Tag Archives: dim sum

Classic Dim Sum at Maxim’s Palace City Hall

I’ve eaten a lot of dim sum in my lifetime, having grown up in Los Angeles.  Monterey Park, Alhambra, and LA’s very own Chinatown are known for having some of the best dim sum in California and my family and I have tried many of them over the years.  As a result, I am somewhat of a dim sum fanatic and am absolutely thrilled to be in Hong Kong–a city (in)famous for its dim sum culture.

My first dim sum experience in Hong Kong was at Maxim’s Palace City Hall, a Hong Kong institution.  The Maxim’s Group, founded in 1956, owns hundreds of restaurants all over Hong Kong, ranging from traditional Cantonese restaurants to Western cafes to bakeries.  Maxim’s City Hall, one of the oldest locations, is renowned for its classic dim sum and elegant harbor views.  Tourists, locals, and food bloggers alike crowd into the huge banquet-style dining room, peering into each of the steaming carts that pass by.  (And non-Canto speakers–don’t worry! Each cart has signs with English translations of the dishes they are carrying.)

My friends and I started out with the shrimp and corn egg rolls and steamed beef balls.  While the steamed beef balls are a traditional dish, the shrimp and corn egg rolls were anything but–especially since they were served with mayo.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the combination.  The steamed beef balls, however, were fragrant and flavorful.

Siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), char siu bau (steamed pork buns), and cheung fan (steamed rice noodle roll) are all classic dim sum fare.  Maxim’s versions were excellent, as expected.  The siu mai, served steaming hot, were plump and juicy, while the char sui bau were fluffy and light as can be.  Cheung fancan be filled with either shrimp, pork, or beef, and are topped with a sweet soy sauce.  We opted for the barbecued pork version, which added a nice sweetness to the dish.

Sadly, we missed out on the har gau (steamed shrimp dumplings) and dan tat (egg tarts), but I will definitely be back another time.  Most dim sum dishes were around HKD $30-60, and I think the quality of the ingredients and the elegant atmosphere are worth the pricetag.  In sum, Maxim’s Palace City Hall is a wonderful introduction to Hong Kong’s dim sum culture, which I’m sure I will be intimately familiar with by the end of the summer.

Maxim’s Palace City Hall 
2/F, Low Block, City Hall
Central, Hong Kong

Dim Sum (and then some) Happy Hour

Ping Pong Dim Sum opened on Saturday (12/12) in Chinatown and from the looks and tastes of things, it’s off to a great start (review will be posted shortly!). If you want to sample Ping Pong’s delectable dim sum at a discounted price, stop in on Tuesday 12/15 between 6-10pm for lots and LOTS of specials. These include: $5 Ping Pong specialty martinis, $4 beer, and $3 baked puffs, char siu buns, prawn balls, spring rolls, and more. See Ping Pong’s Twitter for more details.

Ping Pong Dim Sum

900 7th St. NW (behind PS7’s)

Washington, DC 20001

(202) 506-3740