I had a few hours to kill during my layover in Hong Kong Airport to LAX. After running an errand for my mom, I decided to do the the next best thing in HK aside from shop.
Traditional Yum Cha at one of Hong Kong's Top 10 Best Restaurants!
To "Yum Cha" is to go to a teahouse for some dim sum.
Where else but Luk Yu Tea House in Central Hong Kong
Luk Yu is famous for its dim sum, and is also noted for the original Art Deco interiors since it first opened in 1933, with colonial tables & chairs with marble inlay, spittoon, stained glass windows, half-vase on the walls and a lot of wood to warm the room.
Even the cashier feels like a historical apothecary, with the cashier man hiding from ToT's camera.
I decided to try sitting on the wooden booths, which is oh so 40s, to understand why Luk Yu is the go-to place for local celebs as well as business people in the Central District, as it is "the most famous dim sum teahouse remaining in Hong Kong" by The New York Times.
Tea is one of Luk Yu's specialties, and you can get special types of Chinese teas such as bo lai (fermented black tea), jasmine, lung chung (green tea), and siu sin (daffodil tea). There is also an extensive menu, but you can request for the Chinese version if you are not well-versed in the language. Too bad there was no Xiao Long Bao on the menu :(
Attempting to capture the steam
Luk Yu is most famous for its dim sum as well as their Cantonese menu. Delicate and made to order, the plates come from the kitchen; there are no carts coming out for you to grab from
Mashed Fish & Taro Cake aka Radish Cake
3 small, lightly fried cakes on a plate. The fish was very present and separated by flakes, unlike cheap versions which feel very starchy.
It tasted a lot like the Fu Shing radish cake, but wished the outside was crisped up a bit more, as it was a bit soggy. Nonetheless, it was perfect in its own right.
Crabmeat & Scallion Dumpling
The crabmeat tasted fresh and was lightly seasoned. The dumpling wrapper was gummy and very viscose, and tasted freshly wrapped.
Perfect for two little bites, there was more crab than scallion, just the way I like it!
Fresh Shrimp Dumplings
Let me tell you, this Har Gau wasn't mind-blowing, but it was unique because I could really taste the "freshness" of the shrimp, which lent a nice oceanic saltiness in the entire dumpling. It was seasoned so well, I didn't need to put soy-sauce on it, because the flavor the the sea truly came out. Add to that the wonderfully chewy/gummy texture of the dumpling wrapper, and I might admit it's a pretty sublime dumpling experience.
The encompassing component of the Yum Cha, is the soy sauce with an accompaniment of Chinese mustard and chili sauce. The chili sauce enhanced the flavor of all the small plates without overpowering it with heat. No need for calamansi.
The friendly servers posing with ToT (I swear, they didn't hesitate!). Plural because the camera-man was more game than this dude.
But the ham of them all was this pleasant waiter, giving me the peace sign as I left the Tea House. It felt like dining in a piece of history, and I'm glad I tried it.
Find Luk Yu Tea House
24-26 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
From Central Station MRT,
Exit D1, Right on Pedder St.
Right on Queen's Road Central,
Left on D'Aguilar (where Coach store is)
Right on Stanley St. Luk Yu is on the left
+852 2523 5464