The best dim sum restaurants to book now
By Caroline Craig
December 19, 2022
Give these stand-out dim sum restaurants a whirl this season.
There is no occasion that cannot be improved by dumplings. Refined yet comforting, delicate yet gutsy, dim sum, that Cantonese gift to the world, has found its way into our hearts and palates. Many of the best chefs in the world have dedicated themselves to the art of making these little parcels of joy (their literal meaning is ‘touch the heart’) for our eating pleasure. Add in the chic surrounds of the world’s most beautiful restaurants, and you have a dining experience to remember. Read on for our global roundup of the best dim sum restaurants you must try now.
The institution: Man Wah, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
No trip to Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong would be complete without lunch at the newly blue-lacquered Man Wah. Set on the 25th floor, with panoramic vistas across Victoria Harbour and the city skyline, this icon among restaurants has been serving Cantonese specialities since 1968. Following a stunning 2021 refurbishment, Man Wah has surely cemented its status as a Hong Kong institution and one of the most delightful dining establishments in the city.
The chef’s favourite: A WONG, London
When we recently dined at A. WONG
in London, a world-renowned chef and notorious perfectionist was enjoying plate after plate of tenderly crafted dumplings at a table in the corner. That should tell you all you need to know about the calibre of the cuisine at this Pimlico lynchpin, which is loved by restaurateurs and dumpling devotees alike. Head chef and proprietor Andrew Wong delivers his two-Michelin star delicacies with aplomb.
Cantonese elegance: The Bay by Chef Fei, Mandarin Oriental, Shenzhen
Elegance, beauty and the freshest of ingredients are what we have come to expect from Chef Fei and his Cantonese creations at The Bay restaurant
, Mandarin Oriental, Shenzhen. One of the most sought-after chefs in China, Fei’s thoughtfully crafted menu includes highlights such as braised pork and gingko or scallop and pea leaf dumplings. Order with abandon but save room for dessert, including the chilled ‘duckling’ mango jelly.
The Art Deco tribute: Hutong, New York
Chinese tradition marries with Art Deco modernity at the New York branch of Hutong
, off Lexington Avenue. Dazzling high ceilings, geometric cut glass chandeliers and mirrors are the opulent setting for a decadent dining experience here. Throw in an Instagrammable ‘Champagne runway’ and a round of signature Pink Panda cocktails and you have a recipe for an ultra-glamorous night out: a Midtown Manhattan must-try.
The showcase: Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur
Lai Po Heen
, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, offers a no-holds-barred showcase of culinary expertise. Under the watchful eye of hungry diners, luxuriously filled dim sum are handmade by master chefs in an open kitchen. With parquet floors and golden touches throughout, the restaurant exudes timeless class, though beautiful private dining rooms are also available for those seeking bespoke experiences and a personalised service.
A world of dumplings: RavioXO, Madrid
With arguably the world’s best chef at the helm, and currently holding three Michelin stars, newly opened RavioXO
was always going to turn heads. At Dabiz Muñoz’ latest venture in Madrid, almost every imaginable form of dumpling from around the world takes the stage: dim sum, yes, but also ravioli, gyoza and so forth. With hours or even days of preparation required for each dish, it’s impossible not to fall for the enfant terrible of gastronomy’s latest reimagined creations.
History and heritage: Café Zi, Mandarin Oriental Wanfujing, Beijing
With views overlooking Beijing’s Forbidden City from its terrace, lunching at Café Zi
, Mandarin Oriental, Beijing – Wangfujing, is an experience steeped in Chinese heritage. There are but 12 dim sum to choose from, yet each is a fitting tribute to a Cantonese classic, from the steamed abalone dumplings to the deep-fried taro puffs with chicken, duck liver and dried shrimp. It’s a compact but perfectly formed menu.
Shanghai nights: Bleu Bao, Paris
Céline Chung and Billy Pham are the dynamic duo behind this 2022 addition
to the food scene in Paris. Drawing inspiration from the tea houses and bourgeois mansions of Shanghai, Bleu Bao aims to subvert clichés and deliver delectable dim sum at accessible prices. With natural wines and a punchy cocktail list to boot, its popularity is a testament to the magnetic quality of both the dishes and atmosphere at this new South Pigalle hotspot.