With so many all-you-can-eat dim sum options in Hong Kong and so little time, it’s essential to eat smart and follow a game plan—here’s ours
Consider this shrewd observation and true fact: The optimal number of friends or family to share a dim sum meal with is two or three. Our reasoning? Dim sum orders usually come with three or four pieces—and having precisely the right number of guests at the table means one piece each, maximum dim sum variety opportunity and minimal chance anyone will overdo it on the char siu buns too early on. Conveniently, starting today, September 11, social distancing measures will be loosened (a tiny bit), allowing for groups of four to dine together. So it's a perfect weekend to book a catchup meal with two or three of your nearest and dearest—and try one of these belt-busting all-you-can-eat dim sum spots. Here are seven of our favourites—some of them offering bottomless dim sum for a limited-time only, so act fast—plus our Dining team's top tips on how to make the most of your meal.
Conrad Hong Kong’s Cantonese restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat dim sum breakfast on weekends. Seven varieties of unlimited dim sum, five carbs and four desserts are included, and guests can also opt for add-on signature items such as pan-fried rice rolls with homemade XO sauce and their iconic steamed shrimp dumplings decorated with gold leaf.
- Start with lighter items such as steamed crabmeat dumplings with egg whites, or steamed pork dumplings with abalone. The steamed barbecued pork buns with preserved vegetables and soy milk are also very light.
- Save space by ordering just one filling carb option—the signature Golden Leaf fried rice is popular.
- Obviously, save room for Golden Leaf’s prized desserts. The walnut delight is a creamy concoction made with toasted walnuts
When: Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Price: HK$288 per person
Golden Leaf, Lower Lobby Level, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong; +852 2822 8870
Cuisine Cuisine The Mira
While dim sum is often a social affair, solo diners will relish Cuisine Cuisine The Mira’s all you can eat dim sum weekday lunch menu, where every item can be ordered as a single serving. A mixed variety of steamed, deep-fried items and a handful of desserts are on offer. Additionally, there is no rush to finish everything in a short time frame as the restaurant only serves one seating during lunch.
- Cuisine Cuisine’s crispy taro puff and seafood spring rolls are amazing, and so are their stir-fried turnip cakes in XO sauce.
- Out of the three rice roll dishes, the stir-fried variety with sesame seeds and soy sauce beats the steamed ones.
- Steamed red date pudding is the highlight from the dessert selection. It is mildly sweet and glutinous and served piping hot.
- For parties three or more, you can reserve the booth seating which is more spacious—the downside is, these seats are not as well lit and thus not ideal for Instagramming your lunch.
When: Mondays to Fridays, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Price: HK$388 per person
Cuisine Cuisine The Mira, 3/F, The Mira Hong Kong, 118-130 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong; +852 2315 5222
Jia Group’s Cantonese restaurant has brought back its popular weeknight all-you-can-eat dim sum, which is running throughout September. The 80s-themed dim sum feast features two 90-minute seatings, where guests can enjoy Duddell's signature dim sum served from a traditional trolley and pan-frying carts for crispy treats.
- The dim sum station is on the terrace where guests are required to leave the table to pick up their orders. As to be seated in The Library, a small room near the stairs where ventilation is better on warmer days, as the terrace door is left ajar to make way for guests frequenting the dim sum stations.
- Guests are handed an order sheet for a handful of special dim sum that are delivered to the table. Allow extended waiting time for the later session as dim sum needs to be replenished after the first session and place the next orders as soon as the previous arrives to keep the treats coming.
- Avoid waiting in line for pan-fried turnip cakes and rice rolls. Instead, place your order with the chef in charge and return when the treats are ready to be picked up a few minutes later.
- Shrimp dumplings with bamboo shoots, baked barbecued pork buns, and sweet sesame rolls are particularly popular items that guests should not miss.
When: Mondays to Thursdays, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm (first session); 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (second session).
Price: HK$298 per person.
Duddell's, 3/F Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell's Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2525 9191
Tao Li at New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel offers an all-you-can-eat dim sum set lunch for two.
- Most of the dim sum on offer are steamed. Begin the dim sum marathon with steamed shrimp dumplings (all three varieties), together with steamed pork dumplings with crab roe. Baked barbecued pork pastries and crabmeat dumpling with supreme soup are signatures that should not be missed.
