One thing Hong Kong is known for is its delicious dim sum. Just look at the success of Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan, now with branches in Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, and several other cities. Because we can enjoy Tim Ho Wan anytime we want in Singapore, we have branched out in Hong Kong and tried a few other places. On our recent trip we tried two of the best places to eat dim sum in Mongkok, Dim Dim Sum and One Dim Sum. Here are our thoughts on our meals at each restaurant.
First up is Dim Dim Sum. There are four branches in Hong Kong. We visited the Mongkok branch, located at 112 Tung Choi Street. You will know you are there immediately by the posters advertising the many awards and accolades this restaurant has earned. There may be a queue, although there wasn’t one when we visited. This is a small restaurant and service is not what westerners might be expecting, but the food is so good. In this type of restaurant, you order by marking the quantity of each dish you’d like on a paper menu. We had taken a morning flight and hadn’t eaten so we were very hungry upon landing and headed straight to Dim Dim Sum after checking into our hotel.
We started with deep-fried wantons with sweet and sour sauce. This dish is the first Chinese dish I ever remember eating homemade as a child, at a friend’s house, but I almost never eat it as an adult. The wontons were very crispy, but what really made the dish was the perfectly balanced sweet and sour sauce. Two thumbs up from us.
These are pineapple buns with a pineapple custard filling (Bo Lo Bao). This was my favorite dish of the meal, and Jeremy tells me that this dish is very representative of Hong Kong food. These buns had chunks of pineapple in a sweet yet salty custard with a little pineapple coated on top of the soft and flaky crust. So delicious!
Next up is Jeremy’s favorite dish of the day, the crispy rice flour roll with shrimp. This is shrimp inside a crispy roll inside a rice vermicelli. We often eat soft rice vermicelli rolls at dim sum restaurants, in particular we enjoy the dish at Tim Ho Wan, but this dish has the extra crispy layer inside that at least for us, in a twist on the usual dish.
The char siu bao, or barbecued pork buns, were good, but I think Tim Ho Wan’s are better. But I am biased in favor of baked bao over these steamed ones. I feel like I have to try the char siu bao at every new dim sum place we try, but I don’t feel the need to order these again at Dim Dim Sum.
Deep-fried dumplings with wasabi filling. I love wasabi. I love horseradish. These flavors are among my favorites, but I wasn’t really feeling these dumplings. The dumpling itself was fairly thick too. Not terrible by any means, but I wouldn’t order it again.
Steamed glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf (lo mai gai). Just as I always like to try the char siu bao at every dim sum place, Jeremy usually orders the lo mai gai. The glutinous rice is filled with mushrooms, chicken and sausage and is very tasty. However, the portion is quite big at Dim Dim Sum.
Finally, we had the steamed molasses cake with honey. As you can see this dish has an interesting texture, but the flavor is fairly light despite the dark coloring.
Dishes we missed: Although we were so hungry that we ordered up quite a few dishes, there are a few we wish we had tried. The piggy custard buns and the pan-fried stuffed eggplants with teriyaki sauce were seemingly ordered by every table but ours, and they look fantastic. Next time, and there will be a next time, we will try those two dishes.
We also visited One Dim Sum, located at Shop 1-2, G/F, Kenwood Mansion, 15 Playing Field Road, near to the Flower Market. Our meal is shown above. We waited a long time in the queue for this restaurant, but I think the service here is good and the food is worth the wait. They do have seats for waiting guests and they also have a photo book of the dishes that they pass around. Ordering is, as usual at dim sum restaurants, done by ticking how many of each item you want on the paper menu they provide. Once we ordered, all the dishes came at once, which is why we have one photo for the meal for One Dim Sum and not for the previous restaurant.
From top left, we ordered steamed rice noodle with prawn, deep fried pork dumpling, wanton with sweet and sour sauce and char siu bao. The steamed rice noodle we ordered did not have the crispy fried dough inside, but unless I’m reading the menu wrong, they serve a version of that as well. I happen to like the vermicelli without the crispy center so I was happy with it. The fried dumplings were very good, but I much prefer the sweet and sour sauce from Dim Dim Sum so I’ll pass on the wanton next visit to One Dim Sum. The char siu bao, however, are heavenly at One Dim Sum. Americans may be familiar with King’s Hawaiian rolls, and this char siu tasted like it was stuffed inside one of those sweet and soft rolls. Delicious! We ate fewer dishes at One Dim Sum, but we enjoyed it as much as the other restaurant and the service is better at One Dim Sum.
Dishes we missed: I would like to try the spring rolls on a future visit while, of course, Jeremy wants to try their lo mai gai.
I hope if you visit Hong Kong, you will try one of these delicious dim sum restaurants. I’m looking forward to my next visit, and if you have any recommendations for me for Hong Kong dim sum, please hit me up in the comments.