Monday, 20 January 2014

Cheap Eats HK: Dim Sum at Canton's Dimsum Experts

 Dim sum, those small bite-sized portions of deliciousness. I went on a brief trip to Hongkong with the family and was in dim sum heaven for a few days.

Some people trek to Hongkong to eat at Tim Ho Wan, the one michelin-starred dimsum restaurant famous for its baked pork buns, cheap prices (relative to HK standards) and mile long lines. But no, this isn't about Tim Ho Wan.  As much as I wanted to try those much hyped about baked pork buns, I knew that subjecting the fambam to wait for hours would drive them nuts, considering we only have four days to roam around. So no Tim Ho Wan for this trip, but we were still happy nevertheless, with a few Dim Sum discoveries of our own.

This is about one of those non-flashy, relatively new dim sum tea house in Tsim Tsa Tsui, Canton's Dim Sum Experts, which serves good dim sum at reasonable prices.

At 10:30 PM, after watching the Symphony of Lights and walking through the Harbor Bay Promenade, our family of four went searching for a still open eatery near our hotel and stumbled upon this place in Humphreys Avenue.  The eatery itself is at the basement level, one goes down a flight of stairs and enter a very typical chinese tea house, much like the atmosphere of Mandarin Tea House or Le Ching in the Philippines.  The shop is basic but very clean, a glass window separates the kitchen from the dining area so diners can see how the dim sum are prepared.

   Hot tea to cleanse the palate

   A cold glass of Horlicks for me, a delicious malted milk powder drink that's hard to find in the Philippines and even in Spain, and a cold lemon iced tea for my brother.

We ordered five savoury and two sweet dim sums. 

 Steamed Polonchay with Hoisin dipping sauce. Vegetable was crisp and dipping sauce was not too salty. This was mother's favorite.

Shrimp Ha Kao. The ha kao are bigger than those served in the Philippines, with plump, juicy shrimps. Delicious on its own, no need for the requisite chili oil and soy sauce dip.

Steamed Pork Buns, essentially, siopao asado in the Philippines. Nothing really remarkable about this dish.

Pork and vegetable dumplings. Filled with minced pork, onions and a veggie similar to the Philippine kutchay. Good but the dumpling skin was too thin such that the dumpling disintegrated as we picked it with our chopsticks.

Crispy Prawn Cheong Fan. Velvety rice rolls encasing crispy fried prawns. Unforgettable! We loved it so much we attempted to order another serving but the kitchen has ran out of this delicious dim sum.

For our desserts, we tried out two typical Hongkong sweet dim sums:

    Steamed Sponge Cake. Deliciously light and airybwith a hint of molasses. We all loved this.

Steamed Custard Buns. These are steamed buns filled with a bright yellow, egg yolk based custard.  Nothing really remarkable about these buns. 

For all these: two cold drinks, unlimited hot tea, five savoury and two sweet dim sums, the bill came to 258 HK Dollars, about 1,500 pesos. Really inexpensive relative to HK prices. 

The next day, still craving for more dim sum, we walked to Canton's Dim Sum Experts for breakfast. Arriving at half past nine, the tea house were already almost full with locals. Here's what we had:

Baked Pork Buns. This is Canton Experts' version of the pork buns that made Tim Ho Wan famous.  To be honest, I didn't find anything outstanding about this dish. It's basically just baked buns with the usual siopao asado filling and a slightly sweet crumb topping.

   Mixed Siomai: Two beef siomai and two crab roe siomai per order. Comfortingly delicious! We all liked the crab roe shiomai better.

A big bowl of Pork Noodle Soup which we split among the four of us.  I am not a noodle soup lover so it was just tasty and ok for me, but the brother loved the broth as it was milky and tasty without being too "meaty" in flavor.

 Radish Cake. We love radish cake and Canton's version is delicious with a lot of shrimp and meat bits embedded in the savoury cakes.

For desserts, we had Steamed Sponge Cake again and tried some Osmanthus Jelly.
Made from konjac jelly and the dried flowers of Osmanthus, this dessert is quite popular in Hongkong so we had to try it. My mother and cousin didn't like this because they said there was a herby taste to it but I personally found the jelly refreshing with its lemony aftertaste and a mild, herby fragrance from the Osmanthus flowers.

I remember before this trip asking two old friends who just recently went to Hong Kong where to eat, and one of them advised to just go to where a lot of locals eat because chances are the food would be good and reasonably priced.  Well, because of that advice we happily found Canton's Dimsum Experts.

Canton's Dim Sum Experts
Open from 8:30 to 23:30
Humphreys Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui 


  1. My family and I have tried eating here and I can say that it is one of the best cheap resto in HK! :) When we got the menu, we ordered a lot(since the picture is quite small in the menu, we thought that the serving is little)... we got hesitant if we can eat all the dishes that we ordered but then it was so delicious and we ended up ordering more! You might also want to try eating some desserts in Hui Lau Shan, I swear they have the best desserts in the Tsim Tsa Tsui area. It's just across Silka Seaview Hotel.

  2. Hi Karla! Great that you also love this resto! I will keep your recommendation of Hui Lau Shan in mind the next time I find myself in HK :-)


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