Arriving in Hong Kong, I really don’t care, or even think about anything else other than “Dim Sum.” I dream about it for weeks in advance, think about it on the flight in, and start to get extremely anxious on the train to the city from the airport. Getting off the train at Central Hong Kong station, my mind is made up and I make a bee-line for these precious dumplings. I don’t speak or talk to anyone (if you meet me in this stage, you might think I’m rude), I cut people off on the sidewalk, just focusing on the map and the destination that I pinpointed.
This time round, I was on my way to Lin Heung Restaurant, a short distance from Hong Kong Central. Closely following the map, I arrived within what could be record time. I double stepped up the staircase and to my delight, I saw a host of people shouting, reading newspapers, demanding food rudely, but most importantly of all…shoving dim sum into their mouths at all different paces.
I approached aggressively, remembering how to fight in a buffet line, and the waiter ushered us to a shared table where two seats were available. I was so excited now that I began to get the munchie shakes and my stomach started feeling ticklish.
I sat down, grabbed my notes (I had scribbled down my favorite dishes in Cantonese) and tried to get the attention of a grumpy dim sum cart pusher. I asked her what she was serving and she barked back at me with disgust, motioning for me to get out of my chair and take a look for myself. I was out of my seat within seconds, trying to blend in with the rowdy crowd and choose a few items that looked delicious. My first item was a sticky rice dish in a noodle wrapper.
Next came a plate of steamed rice noodles called Cheung Fun, filled with pork and sausage and doused in dark soy sauce.
The happiest worker in the restaurant was working the bamboo steamers in the back kitchen and when I made an effort to snap a picture, he actually lifted the lid and gave me a quick smile in the midst of the chaos.
Being patient for a cart to come around, I finally located one of my all-time favorite dim sum dishes known as San Juk Guen. A little bit of minced pork, shrimp, and spices, wrapped into a bean curd burrito and steamed with soy flavored sauce.
After asking for a few minutes my actual all-time favorite arrived in front of me, like a gleaming treasure chest. I was like a little child on Christmas Day, eagerly tearing off the lotus leaf packaging and getting to the good stuff.
Lou Mai Gai consists of glutinous rice, chicken, and Chinese sausage wrapped into a lotus leaf and steamed altogether so the oils and flavors are crammed together and not even a trace of flavor is lost. I could eat this dish everyday for the rest of my life.
Then came a few classics like Har Gau shrimp dumplings and an order of deep fried rice flour dumplings filled with pork.
I thought I had given up and eaten my fill when Char Siu Bau (steamed pork buns) rolled around and at the last minute, I ordered a couple for dessert!
The dishwasher wasn’t overly pleased at her picture being taken (not sure if it was because I took a picture or that she was on dish washing duty?)
7 bamboo steamers later, I was back to my normal relaxed self, ready to walk around at a normal pace and be polite in the process.
After a satisfying meal of some of Hong Kong’s finest dim sum and a great dim sum dining experience, the bill for 2 people tallied to a grand total of $114 HKD ($14.70 USD), and I was a very happy man. Lin Heung Teahouse is a traditional dim sum eatery, lots of noise, busy at all times of the day, and not the friendliest of service. These conditions make for a superb dim sum culinary adventure in the heart of Hong Kong!
Tip: Amidst the confusion and loudness, it’s not too important to know the names of the dishes you want to order, simply use the look and point method for best results.
Lin Heung Restaurant and Bakery
160-164 Wellington Street
Hong Kong Central
View Lin Heung Dim Sum in a larger map
From Hong Kong Central it’s easy to walk to the corner of Wellington Street and Aberdeen