[HK] Delicate Dim Sum – Yan Toh Heen (欣圖軒)

When one’s in Hong Kong, I don’t think there’s any reason for not having dim sum at least once. Located in the Intercontinental Hotel of Hong Kong, Yan Toh Heen is recognized as one of the world’s finest Chinese restaurants that specializes in Cantonese cuisine, and also the recipient of 2-michelin stars!

It’s been a while since I had fancy dim sum. Dim sum is a very casual, daily thing to do in Hong Kong, hence having dim sum at an upscale restaurant is only for special occasion. The last time that I had fancy dim sum was at Tin Lung Heen, which is also has 2-michelin stars. The restaurant isn’t as high up in the sky as Tin Lung Heen. It’s actually located in the lower level of the hotel, but it gives you the perfect view of the entire Victoria Harbour.

With the big windows, the restaurant is bright and warm. The gold and neutral tone creates a homey and relaxing ambiance. Visited with my friend Ann, blogger of Taiwan Walker, during Chinese New Year break. Since it was quite last minute reservation, we didn’t get a table until 3 pm, so I guess this would found as a Chinese-style afternoon tea then!

This jade plate is gorgeous! However, the waiter took it away when the food are served…

No matter where you go for dim sum, the first thing (sometimes even before you take a seat) that the staff asks is “what kind of tea do you want?” And, I always ask for Shoumei tea when I’m in Hong Kong (no idea why Taiwan doesn’t serve it). It’s a type of Chinese white tea from Fujian.

Before we ordered, the waiter brought up these candied pecans. They were quite good, crunchy and not so sweet.

After we ordered, the waiter brought up 6 sauces. The sauces on the top are soy sauce, Chenpi (dried tangerine) plum sauce, and sweet-sour sauce. The bottom ones are three types of chili sauce with different level of spiciness.

Har gow, aka the shrimp dumplings, is the most classic and basic dish that you have to order at dim sum. Har gow and siu mai are the classic dim sum duo that determine whether the spot makes it or breaks it. The har gow at Yan Toh Heen was pretty good. The wrapper was translucent and thin,  and it doesn’t stick to the teeth.

These are the steamed mushrooms with fungus and black truffles dumplings. The wrappers of these dumplings are thinner than har gow, but they still hold the fillings together very well. The black truffle fragrance was very subtle.

These Yan Toh Heen Superior Dumplings were so delicate and beautiful! From left to right, there are steamed crab leg dumpling with green vegetablessteamed lobster and bird’s nest dumpling with gold leaf, and steamed scallop with black truffles and vegetables dumpling. I only had the first and third. The crab leg dumpling was topped with a big chunk of crab leg, which the texture was firm yet springy. I thought the green vegetables would be soft and mushy, but it added a bit of crunchiness. The steamed scallop with black truffles was alright. It was tasty, but lack of something special.

I never skip cheung fun at dim sum, especially the plain ones. However, they only had the wok-seared cheung fun (rice flour cannelloni) and red cherry shrimp with soy sauce. The cheung fun was chewy, but a bit too salty for my taste.

Seafood bean curd rolls in chicken broth was one of my favorites. The broth was rich in flavor, but light in taste. The bean curd rolls have absorbed the flavors of the chicken broth, but still in perfect shape (it can easily fall apart if cook too long).

I forgot what these four items were. The presentation was beautiful and delicate, but taste-wise, didn’t stand out too much.

These are deep-fried sesame balls filled with assorted mushrooms. They were very crisp outside! These are typically made as dessert, which are filled with red beans or sesame paste. It was my first time having savory ones.

For dessert, we had the crispy sesame dumplings with pineapple and custard cream are one of their classics and must-try. It was different than I expected. I thought the custard cream would ooze out just like the custard buns. In fact, it was quite firm yet smooth! The tartness and sourness of pineapple lighten up the heaviness of custard cream. The cookie at the bottom was kind of like a shortbread.

Overall, the food was delicious, but the service was a bit slow and not so friendly. Not sure if it was due to Chinese New Year or they simply thought we were just young and inexperienced, the service just wasn’t up to par for a 2-michelin stars restaurant.

 

Yan Toh Heen (欣圖軒)
18 Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (Intercontinental Hotel)
Tel: +852 2313 2323

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