Even though our little Panda hub in Sheung Wan offers us a safe, cozy resting place, surrounded by tasty food and people – yes, also tasty – the steaming bamboo nests and shining white crockery of 3 delightful, delicious Dim Sum diners beckoned our hungry mouths to the bustling streets of Tsim Sha Tsui for foodpanda’s 5th Good Food Tour.
Hidden just off Canton Road was out first stop, a restaurant that plays no games in hiding what you should expect eat there, DimSum Bar. The large red lanterns suspended from the ceiling gives one the feeling of being quite little, which isn’t so bad when you remember you are on a mission to devour 3 meals worth of food!
Just as the bellies of keen foodies started making their rumbles known, out came the first dish. King’s Dumplings in Lobster Bisque ($55) – my general theory is that nothing that comes in a lobster soup can be bad right?
Oh boy was I right. The prawn parcel delicately floated on top of the thick, creamy, orange sauce and the first of many “One bite, or two?” dilemmas started. Stealthily I chose two and what a choice that was, giving me twice the opportunity to soak up this tasty appetiser.
Next up, a Baked Abalone and Chicken Pastry ($52), and while looking rather like a dessert, contained a multitude of flavours and textures. With the tart-esque base sweet and crumbly, contrasting to the salty and chewy seafood topping. A combination surprising to taste but by no means disappointing!
And here I introduce you to the start of our three-part Char Siu Bao-ttle of the evening. Up first, a baked rendition of the classic Hong Kong dish, Baked Barbeque Pork Cream Buns with Minced Ham ($33). The crisp white bun discreetly possessed the zesty, bright flavours of the Barbeque Pork within. The bar has most certainly been set high for the remaining two…
Our final dish from venue #1 was Steamed Rice Flour Rolls with Crispy Rice Nest and Seafood ($56). The bite goes from soft to crisp to chewy in one swift movement and the sheer skill that went into constructing this elegant course was clearly evident in the proficient presentation.
Off we set to walk off our already satisfied bellies, dodging the busy bodies of TST and admiring the bright neon signs above us, we make it to the second venue of the night. Welcome to CaterKing Dimsum, a more canteen-feeling establishment, complimented by the bright white lights and tiny, but powerful, fans.
Quickly grabbing the sofa side this time, we sit, chopsticks at the ready, awaiting round 2 to begin. Giving our eyes a slight break from the dynamic colours, our first dish is Perigold Truffle and Scrambled Egg White Dumplings ($31).
The spicy chilly sauce boosts the range of flavours already exuding from the unusual dish and the faces around me go from confused to intrigued to delighted as each bite persists.
A glass of half a foot long Spring Rolls ($34) – yes, you heard me – appears, along with the equally tall cucumber, standing proud above the rest of the table reminiscent of breadsticks. Quickly followed by my favourite of the Dim Sum selection, my go to dumpling, the bright and tasty Siu Mai ($10). This confident little flavour packet has a perfectly plumped prawn plopped on its top and certainly holds up to my educated standards of deliciousness.
Back to the Bao-ttle. Contestant number 2 is also baked, Baked Mexican Buns with Barbequed Pork ($24). The thicker dough is able to hold even more juices inside and the pork teases your tongue as you make a bold chomp to the middle. Bonus round: See how many bites it takes for you to finish a Char Siu Bao. 6+: standard, 4-5: signs of a seasoned Bao-er, 2-3: a confident contester, and 1? Well now you’re just showing off.
Once again, the tea is politely poured to settle the filling trousers before it’s off to our last destination. Up the complicated escalators and lifts of The ONE is The Dining Room, a delicately decorated restaurant with plenty of happy customers already digging into their dinners. Generally I find it easier to close my eyes and let someone else do the ordering as to save myself from selecting everything on the menu, but here the opportunity to do that was too tempting.
Seven courses made their way to our large, square table, starting with Bao-ttle constestant number 3, the signature Fried Pork Buns with Soup ($12/piece). These fluffy buns of fun had warm brown bottoms and herb garnished tops, a solid blend with the gooey, saucy inside. 3 strong contenders, 3 bold Baos and 3 winners! (Because they were all really tasty and I can’t choose a favourite!)
Our table quickly filled up with the arrival of the Steamed Pork and Soup Dumplings with Black Truffle ($88), a Xiao Long Bao with a dark inside secret, the blend of pork and truffle boasted a salty, almost Italian flavour, and the Pan-Fried Pork Dumplings with a Crispy Golden Net ($42) which took the prize for most dynamic plating arrangement.
And now, we make it to everyone’s favourite part of the meal – Dessert. Starting off with Crispy Rice Dumplings with Pomelo ($30). The succulent sesame outer shell introduces the sweet insides with great surprise and the combination of sweet and savoury provides a happy table, all full-mouthed nodding their heads in unanimous satisfaction.
Next up, another surprising combination, the Glutinous Maltesar Dumplings ($30) contain a chocolaty crunch within the squishy gluten blanket. This unusual fusion gets a double thumbs up from me and is a must-have on the menu. Our final two dishes are Green Tea and Red Bean Sweet Balls with Crushed Peanut and Sesame ($30/dish).
These rather fidgety little balls make you work hard for the bright green and purple trophies lurking inside the clear gluten. You have to earn the right to the middle, and you won’t be disappointed when you do.
Photos taken, stomachs full, faces smiling and bodies ready to drop into a happy food coma for 3 months, the foodpanda Good Food Tour: Dim Sum Edition has come to a flavoursome end and it’s time for these foodies to part.
Dim Sum Bar
Address: Shop G103, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Canterking Dim Sum
Address: Shops 2-3, Ground Floor, Workingport Commercial Building, 3 Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui
The Dining Room
Address: Shop 501, 5/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
• Angel from @thewanderingchopsticks
• Lily from @afoodieworld
• Sophronia from @hkfoodie
• Kelly from @hkblogger
• Kelvin rom @epicurushongkong
• Thomas from @hkfoodiexblogger
• Jessica from @olfooddiary
• Kate from @kaate852