Dim sum in Hong Kong is a time-honored tradition for families to get together and eat (and eat, and eat). While there are plenty of traditional dim sum restaurants with loyal fans in Hong Kong, culinary innovators are waking up to the possibilities of creative cuisine for dim sum lovers. With unexpected ingredients like shaved truffle or Iberico ham, Hong Kong’s newest crop of dim sum restaurants bring the tradition to new heights.
Everyone should experience Hong Kong’s dim sum experience at least once. The bustling atmosphere with carts full of siu mai dumplings, pork buns, and of course meatballs is as much a way of life as having pizza by the slice in NYC.
Expect to politely fight or at least throw your elbows around at old-school dim sum places like Maxim’s, a 32-year-old restaurant in the middle of packed Central district, serving classic Hong Kong–style dishes. Dim sum was developed in Guangzhou and has since evolved into a family affair, becoming hugely popular for breakfast and brunch. The clinking of white ceramic tea cups filled with strong pu-er tea, locals readying newspapers and noshing on fatty dishes is a glorious sport for self-professed foodies. If you are so inclined to visit one of the oldest and best, Lin Heung Tea House, opened in 1923, is for you. However, if you’re craving something new, head to one of these five restaurants for a foodie feast.
Located in the iconic Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, Spring Moon is one of the fanciest gourmet experiences you can experience in the city. While the signature stewed pork belly is one of the most popular items on the menu, nothing comes close to the variety of dumplings. The imperial fungus vegetarian dumplings and the Sicilian red prawn and minced pork dumplings are a little on the adventurous side, while the crystal shrimp and spider crab dumplings are a more traditional take on dim sum. Be sure to leave room for the baked crispy buns with minced Wagyu beef. Just be warned: prices are not for the faint-hearted.
Insider Tip: If you feel like you want to re-create these classic dishes at home, the hotel also offers a dim sum cooking class for its guests.
Tycoon Tann takes dim sum seriously. Innovative flavor combinations take inspiration from all over the world, like the Wagyu beef and pear crispy dumplings. Other creative dishes include Spanish Iberico ham and scallop dumplings, lavishly garnished with caviar for something truly opulent.
Insider Tip: Order the crab meat spring rolls stuffed with Italian mozzarella cheese. Trust us.
The Sky Boss
If you want dinner with a view, nothing beats The Sky Boss. Located almost 1,400 feet above Victoria Harbour, this popular restaurant combines luxurious ingredients with classic techniques in their dim sum creations. Take your dining experience to new heights with shrimp and foie gras dumplings or mushroom and black truffle dumplings. For traditionalists, the sesame balls are a fun favorite.
Chef Alvin Leung is an innovator who creates traditional Chinese dishes for modern diners. Experimental and bold, three-Michelin-starred Bo Innovation is the place to go for fusion dim sum. Splurge on the set lunch for a true sampling of Leung’s creative genius, with dishes like shrimp dumplings with black truffle XO chili sauce and Wagyu cheek soup dumplings.
Dim Sum Icon
If you’re a Hello Kitty fan (or just a fan of kitsch), you can’t leave Hong Kong without a meal at Dim Sum Icon. Lovable Asian characters like Gudetama and Kobitos are recreated as traditional dim sum dishes for diners who like to have fun with their food. In addition to Hello Kitty-inspired dishes, Dim Sum Icon is a gastropub that incorporates cool food trends from around the world.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Hong Kong Guide