HK. These tarts are available in most bakeries as well as some dim sum restaurants but there are some bakeries that specialize in them. One of them is the famous Tai Cheong Bakery, established in 1954, which is considered to have the best egg tarts. The bakery is conveniently located at the Mid-Levels Escalator area, which you’re probably going to visit anyhow while in Hong Kong – so why not stop at this small bakery while you’re there. While they have a few more branches around Hong Kong, this one is the original and notorious one.
It was early morning and we were were standing on the street in hot and humid Hong Kong, with our stomachs rumbling, our expressions puzzled, examining the line of people queuing up to the restaurant. We weren’t sure what to expect.
Australia Dairy Co is an experience you do not want to miss when visiting Hong Kong. It is a traditional Cha Chaan Teng restaurant (literally meaning “tea restaurant”) offering cheap dishes of Hong Kong cuisine. Don’t be mistaken to think there’s any connection to Australian cuisine though. Australia Dairy Co specialize in steamed milk pudding, scrambled eggs, toast and custard dishes. It was named by its founder, who worked on an Australian farm in the 40’s. You’ll often find this place described as an iconic restaurant, an institution, a consensus.
Little Bao is a modern Chinese diner located at the heart of the bubbly Soho area. It’s easy to recognize by the gigantic baby-shaped pink neon bulb. They offer an original take on classic comfort dishes. Chef May Chow, formerly of Bo Innovation and Yardbird, takes the traditional bun and elevates into a hip and edgy dish.
Yum Cha serves traditional Chinese cuisine, including dim sum with a modern twist: It’s colorful, playful, and fun. These creative dim sums are are truly a feast for the eyes (and the camera), and are bound to add some cheerful quirk to your Instagram feed. The name “yum cha”, which literally means “drink tea” in Cantonese, has become the term for Chinese style brunch tea. A brunch which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum.
Hong Kong is full of good restaurants, particularly chinese restaurants but among them there was one that is unanimously dubbed as a “must” – and that is Tim Ho Wan. “The cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world” is actually part of a dim sum restaurant chain originating in Hong Kong, with three of its branches receiving the acclaimed star. It was opened in 2009 by chef Mak Pui Gor, formerly of the 3 Michelin starred restaurant Lung King Heen (where we also had a chance to dine in). Tim Ho Wan rapidly expanded and currently has branches in Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and soon even New York.
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.