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Dining Out 6 minutes 27 February 2020

5 MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau Restaurants For Dim Sum

Goldfish-shaped scallop dumplings. Traditional har gow stuffed with minced bamboo like they just don't make anymore. Whether you like your dim sum classic or contemporary with a creative twist, these 5 MICHELIN-recommended restaurants are a must-visit for every dim sum lover.

Cantonese Hong Kong dim sum

Dim sum, a term that first appeared in the Tang Dynasty, refers to the bite-sized serves of food that travellers of yore would enjoy on their mid-journey tea break. In the past 1,500 years, however, the term, which means "to touch the heart" in Cantonese, has evolved and become much more than just a snack to go with tea. It is now an integral part of the diet of Hong Kong and Macau residents, who can have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Its versatility has spurred many standalone eateries specialising in dim sum to pop up like mushrooms after the rain in recent years, each offering their own take on menu favourites such as har gow (shrimp dumplings), siu mai (pork dumplings), steamed beef balls and char siu bao (steamed barbecue pork bun). Chefs young and old are putting in extra effort to come up with new presentations and flavour combinations, while others are digging deep into their antique cookbooks to revive heritage recipes. Be it in a local eatery or at a fine-dining hotel restaurant, you can always find dim sum cooking in a bamboo steamer.

For chef Kelvin Au-Yeung of three-MICHELIN-starred Jade Dragon in Macau, the best dim sum have to be made from scratch and steamed à la minute, only when they receive an order. "By doing so, our dim sum will never been stored in the fridge and it is served at its freshest, when the dumplings' skin and the stuffing are in their best condition," chef Au-Yeung explains.

In addition to Jade Dragon, there are other restaurants in the MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020 that are also taking their dim sum seriously. We round up five MICHELIN-recommended restaurants who are pushing the boundaries of dim sum in Hong Kong and Macau with their thoughtful creations.

Jade Dragon has a team of six in-house dim sum chefs who make most of their dim sum from scratch only when there is an order. (Photo: Jade Dragon)
Jade Dragon has a team of six in-house dim sum chefs who make most of their dim sum from scratch only when there is an order. (Photo: Jade Dragon)

Jade Dragon
Three MICHELIN Stars, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020

Jade Dragon at Macau's City of Dreams Cotai Macau has been recognised with three MICHELIN stars since 2019, making it one of the two Cantonese restaurants that holds the highest accolade in the Vegas of the East. Unlike most restaurants who prepare their dim sum early and keep them in the fridge, Jade Dragon has a team of six in-house dim sum chefs who make dim sum from scratch only when they have an order. For example, they only kill the fish when they have an order for the steamed crystal dumpling with garoupa fillet, a practice that helps to retain the moisture in the dumpling's skin and filling.

Imported premium ingredients such as lobster, spider crab, sakura shrimp, truffle and Japanese hairy crab feature in the more than 20 types of dim sum offered here. The steamed cheong fun rice rolls come in three flavours, plain, made with red rice or with scallion and dried shrimp roll, and guests can choose from a wide range of fillings, such as wagyu beef, crispy prawn rolls, grouper slices, or preserved vegetables with Iberico barbecued pork. Don't miss head chef Kelvin Au Yeng's signatures such as Poached Wanton In Lobster Bisque and Pan-fried Sea Cucumber Dumplings With Abalone Sauce.

Finally, what is a dim sum meal without a complementary tea pairing? Leave it to Jade Dragon's expert in-house tea sommeliers to suggest the best picks from their premium selection featuring rose petals dragonwell and golden osmanthus oolong, which they will brew right at your table.

Deep-fried pork and dried shrimp dumplings at Man Wah (Photo: Man Wah)
Deep-fried pork and dried shrimp dumplings at Man Wah (Photo: Man Wah)

Man Wah
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020

Located on the 25th floor of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, one MICHELIN-starred Man Wah offers over 20 varieties of dim sum on weekdays, and this number increases to over 30 every weekend. Most dim-sum here are served à la carte, making it convenient for individuals or couples to explore a greater variety.

Among the traditional items, the egg tartlet is a must order. Baked only when there is an order, the egg tartlet always comes piping hot, which elevates the aroma and the texture of the egg custard as well as the filo pastry-based tartlet shell.

This dedication to detail is possible because the restaurant is small — it has just over 10 tables — according to Man Wah chef Wong Wing Keung. "It's very hard for other restaurants to provide the same service because if many customers order the tart at the same time, it's just impossible for them to bake it à la minute," chef Wong explains. "Just remember to order it early as it takes 25 minutes to reach your table." 

The dim sum take on creative twists: taro puffs stuffed with chicken, scallop and shiitake mushroom are handcrafted into shapes of swans, while carrot-shaped dumplings are filled with deep-fried pork and dried shrimp and fried to crispy golden perfection.

Vegetarians will find a wide selection at Man Wah, such as their beetroot and fungus dumplings, or the bamboo pith and vegetable dumplings, which the restaurant has introduced to cater to the growing trend of consuming less meat.

