I know, I know … You’re saying pink and a yum cha restaurant don’t go together. I’m here to tell you that in one restaurant here in Hong Kong they do.
I can assure you the above photo has no filters on it, nor has it been processed in Photoshop. That’s the real ambience in a real restaurant and Bethany LOVES it.
Yum Cha (Dim Sum for those American’s out there) is a cultural necessity for Hong Kong locals on the weekend. Yum Cha literally means “drink tea” in Cantonese. With possibly one exception (the Michelin starred restaurant in Mong Kok) it is exclusively a lunchtime meal where friends and/or family sit around a table, share small dishes of predominantly dumplings (dim sum) at a leisurely pace as they talk and drink tea. It is a cacophony of noise as people chat and clink their crockery and very Cantonese in its origins.
In times past, ladies used to trundle around with trolleys full of steaming bamboo containers abound with tempting dim sum morsels allowing you to pick and choose what you wanted then and there. These days however, Hong Kong has all but done away with the trolleys since the SARS scare some years back, replacing them with a piece of paper you tick with a pencil. There are a select few restaurants that have brought back the trolleys in a lesser capacity.
This particular restaurant, Maxim’s Palace Chinese Restaurant (B13-B18, B/F, Shun Tak Centre (Macau Ferry Terminal), 168-200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan) is one of them. It offers a sampling of trolleys for diners to choose from plus a large selection of dishes you can tick on paper.
Bethany loves being able to peer into the ‘fried trolley’ and point out exactly what she wants. She is partial to ‘Jah Won Ton’ (deep fried won tons), which taste nothing like the ones we get in chinese takeaways in New Zealand.
The restaurant is HUGE in size so waiting times are generally not too bad (around 20 minutes on a normal weekend). The food is very edible and there is quite a wide selection to choose from. I can’t recommend any stand out dishes as this Yum Cha tend to focus on variety more than specialising in any particular dumplings or dishes. All the dishes we have tried have been tasty. They do make a giant ‘jin doi’ (sorry – don’t know the english) that looks impressive, however i’ve not tried it … yet. The price of a meal is very reasonable for lunch.
The hidden beauty of most Yum Cha restaurants (this one included) for parents are how kid-friendly they tend to be. The kids can choose new and interesting things to try; they can be somewhat loud without bothering anyone; they can be somewhat messy without anyone getting too upset and there are lots of different dishes for them to taste and enjoy. Our kids love going to Yum Cha on the weekend (not that you’ve noticed right? ;)).