Hong Kong is definitely one of the few food meccas around the globe that is densely concentrated, with many wonderful restaurants and food stalls within close proximity to each other. And there’s no doubt that the city gives you access to raft of global cuisines, but of course, you always have to start with Dim Sum in Hong Kong.
No other meal would represent this city just as well as Dim Sum. It’s ubiquitous across the globe, but nothing beats having it in the place of its origin. You can easily find a range of local restaurants across the various districts. You’ll even get to try Tim Ho Wan, the one Michelin starred dim sum restaurant upon arrival at the Hong Kong station after taking the airport express train. But if you want to have the best dim sum dishes, and probably the best in the world, then you have to go to top notch hotels in Hong Kong for it.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably get very good dim sum at most local joints, but this is definitely something else. Previously, I had tried Yan Toh Heen at the Intercontinental hotel on Kowloon, which was also a revelation. Lung King Heen at Four Seasons is in a similar vein, using the best possible ingredients to craft incredibly flavourful and elegant dim sum dishes. Fair warning, as you’ll be paying through the nose i.e. around 50-70 HKD per dish, but the service is indeed impeccable as per three Michelin starred restaurants go, plus you’ll get a magnificent view of the Hong Kong harbour.
Naturally, we opted for a selection of all the seasonal dim sum dishes.
Let’s start from the beginning. First, we had the steamed lobster and scallop dumpling, which was laced with gold. Never did quite get the necessity of adding gold to a dish, but the dim sum itself was brilliant with incredibly fresh seafood, and a very delicate dim sum skin. You can pretty much taste every single component in the dish.
Next, was the baked whole abalone puff with diced chicken. These decadent puffs of deliciousness fetch a pricetag of 50 HKD per piece, but were arguably the best dim sum dish of the meal. An entire abalone was encapsulated with a perfectly flaky (and probably lard laden) puff pastry, with the rich abalone sauce permeating the entire dish. It was utterly and unbelievably delicious. My dining buddies were pretty much speechless during this part of the meal. Absolutely brilliant.
One cannot have dim sum without having Siu Mai i.e. steamed shrimp and pork dumplings with crab roe. It was probably the best Siu Mai I’ve ever had, and then some! It was a perfect bite of delciousness, and the crab roe took it to the next level.
After that we had the Har Gau i.e. steamed shrimp dumpling with sarcodon aspratus, which is a type of black fungus. An incredibly elegant dish with a perfectly cooked shrimp. The dim sum skin here is definitely something else, delicate but with a slight albeit pleasant chewiness to it.
Another one of my favourites is the Xiao Long Bao, or steamed Shaghainese pork dumplings with scallops. This is typically dipped with a vinegar and ginger sauce to balance out the richness of dish. They did a really good rendition of it, and infinitely better than the likes of Din Tai Fung.
One of my favourite dishes to have in Hong Kong is the Polo buns. Polo bun or bao is a baked bun with a sweet pineapple crust on top, which is sometimes served with a slab of butter or char siew filling. This restaurant makes an amazing Polo Bun, with the perfect balance of sweet and savoury that isn’t too overpowering.
An interesting dim sum dish we had was the seabass tart with curry. The combination was peculiar but worked surprisingly well. The addition of the turmeric was quite pleasant, and we were swooning over the perfectly flaky and buttery pastry. I’m salivating at the mere thought of having it again!
Desserts here were excellent, and in particular loved their take on the classic Mango Sago pudding with pomelo. It was unlikely any other I’ve ever had. Incredibly refreshing and tasted of perfectly ripe mangoes.
The steamed egg custard dumplings were visually the most beautiful dish of the meal. Taste wise it had a perfectly chewy skin and subtly sweet egg custard interior.
Overall, I highly recommend folks to visit this dim sum establishment whenever you’re in Hong Kong. The price tag may be hefty (around 700 HKD per pax, including a bottle of Roederer estate sparkling wine), but it is unlike any other dim sum I’ve ever had. The quality of the ingredients were exceptional, execution nearly flawless, and flavours were utterly ridiculous. You certainly know you’re having a good meal when the diners are speechless and dumbfounded by the utter deliciousness of the dishes.
Location: Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Hong Kong. +852 3196 8888. Website.