Hong Kong 2010 - Dim Sum at Maxim's City Hall

Hong Kong is famous for its dim sum, and Maxim’s at City Hall is undoubtedly one of the most famous venues to sample this popular Cantonese delicacy. The restaurant is located in the City Hall complex, just opposite the old Hong Kong City Hall building. If you go there, be prepared for a long wait. The queue is notoriously bad - typically 45 min to over 1 hour. Still people are willing to stand around waiting for their table - including us.

When you arrive at the restaurant, a waitress checks the number of people in the group and put you on a queue. When your number is called, make sure you are there or they will give the table to the next in line.

The opulent dining hall.

Maxim’s still have the old dim sum trolleys which they push from table to table and you can order what you want right off the trolleys. This is probably the main reason why it is so popular. Most other dim sum places in Hong Kong have done away with this tradition and instead use order chits, which takes away some of that traditional dim sum experience.

Maxim’s definitely takes the crown as far as variety of dim sums is concerned. However in terms of taste and quality, there are better places in town. It is also not cheap, our bill came up to over HKD 600 ! And that was for only 2 adults and 2 children. (We did order a huge amount of dim sums !)

Steamed Prawn Balls and Tofu.

The famous Polo Buns with Char Siew Filling. I honestly can't understand why these are so popular. There's too much skin for my taste.

Char Siew Puffs. The filling was a bit too sweet.

Red Bean Baos.

Kailan with Oyster Sauce. These were really good - cooked just right with a crunchy texture.

Har Cheong - Prawn Rolls. These were good - very fresh and sweet prawns inside, and good skin texture.

Crispy Springrolls.

Har Kau. The skin was a bit thick, but the prawn filling was really delicious.

Siew Mai. There's more prawn then pork in the filling. Yummy !

Yam Puffs with a creamy chicken filling.

Lo Pak Kou - Pan Fried Raddish Cakes - one of my favourites. These were not too bad.

Mango Pudding - very good. Rich fresh mango taste.

Everything was good, but not great. For the price you would expect a mind-blowing dim sum experience, but you'll have to look elsewhere. And I can’t understand how some of the diners can sit and read their newspapers, taking their sweet time – when they know there is a long line waiting outside. I guess when you live in Hong Kong, you get used to it. In some of the dim sum places, you literally have to stand next to the table to wait for your turn, or somebody else will grab it !


Natasha in Oz said…
These dishes look so delicious! We are visiting Hong Kong in December so I would be very interested to hear about some of the other dim sum places that you think are good.

I really enjoy reading your blog.

Best wishes,
Anonymous said…
Thats strange, I was in Hong Kong a week ago and was thinking about going to Maxim's City Hall for dim sum but ended up going to the Stanely Market instead.

I'd recommend Tim Ho Wan for yum cha in HK. Its across the water in Monk Kok (Kowloon) but well worth the trip. It opens at 10 but I'd suggest you get there by 9.30 otherwise you could be in for a long wait (its popular but very small).

Big Fil
looks so delicious...congratulations for picture
Borneoboy said…
Hi Natasha. For a traditional experience, try Luk Yu Teahouse. For good dim sum without breaking the bank, try Dao Heung Restaurant - they have many restaurants all over Hong Kong. Others worth checking out - Fu Sing Shark's Fin Restaurant in Wanchai, or Fook Lam Mun also in Wanchai.
While carts and long wait times are part and parcel of the Hong Kong dim sum experience, mediocre food is a real downer.

We had the same type of experience at Koi Palace in Daly City of the San Francisco Bay Area. Allegedly one of the best dim sum places around, with wait times to match, we were disappointed by the food there.

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