These restaurants are bringing the time-honoured craft of dim sum into the 21st century.
The sights and sounds of dim sum carts being rolled and steaming baskets piled high are synonymous with Hong Kong. For those born and raised here, dim sum is a weekly ritual of gathering with family; while for visitors, sharing plates of siu mai and har gao is a delightful way to acquaint yourself with the communal culinary traditions of Hong Kong.
While dim sum is rooted in tradition, modern restaurants that creatively push the boundaries of this time-honoured craft have become more frequent around the city. These eateries fuse traditional and contemporary — all without compromising on the authentic taste and craftsmanship. From refined morsels at Duddell’s to quirky baos at Yum Cha, we’ve rounded up some of the best modern dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong to sate your appetite.
The Chinese Library
Situated in the restored Central Police Station compound, The Chinese Library embraces the rich heritage of its location, serving up an East-meets-West concept in an elegant, fine-dining setting. Inspired by the founder’s vast personal library of Chinese cookbooks (hence the name), founder David Yeo reimagines cuisine from Hong Kong to Sichuan to Shanghai — all with a modern twist.
Traditional dim sum dishes are updated with international influences, like the laksa xiao long bao with its strong hit of Southeast Asian spices, and the New Zealand manuka honey-glazed BBQ pork char siu, succulent and sticky-sweet. Accompanying the dim sum is a list of Hong Kong-inspired cocktails such as the Dan Tat and Opium Old Fashioned which presents a smoky riff on the classic with Bulleit bourbon, mandarin and oolong tea.
The Chinese Library, Block 01, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2848 3088
Hexa (for hexagon — note the geometric theme throughout the restaurant) has quickly become a popular destination for weekend dim sum in TST, located in Ocean Terminal Extension with impressive 270-degree harbour views. The stylish restaurant offers a dim sum selection which riffs off favourite cart specialties, from steamed shrimp dumplings in bamboo charcoal wrapping to the shredded turnip and cheese in puff pastry — all made using premium ingredients by masters of the craft. Opt to dine at the outdoor terrace for a truly memorable experience and watch the sunset as you savour the innovative creations, and don’t miss out on the deep-fried sesame dumplings with egg custard cream for dessert.
Hexa, OTE 101, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2577 1668
Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining
New in town is Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining, from the same team behind Foxglove and Dr. Fern’s. Focusing on contemporary Cantonese dishes, the restaurant is inspired by the fictional story of Mr Ming, a poet, antique and gold coin enthusiast whose family — and family recipes — date back to the Qing dynasty.
The classics are updated without artificial ingredients or added preservatives in mouthwatering selection of savoury buns, dumplings and rice rolls. Signatures include the milk and pumpkin buns, a riff on traditional custard buns with a Japanese Meiji milk molten core, and the BBQ pork belly buns paired with pickled mustard for a textural contrast. Vegetarians are well catered for with specialties such as crispy tofu pocket with OmniPork and sweet potato, and spicy beef cubes made with the plant-based Beyond meat.
Mr Ming’s Chinese Dining, 1F, 113A, 18 Salisbury Road, K11 Musea, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2119 2949
A longstanding stalwart on the scene, Duddell’s — a venue which embraces the cross-section of art and cuisine — has evolved over the years to retain its reputation as one of the best dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong. The elegant, Michelin-starred restaurant may be famous for its weekend brunch, but you’ll also want to pop in for the brand new all-day dim sum set menu (HK$238 per person), which includes a series of signature dim sum morsels.
Newly-appointed chef Li Man-Lung’s embraces authentic Cantonese dishes with a modern spin, injecting creativity and finesse into classic recipes he’s learned through years of working in renowned kitchens. Indulge in reimagined handcrafted specialities from the truffle fried pork dumpling to the 12-fold shrimp dumpling and the crispy BBQ pork bun — chased with a glass of sommelier-recommended wine or a Hong Kong-style cocktail (HK$120 additional) for the full experience.
Duddell’s, Level 3 Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2525 9191
Nestled in the 1880s colonial compound, Tai Kwun, sits Madame Fù, a chic dining space decorated in sumptuous fabrics and popular for its range of contemporary Chinese dim sum and its signature afternoon tea. The home of its fictional namesake heroine, Madame Fù, a Parisian socialite living in 1930s Shanghai, the restaurant is an Instagrammer’s paradise with its colourful dining areas — but luckily, it’s not all looks over substance.
The restaurant hosts a weekend free-flow brunch menu (from HK$550 per person) which stands up to the best in town, based on innovative twists to familiar dim sum dishes. The all-you-can-eat format means you can indulge to your heart’s content: We’d recommend the crystal shrimp dumplings with succulent prawns in a chewy translucent wrapper, the siu mai given an elegant twist with crab roe, and the specialty Peking duck.
Madame Fù, Shop 03-101a, Block 3, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2114 2118
Dim Sum Library
For those who crave variety, Dim Sum Library serves an extensive range of Chinese dim sum in a 1920s Chinoiserie-inspired setting. The restaurant takes a fresh approach to traditional Cantonese cuisine, offering delectable morsels such as Wagyu beef puffs and dan dan xiao long baos at wallet-friendly prices. One of their most popular dishes, the crispy aubergine tossed with salted fish and sakura shrimp is a must for first timers, arriving in a unique presentation stacked like jenga in a geometrical dim sum basket. With the vast menu taking inspiration across regional styles, you’ll want to plan for many a return visit.
Dim Sum Library, One Pacific Place, Shop 124, Level 1, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 3643 0088
Cute and quirky? Not a commonly-used phrase to describe your typical dim sum. Yum Cha challenges preconceptions of the traditional cuisine to present sweet and savoury dishes with a playful twist. Besides the restaurant’s Instagrammable animal-shaped dim sum, there’s a distinct emphasis here on fresh, quality ingredients with no added MSG and preservatives to ensure a healthy, palatable experience for diners. Grab a group and tuck into Yum Cha’s most popular inventions including the BBQ piggy buns, truffle shiitake buns and the oozing hot custard buns.
Yum Cha, 3/F, Attitude on Granville, 20-22 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2751 1666
Deriving its name from the Chinese character for rest and hospitality (舍) SHÈ is a stylish, modern dim sum restaurant specialising in health-conscious, vegetarian-friendly Cantonese cuisine. Set upon the backdrop of the iconic Victoria Harbour, the restaurant merges an East-meets-West ethos, serving a range of specialities which include a delightful dim sum selection. Feeling peckish? Pop in for bite-sized signatures such as rose gold har gao with a pink beetroot-stained wrapper, and crystal veggie dumplings made from sweet potato, lily bulbs, mushroom and spinach for a nutritious boost.
SHÈ, Portion A of Shop 3025-3026 & 3031-3066, Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2110 0153
Champagne and free-flow dim sum? Yes, please. Old Bailey’s Bao Brunch (HK$480 per person plus HK$220 for free-flow) can’t be beat, with an all-you-can-eat selection of xiao long bao, Jiangnan-style dim sum, wok dishes and more for a decadent weekend feast. Tuck into an array of creative dim sum from the spicy Iberico pork soup dumplings in a paper-thin wrapper to the Yangzhou-style glutinous rice siu mai and steamed silver thread mantou, followed by rice, noodle and wok dishes. Afterwards, take a seat on the small terrace to enjoy artisanal tea and cakes while overlooking the leafy Tai Kwun courtyard.
Old Bailey, 2/F, JC Contemporary, Tai Kwun, Old Bailey Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2877 8711