For those of you who know us well, you won't be surprised to hear that we are eating our way through Hong Kong, one Dim Sum palace at a time! We found a wide range of price and tastiness, as well as ways to determine if it's truly well-made (our sis-in-law Megan tells us it's all in the delicacy and flavor of the ha gow (shrimp dumplings). All in all, for a budget traveler's meal, we found there is no reason to spend a fortune, as we had plenty of delectable dim sum lunches on a small budget.
A review of our findings (though this doesn't begin to cover all the Dim Sum we ate!):
Tim Ho Wan: known as the least expensive Michelin starred restaurant in the world, Tim Ho Wan was delicious (and cheap!). The baked BBQ pork buns come flying out of the kitchen (but it's still not fast enough for the demand) and the rice rolls were ridiculously yummy. They are known for having a huge line out the door, but when we went on a weekday at 11am, we walked right in. Only went once, but wish we'd gone again! Total cost for a feast for two: $190 HKD ($24 USD)
Saam Hui Yaat (11 Pakfulam Road, Western District): We found this place on CNN Traveler, as the best hole-in-the-wall if you're not too picky about extremely sanitary conditions, and we found that to be an accurate description. Food was yummy, but most of all CHEAP! Total cost for two: $90 HKD ($11 USD)
Din Tai Fung: One of the fancier lunches we had, and another place to go early so you don't hit a line. They advertise that they are one of the ten best restaurants in the world, but when you look closer, you can see that title was given in 1993. Even so, it was delicious! The Ha Gow (shrimp dumplings) were incredibly gingery and light..easily the best we had in HK. And the wonton soup was delicious: an incredibly flavorful broth. The cost prevented us from truly feasting (we had enough but were not exactly "full"), but it was delicious. Definitely a special treat lunch. Total cost for two: $335 HKD ($43 USD)
Lei Garden Bistro: Five words: Chinese vegetables in superior soup. I don't actuallt rmember anything else, but it was a lovely atmosphere in a mall basement, and my brother tells me the non-bistro fancy Lei Garden is to die for. Total cost for two: $269 HKD ($35 USD)
Kung Fu Dim Sum (Tin Hau): A little neighborhood spot with a couple of locations, and we came twice. The tables are a bit close together if you end up sharing a 4-top with some new best friends (especially if those new friends appear to be dying of consumption), but the food was tasty and inexpensive. Best steamed BBQ pork buns we had in HK! Total cost for two (or three): $175 HKD ($23 USD)
Fu Sing (Wan Chai): Feels like a traditional large family Dim Sum spot (we had a big table with a lazy susan to pass around the dishes), with some incredibly delicious food at great prices. When Megan ordered Turnip Cakes with a glint in her eye, I was confused (though she is a vegetarian...) and boy was she right! With a crispy outside and layer of shrimp across the bottom, they were hands down the best turnip cakes we had during our entire visit. In fact, I wish I was eating them right now. Cost for our two-person portion at a five-person lunch (and I don't think we were hungry for dinner that night!): $30 USD.