one quintessential hong kong experience is to survive a rowdy, noisy, authentic dim sum teahouse and eat awesome, sumptuous, and glistening hot food – what better way than to head to wellington street’s lin heung teahouse - one of the oldest and most authentic dim sum establishments in hong kong. mind you, this is not your typical, watered-down mild-mannered yum cha restaurant with air-conditioning and nice carpeting with nice old ladies pushing trollies of glistening har gaus and the likes. this is the real deal that is quite the intimidating experience.
we entered the restaurant, me kinda (falsely) confident that our cantonese would get us some headway with the waiters. but oh boy.. the teahouse was jam packed and the waiter waved at us to just mill around tables with “potential” finishing-up patrons and grab seats when they became available. now.. that isn’t exactly easy when you have to navigate past narrow spaces between tables, avoiding waiters with scalding hot teapots and baskets of dim sum and try to stare down others who encroach upon your waiting territory. and mind you, those hk aunties can win any staring contest against anymore.
i tried the “pitiful-look” route with the waiters initially and gave up and eventually grimly stood by a table to wait it out. took us around 15mins to finally get seats to which the second problem surfaced — yes, the dim sum came in trolleys, but essentially the demand far outstripped the supply. meaning that most carts were empty almost minutes after they got wheeled out. and there wasn’t exactly a system for ordering from the waiters unless you were like long-time customers (yes, i eyed those people with utter envy). so yeah, it came down to a all-out brawl with the other patrons of the restaurant to push you way toward the surroundings of the cart and jab at the dim sum baskets to the auntie to communicate your order. those aunties are pretty awesome to be honest, because they police the cart’s contents pretty well, scolding any stray hands whilst handling the deluge of jabs and orders.
so yeah, it was alot of positioning, aggressiveness, and timing, but we finally got quite a bit of food and mmm.. it’s pretty darn good food to go along with the authentic experience. everything is served really fresh and everything is flavorful, hot and delicious. i’ll let the pictures do the talking.
lor mai kai (glutinous rice) – really yummy and steamed just right!
hehe. its quite the experience. go for it. dun chicken out and go to like maxim’s palace. you can do those after you’ve visited lin heung.
lin heung tea house | 160 wellington street, central, hong kong
city hall maxim’s palace chinese restaurant | 3 edinburgh place, hong kong
tim ho wan | 2-20 kwong wa street, mong kok, kowloon (damn.. missed this michelin starred dim sum.. heard you had to queue for an insanely long time)