The scallop goldfish dumplings with shrimp and scallop filling at Shang Palace (Photo: Shang Palace)
The scallop goldfish dumplings with shrimp and scallop filling at Shang Palace (Photo: Shang Palace)

Shang Palace
One MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020

Shang Palace is determined to raise the bar of their dim sum, after veteran dim sum chef Leung Kin Wai joined its kitchen ranks last year. Having accumulated a wealth of knowledge in his 27 years in the trade, chef Leung has not only re-interpreted recipes of traditional dim sum, such as har gow, crab meat siu mai and X.O sauce cheong fun, he has also gone on to improvise and create new favours on a regular basis.

A creation he is particularly proud about is the steamed cod fish and vegetable dumpling. To prepare the dumpling, the chefs marinate the diced cod fish and vegetables overnight before stuffing them into dumpling skins. Vegetarian dumplings are handcrafted into the shape of burgeoning lotus flowers, their fillings made from an assortment of fungi such as king oyster mushrooms, Japanese shiitake mushrooms, black fungus and snow fungus.

Due to the meticulous preparation required, dim sum dishes such as the scallop goldfish dumplings with shrimp and scallop filling need to be pre-ordered a day in advance. The dumpling skins are first stained an eye-catching hue of orange with carrot juice before they are moulded into intricate shapes resembling goldfishes. These are then delicately set on steam eggs made from vegetable broth, giving the impression of goldfishes swimming in a pond.

Chef Leung's creative touch can also be seen in Shang Palace's desserts, such as pineapple tarts made with fresh pineapple granules, making them as delicious as they are auspicious.

At One Harbour Road, dim sum are made with seafood from sustainable sources (Photo: One Harbour Road)
At One Harbour Road, dim sum are made with seafood from sustainable sources (Photo: One Harbour Road)

One Harbour Road
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020

The MICHELIN-recommended One Harbour Road is located on the 8th floor of the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, and it offers a spacious interior and a splendid view of the Victoria Harbour. There are three dim sum menus available at the restaurant, which are rotated every three weeks. "In this way, we can provide more varieties to our guests, so they can enjoy different dim sum each time they visit," says Ip Wai Hung, the sous chef of the restaurant. 

Chef Ip's emphasis is on dim sum done the traditional way. For example, their har gow are still made with minced bamboo shoots mixed into their filling — a detail that dim sum connoisseurs use as a litmus test for authenticity.

Traditional har gow recipes include the addition of bamboo shoot as their unique herbaceous taste helps to enhance the freshness of the prawn and provide a crunch to every bite, Ip explains. "Processing bamboo shoot is quite complicated as it requires a lot of time to select the best one, trim, clean, season and cook in order to provide the perfect texture for the stuffing," he continues. This explains why some restaurants have left them off their haw gow recipes, and why diners should appreciate the extra effort the next time they see bamboo shoots in har gow.  

To cater to health-conscious diners, Ip says his aim is to make dim sum that are both flavourful and nutritious. A case in point is his steamed chicken with Chinese yam and wolfberry dumplings and yellow rice wine, and the steamed beetroot and preserved meat dumplings. As part of a partnership between WWF and Hyatt Hotel, in which the restaurant is located, One Harbour Road also uses seafood from sustainable and responsible sources, seen in dishes such as their deep-fried fresh shrimp spring rolls and steamed rice flour rolls with scallops.

Innovative dim sum, such as pan-fried Wagyu buns with barbecued sauce, are served at Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira (Photo: Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira)
Innovative dim sum, such as pan-fried Wagyu buns with barbecued sauce, are served at Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira (Photo: Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira)

Cuisine Cuisine at The Mira
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Hong Kong Macau 2020

Contemporary Cantonese restaurant Cuisine Cuisine is well-known for its avant-garde Chinese cuisine, and their dim sum menu is expectedly innovative.

The dim sum sous chef, Ringo Wong, spends his off-days trying out new restaurants around town, and leads his culinary team to switch up the menus every two to three months. Some of the restaurant’s popular creations include the shrimp and pork liver wantons served in a white pepper broth and the aged mandarin peel char siu puff, in which the richness of the roasted meat is balanced with its a citrusy aroma.

It is not only the innovative items that chef Wong focusses on. As a young boy, Wong used to visit the workplace of his father, who was also a dim sum chef, and the artisanal spirit of yore remains close to his heart. For instance, chef Wong still insists that the skin of his har gow must be made with 13 folds, and the stuffing must be made with 95% of fresh shrimp and only 5% of fatty pork meat, with the inclusion of bamboo shoots, to find the best balance of umami and mouthfeel. 

Apart from its à la carte menu, the restaurant offers an “All you can eat Dim Sum Menu” from Monday to Friday. Five premium tea blends such as Persian rose petal tea and ginseng oolong tea, alongside classic high-quality Chinese tea options such as pu'er and tieguanyin make perfect complements to your bite-sized delicacies.


This story is written by Joe Chan and translated by Tang Jie, with additional reporting from Mandy Li. Click here to read the original article.

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