Sunday, August 26, 2012

first dinner in hong kong

You know what's the best thing about eating dim sum in Hong Kong? Two things, actually.

First, Hong Kong is the best place to get the traditional stuff. You can't find a better siu mai, cheong fun or har gao anywhere else, and that's a fact of life.

Second, they're not afraid to experiment. They're not content to rest on their laurels, or maybe they're just sick and tired of the same ol' dishes. Whatever their motivation, the results are fantastic.

In short, in Hong Kong dim sum has been elevated to an art form that harmonizes elements of the old and the new. And in Tsim Sha Tsui, you can eat-all-you-can of this art form at Dim Sum Bar in Harbour City.

We were very fortunate that Dim Sum Bar had a promo for the month of August-- only HK$168 for adults, HK$98 for kids. They have six pages of dishes on offer, and everything is cooked to order.

King's dumplings in lobster bisque. 5/5

Baked abalone and chicken pastry. 4.5/5

Steamed pork and shrimp siu mai. 4/5

Braised noodles with minced pork and XO sauce. 3.5/5

Deep-fried taro dumpling with chicken and dried shrimp. 4/5

Steamed cheong fun with Chinese cruller, sun-dried scallops, dried shrimps and shallots. 4.25/5

The cheong fun came with an interesting peanut and hoi sin dipping sauce.

Baked barbecued pork buns. 3.75/5

Pretty good, but I prefer the "normal" flaky pastry bun.

Baked almond cream buns. 4/5

Baked pudding with lotus seed paste and sago. 4.5/5

Chilled creamy egg pudding. 3/5

Watermelon pudding. 5/5

Verdict: As you can see from the scores, my favorites were the amazing steamed shrimp dumpling/ lobster bisque dish, and the beautiful watermelon pudding. The former was an absolutely flawless rendition of har gao (perfectly translucent skin! tasty filling with plump whole shrimp!) married with a lightly briny lobster essence. Each component was excellent on its own, but together they were so wonderful that they brought tears to my eyes.

The latter was a playful take on a childhood favorite. Who doesn't like pudding? But to form the jelly inside a watermelon and then serve it in slices, just like a real watermelon with the rind-- genius! This dessert is worth the 15 minutes we spent searching inside Harbour City before we found Dim Sum Bar outside the shopping mall, across the main building.

The siu mai, noodles, taro dumplings and egg pudding were comforting and familiar, while the abalone and chicken pastry, cheong fun with crullers inside, and baked buns were unusual and exciting. This meal made me very happy.

Having tried only 20% of their menu, I would definitely go back. Next time I want to have some congee with pork ribs, sun-dried vegetables and dried mini oysters, crispy roasted duck spring rolls, steamed minced beef balls with sliced bean curd, chrysanthemum jelly pudding, and baked chocolate buns.

Dim Sum Bar's website


  1. shyet, nagutom ako. ang sarap tignan yung pics.

    did you go to Tim Ho Wan? it's reportedly called the cheapest Michelin star you can find. or something of the sort.

  2. I really wanted to try Tim Ho Wan if only to see what the hype was all about. Unfortunately, I couldn't fit it in. I read that the best time to go is 9am because of the long queue, but mornings I'm at the gym working out. Naks!