Angie introduced me to dim sum on our very first trip to Hong Kong together in 1998. There are many different varieties of dim sum, but most are some sort of steamed bun or dumpling. Our Chinese friends talk about going for “yum cha”, which can be loosely translated as having morning or afternoon tea. Except here the tea is accompanied by delicious dim sum.
This particular restaurant is One Dim Sum in the Prince Edward neighbourhood of Kowloon. The modest exterior would never have you guessing that the place has a Michelin star, but indeed it does, having first made it into the Michelin guide in 2011. To avoid the rush associated with its popularity, we arrived just before the quietest time of the day and our wait on the chairs outside wasn’t more than 20 minutes.
Dim sum itself is quite unique, but so is the restaurant experience. Traditionally, ready-made dim sum is wheeled around the restaurant on carts and restaurant goers take what they want from the cart as it comes past. This was the case at the famous Luk Yu Tea House, where I had my first dim sum experience. But here at One Dim Sum we noted our choices on a list and they arrived when ready.
We were eager to see whether One Dim Sum lived up to the star and to the rave reviews it received from several of our foodie friends. In short, it did. I can’t remember enjoying dim sum this much. Top to bottom, left to right, we had Siu Mai (pork dumpling), Choy Miu Gau (vegetable shrimp dumpling), Cha Siu Bao (barbecued pork bun), Har Gao (shrimp dumpling), Law Mai Gai (chicken and sticky rice wrapped in a lotus leaf). Angie doesn’t eat pork, so those were all me, but she had an extra order of the Har Gao, her favourite.
For dessert, it was all we could do to squeeze in some Lui Sha Jin Dui (fried mini sesame balls).
Unbelievably, our total bill for this one star Michelin feast was $20.