How can you go to Hong Kong and not eat Dim Sum?
Dim Sum is the traditional food for weary travellers on the Silk road, and it has developed into one of the favourite foods of the Chinese people.
Dim Sum is widely available in Hong Kong, and you don’t have to search very hard for a Dim Sum restaurant.
We tried 2 restaurants during our stay in Hong Kong, and for our 1st stop, we headed for the oldest Dim Sum Restaurant in Hong Kong.
Tak Yu Restaurant
Tak Yu is probably one of Hong Kong’s oldest existing restaurants… It first opened its doors sometime in the 1920s. Well, we really wanted to try out what eating in an old-school Cantonese restaurant is like!
Here is a picture of the restaurant’s lobby. Looks like an old movie theatre, and something out of a old Hong Kong serial. It was iconic!
There is nothing fancy or impressive about the décor here, just the usual Cantonese restaurant style: large hall with round tables. For the budget travelers, Tak Yu is a restaurant at this end of the scale.
An ironic detail about this restaurant is that it is so old, that even the place is filled old people!
No…I kid you NOT! We were truly the youngest people in the place.
It is probably because the decor is really ancient, and all the younger people have moved on to a more “happening” restaurant.
How was the food?
Average! BUT it was better than many of the Dim Sum restaurants in Singapore, and it a good place for one to get familiar with the local food. (the patrons at Tak Yu are there daily for their breakfast fix! The only thing missing were their bird cages!)
Most importantly, the prices are not expensive, and items are moderately priced. It usually costs than HK$50 per person in most cases.
English Speaking Tourists please take note: You will need to be able to speak Cantonese to survive in this restaurant. As the waiters are older, don’t expect to have a long conversation with the waiters.
378 Shanghai Street (corner of Pitt), Yau Ma Tei (a few minutes walk from Yau Ma Tei MTR station)
Our 2nd Stop:
We had a friend who worked in Hong Kong for 2 years and we seeked her advice on the best Dim Sum restaurants on the island. Celeste did not disappoint, and her recommendations were spot on!
This restaurant is equivalent to a ‘Hai Tien Lo’ restaurant in Singapore, so don’t expect an inexpensive meal when you come here.
Che’s Cantonese Restaurant
Located in a office building, my wife thought she led us to the wrong place when we first arrived. But take the lift to the 4th floor, and you will find this lovely lobby awaiting you.
This excellent restaurant specializes in Cantonese cuisine and is well-known for its splendid Dim Sum offerings, and it is considered to be among the best in Hong Kong. It’s a boutique restaurant, so locals with discerning taste buds and want privacy from the hustle and bustle go there! (Diners be aware that prices are at the Premium end of the scale.)
Seriously, we knew that this restaurant was going to be good, but we did not know how good! 🙂
We ordered the porridge first:
This plain looking “gruel” was delicious! The texture was fine and smooth, and the moment you tasted it – you knew that it was not cheap Teochew Porridge at Balestier Road.
The porridge was truly satisfying, and it is better than the ones found in the regular Singapore Cantonese restaurants!
We ordered some of the traditional Dim Sum favourites next. The Siew Mai and Ha Gao were delicious, and were always a crowd pleaser – even with the kids.
But the food that really got me “raving” on and on was the “polo char siew” bun!
I have never tried any of the Singapore versions and I always wondered what the big fuss was about …
However, my mental paradigms changed when I tried this bun!
When served hot, you will taste the sweetness of the sugar baked into the bun.
Sinking your teeth into the middle portion of the bun, you will find the most savoury char siew ever.
This bun is so delicious, that we even contemplated packing them home to Singapore!
Everyone gave the “thumbs up” for this dish!
Not that they were of inferior quality, but it was because the bun surpassed all the rest – that we kept on talking about it.
However, according to my wife, who really loves “chicken feet” , the fong zhao there was also very good. I can’t imagine myself eating some animals feet, so did not really try…but surprisingly Nicole tried it and she loves it!
How was the food?
If you have the money, you have got to go to this restaurant. The food here is really good and I am not kidding! And most importantly, you have got to try the polo char siew bun!
But be careful of what you order:
After trying a few dishes, we became adventurous and did not really look at the prices when we ordered the food.
We ordered some glutinous rice. This is usually a relatively inexpensive dish in Singapore, but the moment we sank out teeth into the rice…we found very expensive ingredients.
First, we found scallops…then we found abalone!…:)
As a result, our bill came up to about Sing $32 dollars per person!
But if I get a chance to go back to Hong Kong – I will be saving all my money, and heading for this restaurant! 🙂
4th Floor, The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Rd., Wan Chai
Open daily for lunch (12 noon – 3 pm) and dinner (6 pm – 12 midnight).
Phone: 2528 1123 (good to call in advance to make reservations!)