- Carb options, especially the pan-fried vermicelli with sliced beef, black beans and sweet peppers, are very popular.
- Pace and keep track of orders before placing follow-ups to avoid wastage. At peak lunch hours guests can expect extended waiting times.
When: Monday to Friday, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Price: HK$640 for two adults. Children ages 3-11 are priced at HK$220 per child.
Tao Li, 2/F, New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel, 72 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong; +852 2313 4222
Wan Chai’s Sichuan Lab is jumping into the all-you-can-eat dim sum game with lunch offerings on weekends and public holidays. Over the course of a 90 minute seating, guests can indulge in a handful of cold appetisers from the salad bar in buffet format and a dozen types of dim sum ordered from the menu.
- Follow this sequence for ordering: steamed dumplings first, buns in the middle, pan-fried and deep-fried the last. The steamed prawn dumplings and xiao long bao are great and worth having seconds (or thirds).
- Dim sum are made-to-order, which means a waiting time between 15 to 25 minutes per order. Order accordingly and enjoy cold dishes while waiting for your freshly made dim sum.
- Sichuan Lab’s Sichuan style tossed clear noodles are very good. Enjoy an extra order of this instead of saving room for the only dessert of tofu pudding, which is rather generic.
When: Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays, 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm (divided in two sessions)
Price: HK$168 per person
Sichuan Lab, G/F Lodgewood by L'Hotel Wan Chai Hong Kong, 28 Tai Wo Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 3126 6633
Loong Yat Heen
Arguably the largest selection available compared to the other restaurants, Loong Yat Heen at Kowloon Hotel is offering up to 50 varieties of dim sum, from dumplings to chicken feet.
- Loong Yat Heen’s signatures, such as deep-fried shrimp toast and barbecued pork, are best for sharing. The steamed fresh shrimp dumpling (har gao) and pork dumpling with crab roe (siu mai) are reliable classics.
- Cold dishes and desserts hold few surprises at Loong Yat Heen. Instead, focus more on the savoury dumplings, both steamed and deep-fried.
- The dim sum brunch spans two seatings. The early seating is more popular and most dim sum are readily available, while guests at the later session may need to wait longer for their orders.
When: Monday to Sunday, 10:45 am to 12:45 pm (first session); 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm (second session)
Price: HK$258 per adult and HK$208 per child ages 3-11
Loong Yat Heen, 2/F, The Kowloon Hotel, 19-21 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; +852 2734 3722
The Atrium at The Hong Kong Convention And Exhibition Centre's new all-you-can-eat dim sum weekend menu offers more than 35 different items, including a pan-fried scallop and porcini bun, along with some of the restaurant’s signature items.
- Orders from the all-you-can-eat menu are portioned for one person. Single portions of starches tend to be rather large so guests should start with dim sum first.
- The Atrium’s selection also includes vegetarian options such as minced Omnipork and vegetable wontons and steamed vegetarian dumplings.
- The restaurant offers half-portion dishes and drinks as an optional offer on top of the all-you-can-eat selections.
When: Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Price: HK$198 per adult and HK$168 per child ages between 7 to 11.
The Atrium Chinese Restaurant, 1/F, Hong Kong Convention And Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; +852 2582 7332
The popular Central nightclub is home to one of the longest-standing all-you-can-eat dim sum feast in town. Four hours of unlimited refills of steamed, deep-fried, and baked treats are passed around and made-to-order all afternoon long. Dim Sum is the main star at Dragon-I’s all you can eat menu, but snacks such as stir0fried string beans with minced pork and deep0fried Bombay duck with salt and pepper are popular a la carte dishes that are available as an add-on to the dim sum treat.
- There is no time limit for guests at the all-you-can-eat dim sum lunch at Dragon-I. The experience is well-paced without rushing, and guests can take their time to enjoy dim sum with the stretched time period.
- Conventional choices for steamed dumplings but save room for crispy treats such as deep-fried crab meatballs with shrimp paste; deep-fried wild mushrooms with yam spring rolls; and deep-fried purple potato balls with egg custard.
- Dragon-I features vegan options and a few vegetarian dim sum.
When: Monday and Sundays 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Price: HK$198 per person
Dragon-I, UG/F The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 3110 1222