When you walk along the busy streets of Hong Kong, you will know from the hustle and bustle that this city, though invisible on the world map, is a treasure chest filled with various kinds of experiences — food, night life, culture, art, business, etc. Indeed, you can go on many different adventures here, but ultimately, a Hong Kong experience without dim sum is an incomplete experience.
The literal translation of dim sum (點心) is ‘touch one’s heart’, and it has truly touched a lot of local and tourists’ hearts for it to become so deeply ingrained in the culture. With its only ever increasing popularity, it is simply fair that everyone, regardless of race or diet, should be able to get the dim sum experience. Omnivores will find no trouble looking for the perfect dim sum restaurant, but what about vegetarians?
Don’t worry. Here’s a list of dim sum restaurants that have vegetarian options that will surely touch your heart.
This elegantly decorated Chinese restaurant is one of the best places you can take your meat-loving friends when you feel like eating dim sum. Their dim sum and dishes do not only look like the original dishes that contain meat and/or seafood, but they taste like them too. Try taking your non-vegetarian pals here first without telling them that this is a vegetarian restaurant. You can then savour their bewildered actions after their first bites of Vegelink’s food, their specialty are the:
- Deep fried glutinous rice dumpling
- Translucent dumpling (regular/with black truffle)
- Veggie shrimp dumpling
- Sweet and sour nugget
- Deep fried mushroom slices with sweet sauce
If you enjoy and want to take home some of Vegelink’s finest goodies such as their tea, roasted BBQ ‘pork ‘ bun, or their table snacks (dried vegetarian meat and fried wasabi pasta), or if you are in the mood to shop for healthy products, you can head over to their supermarket that is just across the restaurant.
Tip: Redeem your get one free voucher when you dine with 6 or more people!
Dim sum hours: 12:00NN - 2:30PM. Monday - Saturday. 11:00AM - 3:00PM. Sundays.
Address: Shop 108, 1/F, Foo Yet Kai Commercial Centre, 56 Java Road North Point; +852 2807 1130
Pure Veggie House
This serene restaurant decked with multiple Guanyin (one of the most worshipped Buddhist Divinities) statues and follows a farm-to-table practice in creating their dishes. Pure Veggie puts a lot of emphasis on the aesthetics, taste, and preserving the traditional experience of yum cha (飲茶; drinking tea). Yum cha is how locals describe going to a Chinese restaurant for dim sum.
All of the ingredients served at Pure Veggie House are organically grown in farms at Heyuan province in Mainland of China. The reason why Pure Veggie choses this particular province is that it is the only city in Guangdong with no traces of acid rain. 70% of its land mass is made up of forests and there are no traces of pollution from industrial activities either.
To ensure the guests can have a clear tast of the fresh ingredients, their dim sum dishes are kept in smaller portions to make it easier for guests to eat each dumpling in one bite, allowing all layers of flavour to flow through their palette. Moreover, being able to eat each dim sum in one go allows guests to take time to talk in between after consuming each dim sum which, is the classic way of appreciating dim sum and a yum cha experience.
We recommend trying these when you visit Pure Veggie House:
- Wild mushroom dumpling with black truffle sauce
- Steamed rice noodle roll wrapped with mixed vegetable
- Sichuan wontons
- Red dates pudding
Recommended choice of tea: Dried rose and lychee
Dim sum hours: 11:00AM - 4:00PM. Opens daily.Address: 3/F, Coda Plaza, 51 Garden Road, Mid-Levels
Hidden away among the industrial buildings of the emerging, new business and commercial area that is, Kwun Tong, is the spacious, modern Chinese restaurant, the Veggie.
The Veggie provides a variation of menus throughout the week such as the business meal set during lunch and tea time for the office workers nearby during weekdays. Then, there is the all-you-can-eat menu set at lunch available at weekends. Overwhelmed by the options? Just approach the friendly staff who will immediately guide you to the best option that will work for you. There have been multiple times when I have had take a good look at my food (again) to check if it really is just vegetables! The Veggie is definitely a good place to take your meat-loving friends for a dim sum lunch, maybe even the ones who claim to dislike vegetables. Do check out the following when you drop by:
- Black truffle siu mai
- Veggie barbecue pork bun
- Taro spring roll
- Black truffle mushroom bun
Dim sum hours: 11:30AM - 4:30PM. Opens daily.
Address:Shop B, 1/F, COS Centre, 56 Tsun Yip Street, Kwun Tong; +852 3188 3094.
Lock Cha Tea House
Situated in the picturesque Hong Kong Park and in the first tea ware and seals museum in the world, is Lock Cha Tea House.
If you have ever watched any historical Chinese dramas, the traditional Chinese wood interior will probably make you feel like you are in a modernised Chinese palace.
To maximise your visit at this tea house, it is a must that you choose the tea of your choice first that will complement the dim sum you will sure to devour later on. The helpful staff will be glad to assist you if ever you feel overwhelmed with what to choose. I certainly got help, and here’s what they recommended to me.
Choice of tea: Lapsan Xiaochong — Fragrant, strong, but not overly bitter. A good partner to the following dishes.
Most popular dim sum dishes:
- Baby bamboo shoot dumplings
- Bean shoots dumpling
- Steamed mixed mushroom vegetable balls
- Glutinous flour dumpling with cashew nut and peanuts
Dim sum hours: 10AM - 8PM. Opens daily.
Address: G/F, The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, 19 Cotton Tree Drive, Admiralty; +852 2801 7177.
Three Virtues Vegetarian Restaurants
When you walk into Three Virtues, it looks and feels like your local, traditional dim sum restaurant.
Tables draped with white table cloths, families and friends chatting the day away as servers push trolleys that have stacks of piping hot bamboo containers. If you are looking for that local feel with a wide selection and affordable prices, Three Virtues is the place to go.
Also, if you are in a hurry but still want to get your dim sum fix, they have a takeaway store at the ground floor for you to grab what you want, pay, and go. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss out when you do visit:
- Turnip pancake
- Turnip puff
- Vegetarian ‘shrimp’ dumpling
- Vegetarian ‘barbecue pork-filled’ bun
Dim sum hours: 11AM - 4:30PM. Opens daily.
G/F & 4/F, JD Mall, 233-239 Nathan Road, Jordan; +852 3622 1888
1/F, 395 King’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong; +852 2856 1333