Lin Heung Teahouse is one of those old-school dim sum places where trolley-carts still rule the roost. 90 years old this year, and still outrageously popular. Try to avoid peak breakfast hours (7am-9am) when folks jostle for their food - trolley-carts emerging from the kitchen will be assailed from all sides by seemingly starving and very aggressive diners.
Dai bao (“big bun”, with the requisite pork, chicken, scallions, Chinese waxed sausage, hard-boiled egg & other goodies in the filling, with nice fragrance/aroma from the Shaoxing wine, ginger juice, soy sauce marinade.) - very tasty here, though I had a better one in Ipoh’s Foh San.
“Cheung fun” (shrimp-filled, in a more traditional, thicker noodle roll)
Chiuchow-style steamed dumplings, with chopped jicama, chives and shrimp filling.
Steamed pork, shitake mushroom and fish-maw - this was so good, we ordered seconds. Definitely worth a trip to Lin Heung just for this:
Thousand-layer steamed cake - one of my fave Chinese cakes since I was a young kid: layered with custard & salted duck’s eggyolk.
Address: Lin Heung Tea House, Tsang Chiu Ho Building, 160 Wellington St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 2544 4556.
That reminds of a time long ago on a different continent when the carts kept passing by without a pretty standard offering that the table craved. Finally one of the party went to the kitchen and came back with the goodies; can’t remember how the accounting was handled.
Went straight there the first morning in HKG, or when we returned from China. Checked out several other places as well just to compare but Ling Heung was most enjoyable (not to mention most delicious). It was always full but we didn’t have to wait long for seats.
My partner learnt the word “har kao” and everytime an employee came out of the kitchen with the cart he would walk quickly to her and said the word. Yes, other people would also rush to the cart. It went empty really fast.
I never had the cake. Looks nice. Is it like custard buns, more or less? Same idea and method.
Eating dim sum is one of the high-lights of visiting HK and Ling Heung is a must for me. I have tried several places but they only made me go back to Ling Heung.
Having been to LH more times than all other dim sum places I kind of stopped making new photos because not much has changed over the years. Please do add more photos from your visits if you want to. There are dishes I don’t want to eat and don’t order but others may find them interesting.
Photos in this post are from my visit in October last year. My first return in 10 years.
The new Lin Heung 蓮香樓 reopened in March 2019 under a new name Ling Heung Tea Room 蓮香茶室 , it was took over now by the staff. Lease was renewed for 3 years from March. They did close for 1 day to change the signage.
On the whole, we had a good meal, the style of dim sum was old style. Unlike the newer modern places, the dim sum did not have very fine skin, but were (over)filled with ingredients and generous, quite delicious.
As for the service and hygiene, many locals complained. I found the service alright, well, the direct Hong Kong style! We first took the empty table under an air conditioner, they noticed and redirected us to another place which was not as cold when it was available, we didn’t ask. One dim sum lady (violet lady) was patient to describe everything she had on the cart. The second one (blue shirt) on the photo above) just opened the bamboo covers and showed the various dim sum, didn’t say much.
Just curious since I’ve only had dim sum in the San Francisco Bay Area. Do you get up and go over to a cart to get your dim sum? It sounds exhausting. I’d be a nervous wreck trying to see what was coming out. FOMO!
Or are there only some things that people go after?
From what I recall, you get up and grab if you want first dibs pretty much on the freshest thing that came out of the kitchen. They do push the carts and go around. Note… this was a long time ago when I tried it haha
Yes, you need to actually run to the cart a few tables before you to grab before the others, it’s a competition. Some carts have different types dim sum, so it might save you the trouble to run around. Well, maybe some exercises is good for you, as most dim sum are high protein.
Joking, you can stayed seated, and when the cart passes, you just ask the person without standing up.
Our trip was in June and July, there were demonstrations, but alright. Friends in HK said things are relatively more calm since end of November, less demonstrations and less police, I guess due to the HK human right bill passed in US.
One tip is try to keep always a safe distance from the police, the further away the better! They aren’t predictable.