Cover Photo: Saam Hui Yaat;

Five of Hong Kong's top Chinese chefs reveal their favourite yum cha spots

In Hong Kong, the ritual of enjoying dim sum with Chinese tea—otherwise known as yum cha—is a part of this city's cultural identity and is as essential as the dim sum itself. Dim sum usually refers to the small plates of Chinese food including dumplings, buns, fried snacks, cheung fun, chicken feet and everything else in between. To give you some inspiration on where to have dim sum, we asked five Chinese chefs in Hong Kong where they like to go and what to order.

See also: The Best Char Siu in Hong Kong, According to Chefs

Vicky Cheng of Vea and Wing

“My favourite place to go for dim sum is Forum Restaurant in Causeway Bay. They have solid skills and blend classic techniques with innovation. My must-order item is Ah Yat steamed premium shrimp dumpling.”

Forum Restaurant, 1/F, Sino Plaza, 255-257 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; +852 2869 8282

Adam Wong of Forum Restaurant

“I think Lin Heung Kui has real Hong Kong flavour. The har gao and siu mai are well made. The siu mai aren’t too big and the har gao is made fresh with bamboo in it. This is traditional dim sum. Then there’s the char siu bao, big chicken buns, lor mai gai (glutinous rice and chicken in lotus leaves), quail egg siu mai, beef balls, chicken feet and spare ribs in black bean sauce. These make Lin Heung Kui a must-visit for traditional dim sum and I really like them all.”

Lin Heung Kui, 2-3/F, 46-50 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; +852 2156 9328

Yip Kar-on of Duddell's Hong Kong

“My favourite is Tim Ho Wan. The consistency of food quality in restaurants, especially big chains, is tough to maintain. I have yet to see discrepancy in any of my visits. It is very rare that such a popular restaurant with a high volume of guests can achieve this quality.

My must-order items are the baked char siu bun and pan-fried turnip cake. The marination of char siu is done well and the bun is always crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The turnip cake is very aromatic and overflows with ingredients.”

ArChan Chan of Ho Lee Fook

“Saam Hui Yaat in Sai Ying Pun is my favourite spot for dim sum. I am a supporter of places with a long history. This place has been in business since 1978 and now, the second generation is currently running it. The first time I tasted their har gao and siu mai, I immediately ordered a second serving! That’s how delicious it is. My must-orders include har gao, siu mai and wok-fried noodles.”

Saam Hui Yaat, 11 Pokfulam Road, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong; +852 2547 3917

Saito Chau of Chinesology

“My favourite dim-sum place is Duen Kee Chinese Restaurant. I like to drive and the Tai Mo Shan route is a must-go whenever I have free time, so Duen Kee is perfect for fuelling up post-drive. Also, in this self-service dim sum restaurant, the atmosphere is cheerfully communal and the interior reflects golden-era Hong Kong. Dim sum is in bamboo baskets and laid out on the steam table or in a heated cabinet. It brings back childhood memories of picking up dim sum baskets when going to yum cha with my family.

I would recommend lo mai gai and their homemade dau fu fa (tofu pudding). You have to head to the large tubs to scoop it up yourself. I also like to order the blanched watercress, sourced from the neighbouring fields, which is the only thing that must be ordered from the server. This dish is [supposedly] the favourite dish of my favourite Hong Kong Actor, Chow Yun-fat.”

Duen Kee Chinese Restaurant, 57-58 Chuen Lung Estate, Route Twisk, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2490 5246

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