Header image courtesy of 為食 BB 豬 (via OpenRice)
When we think of dim sum (點心), siu mai (燒賣) is likely what comes to mind first for most of us. Traditionally made with pork and shrimp, wrapped snugly inside a layer of thin, yellow flour, this dish is undeniably a classic—you simply can’t say you’ve had dim sum for tea without ordering a steaming basket of siu mai.
For enthusiasts of Chinese cuisine, many believe you can instantly tell how good a dim sum restaurant is based on the quality of their siu mai. While we think the best siu mai doesn't always have come at the price of a pretty penny, some lavish fine dining restaurants serve siu mai dishes made to impress even the strictest food critic. Without further ado, here’s a list of ten best places for siu mai in Hong Kong.
When you hear about a restaurant sporting a highly coveted Michelin star, it usually entails a sky-high bill at the end of the meal for even the simplest of dishes—but this is not the case for Tim Ho Wan (添好運). A renowned Hong Kong dim sum chain now with branches all over the globe, tourists flock to where it all began just to have a bite of their affordable and award-winning food. For those who wish for a satisfying dim sum meal of reliable quality, head over to one of Tim Ho Wan’s many branches for the fresh shrimp siu mai with pork ($30)—the Michelin star speaks for itself.
One of the best siu mai dishes in Hong Kong cannot be found in a posh hotel or upscale shopping centre, but rather, in a humble industrial building in Kwun Tong. It may be harder to get to, but once you are there, you will come across dozens of locals from different generations who have already beat you to the queue. Once you have had a bite of their well-seasoned shrimp siu mai ($25) with a whole shrimp on top, you will no doubt understand the hype.
Caterking Dim Sum Workshop (豪隍點心工房), Shop A, 1/F, King Win Factory Building, 65–67 King Yip Street, Kwun Tong | (+852) 2562 5668
There’s a balanced assortment of traditional and modern dim sum dishes at Joyous Gate (彩薈軒); the restaurant still feels authentic and homey, but at the same time, ordering there never gets boring. At Joyous Gate, what you see on the menu is exactly what you get for their award-winning siu mai dish—no photography tricks and exaggerated proportions, just an honest gift for you and your taste buds. On that note, the steamed baby abalone siu mai ($35) is one of our personal favourites—the glistening abalone on top adds a chewy and smooth texture to the siu mai, giving you the feeling and taste of luxury for a bargain price.
If you are not into shrimp or pork—or you simply want to try something with a different kind of kick to it—the signature steamed minced beef siu mai ($29) at Hay Wong (喜惶點心專門店) is perfect for a change. A rendition of siu mai that is nearly extinct in Hong Kong, the restaurant makes this dish through quite a complex process, where the beef is tenderised and pounded by hand to give the siu mai a bouncy texture. For a side-by-side comparison of two unconventional delights, order their steamed crab meat & vegetable siu mai ($29) and have a bite of both!
Hay Wong (喜惶點心專門店), Shop 17, Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 2882 1683
Located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, the flagship restaurant of Victoria Harbour Supreme (海港薈) is a popular spot for wedding banquets—no doubt because they offer guests a feast for the eyes as well. Despite its prime spot and fancy décor, its prices are surprisingly reasonable. For $38, you can get three pieces of shrimp & minced pork siu mai topped with abalone. For those who live a bit further away but still wish to jump on the bandwagon of decadent dim sum, Victoria Harbour Supreme also has branches in Wan Chai, Tai Koo, Tai Po, and Tsing Yi—the view might be a bit different, but the taste remains (as the name suggests) supreme.
Dim Sum Here (點心到) is not afraid of revamping traditional dishes, and they do it with such confidence and flair that it is hard to resist them! However, keeping the quintessential parts of existing recipes is important to them, and you can taste that in their prawn & pork siu mai (starting from $15). After scarfing down a few of their dim sum dishes, you can also try out their signature steamed egg yolk runny buns ($24) to top it all off.
Dim Sum Here (點心到), Shop 6–8, Wah Chi Mansion, 286–298 Temple Street, Jordan | (+852) 5423 7079
Step into this Chinese restaurant and you will be greeted with grandiose décor that feels regal and exquisite, much like their food. At Kei Cuisine (麒藝館), the service and dishes aim to create a pleasant and high-end atmosphere. Its traditional dishes come with a few surprises, too, so you know you are in for a treat. During lunchtime only, try out their steamed spinach siu mai with truffle & caviar ($88), an elevated take on the traditional dim sum plate.
Kei Cuisine (麒藝館), Shop 1001A, 10/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2885 3390
You know you are in for an otherworldly experience at a restaurant named Celestial Court. Located within the long-standing Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel, the upscale restaurant overflows with prestige and class, which is only fortified by its prime surroundings. Its affordable menu belies its quality, with the signature pork with shrimp & crab roe siu mai ($62) and other popular dim sum coming in at wallet-friendly prices. Divine meal sets are on offer as well, such as the chef’s signature set menu ($1,088 per person), and the Peking duck set ($1,488 for two persons).
Celestial Court Chinese Restaurant (天寶閣), 2/F, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2369 1111
Cuisine Cuisine (國金軒) serves up dozens of high-quality dishes coupled with friendly customer service—its Tsim Sha Tsui branch also comes with an excellent view of the city, so you are sure to be doubly delighted. For lunch only, Cuisine Cuisine serves up steamed minced pork dumplings with abalone and shrimp ($86)—a decadent choice in siu mai.
If you are interested in trying out other signature dishes, we recommend the honey-glazed barbecued pork ($288) and the roasted Peking duck (starting from $838) which requires 48 hours of advance notice to the restaurant. It does not matter what your favourite Chinese dish is or how you usually like your Chinese food when you are at Cuisine Cuisine, because their rendition is bound to become your new favourite!
Get ready to fly all the way up to cloud nine when you are at Tin Lung Heen (天龍軒), and not just metaphorically because of their fantastic food, but also quite literally—the restaurant is on the hundredth-and-second floor of the ICC! On that note, Tin Lung Heen prides itself on being one of the few Cantonese restaurants awarded two Michelin stars in Hong Kong. Unlike the others on this list, Tin Lung Heen serves dim sum only on weekends and public holidays, so keep that in mind when planning your next trip there. Tin Lung Heen’s steamed siu mai ($128) comes in a set of two: one with scallop and Jinhua ham, the other with prawn and coriander. Its Michelin stars do not lie!
Tin Lung Heen (天龍軒), 102/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui