Working in Admiralty can leave you in a bore for lunch options – long queues, hoards of people and total lack of choice is just a recipe for disaster at 1pm here! So for a change, I decided to take a special trip my own little Shangri-La: the Island Shangri-La’s Summer Palace, for a lunchtime dim sum feast.
This Michelin two-star restaurant is definitely something of a lunchtime treat – but if you’re feeling a desperate need to get away from the Admiralty chaos during your lunch hour or are looking for a nice place for lunch with your colleagues, this is a good option.
Our first dim sum was a Summer Palace signature – steamed pork dumplings with shrimp and, in a more unusual touch, scallop. I usually find the siu mai at other dim sum places somewhat small (and rather pathetic!), but here they were big and juicy; you definitely get your shrimp and scallops worth in this dumpling!
A good vegetarian option is the pan-fried bean curd skin roll. It can be quite difficult to find dim sum without any shrimp or pork in them, so this is a welcome choice – boasting the crispy goodness of bean curd with shredded veggies hidden in between the layers.
One of our favourite Summer Palace dim sum choices was the rice rolls (“cheung fun”) with deep-fried crispy shrimp rolls – essentially, a roll within a roll! I haven’t seen this dish at too many places, possibly because it sounds a tad over-indulgent… but I loved the texture of the soft rice rolls wrapped around the crispy shrimp inside. Be sure to eat this as soon as it arrives – you don’t want the crispy shrimp to get soggy from the soy sauce!
And of course, you can’t go for dim sum and not order the char siu bao! I enjoyed the sugar-coated baked topping on Summer Palace’s BBQ pork buns, but wished there was more char siu in my bao to satisfy my char siu craving.
What turned out to be the biggest crowd favourite at Summer Palace wasn’t actually the dim sum, but the crispy roast pork. The skin was pure crunchy goodness, the meat wasn’t too fatty (a frequent mistake at Chinese restaurants), and the pork was cut into small, dainty chunks – just perfect for a plate to share.
After all the dim sum dishes, we finished off our meal with a bowl of soup each. I opted for the simple wonton soup – a perfect clear soup to cleanse your body after all the steamed, baked and fried varieties of dim sum you’ve feasted on! I loved the baby wontons, which were just perfectly bite-size. If you’re looking for something a bit heavier, try the braised spinach and egg white soup with prawn, which looked amazing!
Even though my lunch break is a mere hour long, we still managed to squeeze in dessert (thank goodness!). If you’re still hungry, I would suggest the baked sago pudding with lotus seed paste; this comforting dessert is certain to fill you with warm and fuzzy feeling inside… and possibly put you into a food coma at work afterwards! However, my pick of the desserts were the glutinous rice dumplings with fresh mango; each sticky rice dumpling had a huge chunk of fresh, juicy mango right in the middle, which was a nice touch to end our lunchtime feast!
So if you’re looking for some dim sum fun around Admiralty, why not head to the Island Shangri-La? The dim sum is always yummy and quite affordable given its prime location – the dim sum ranges from $50-100, individual servings of soup are around $100-150, and desserts cost about $50-$70. So for those of you who need to get in and out for lunch within an hour, this is a great place to enjoy those sixty minutes with good dim sum, a peaceful atmosphere and speedy service!
Need more dim sum inspiration? Check out our guide here!
Summer Palace Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong
2820 8552 www.shangri-la.com/…