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A taste of Hong Kong life.

Ishali Patel from our Hong Kong office shares some of her favourite dim sum dishes, all of which can be found on the menu at either Majesty or Social Place in Hong Kong.

About the author

Ishali Patel

+852 3752 8885

Having spent nine years of my career in London, in 2014 I relocated to Hong Kong where I became an expat - or what I like to refer to myself as, ‘a road warrior’.

Throughout my career I have helped expats settle into their new lives by ensuring that their taxes and finances are correctly structured, because of this I thought my own relocation would be simple. However, it is often easy to forget that your finances are just one of many factors to consider when moving aboard. As the diagram of The lifecycle of an expat shows, there are often many cultural and emotional hiccups that can occur along the way. Thankfully, Buzzacott were (as you would expect!) well-prepared to help me deal with all the challenges that I came across, leaving me to happily enjoy the finer things in my life - food. As a self-confessed foodie I have spent much of my free time exploring the streets of Hong Kong and more specifically sampling the dim sum on offer!

Dim sum is a traditional Cantonese meal typically eaten from morning to mid-afternoon.  It generally consists of small parcels of meat, fish and/or vegetables, served in steamed rice paper wrappers or buns usually served directly on the table in traditional bamboo steamers, plus other small dishes.

The two Chinese characters representing the word dim sum are 點 心. The first character 點 means ‘little’ or ‘small’ and the second 心 is the character for ‘heart’.  The most commonly accepted story around dim sum is that they were prepared by local people as a gift for soldiers who were returning victorious from war to say thank- you for keeping them safe.  The two characters 點心 are a shortened version of the Chinese phrase 點點心意 which means “a little piece of appreciation”.  

Hong Kong has some of the best dim sum restaurants in the world. Whenever we have visitors from London, we always take them out to try the local dim sum at either Majesty or Social Place. To give you a better idea of what you should try if you ever find yourself in town, here are some of my favourite dishes that I highly recommend:

Siu Mai

Siu Mai is a pork dumpling traditionally served with a sprinkling of crab roe on the top. The flavour is indescribable but each mouthful is packed full of flavour! 


Ham Sui Gok

Heart attack central but Ham Sui Gok, fried pork dumplings, is my favorite dim-sum! Crispy on the outside with delicious savoury pork filling on the inside.


Ma Lai Go

This steamed egg-yolk cake pudding is honestly the closest thing to the perfect dim-sum dessert!


Social Place

Har Gau (steamed prawn dumpling) grapefruit shaped

A twist on the traditional Har Gau, the dumpling wrapper is infused with grapefruit flavour adding a lovely citrus twist to the dish and making the dumplings look amazing!


Truffle shiitake bao

This ingenious take on “bao” (steamed rice flour buns) comes out looking like the mushrooms that filled them and a beautiful truffle flavor throughout.  Delicious!


Pork belly slider

I never leave without sampling one of their signature dishes - the pork belly slider never disappoints! The addition of sugar crumbs and pickles makes the dish mouth-wateringly good.