Yummy Dim Sum Places – It can be where memory resides

Hi, friends,

If you like Dim Sum, this post will be a great one for you.

Eating Dim Sum used to be a weekly activity in our family. From my childhood, we have been eating Dim Sum once a week. In those years, we went to Mandarin Palace in the then Hotel Merlin (now Hotel Concode). Until all of us grown up, this weekly activity also ceased with time.

Jin Xuan at Damansara Jaya used to be a “must visit” breakfast outlet every Sunday before we went to church. We did not order many, but the “must have’ items were century egg and pork porridge, char siew bao, chicken feet and deep fried sesame date. I was always puzzled why they insisted eating the same items every week. Now I know, elderly people usually resist changes, they like routines. They feel able to control them better.

Time has changed. I cannot have Dim Sum breakfast with my parents on Sundays anymore. Since Dad suffered from stroke, they have stopped coming to church with me on Sundays. Every time when I drove by Jin Xuan, I feel some ache in my heart – because those Dim Sum breakfast time is becoming our common memory. Of course, we can still bring them for Dim Sum. However, things are no longer the same, it is not a weekly event and Dad can no longer eat freely as before, sometimes we have to cut the meat into smaller portion for him.

I am thankful. Although Dad is not as healthy and able to walk freely as before, we could still have meal times with him in his near 90’s. I believe when one day when he is back to the Lord’s bosom, we are seeing one person less on the dinner table, all these common and insignificant activities are the only ones we have to remember him.

Here are the 15 great Dim Sum places, you can view the original post here.

* Some of the establishments below are not halal.

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Nothing quite beats good old dim sum when it comes to weekend brunch with family and friends. The variety of bite-size morsels allows us to savor a gamut of flavor and texture slowly while relaxing and spending quality time with loved ones.

However, with the huge number of dim sum joints across the region, it’s become somewhat challenging to find a good one. Here are 15 that you should visit on your next dim sum excursion. (Click on the restaurant names for addresses and OpenRice members’ reviews.)

1. The Ming Room @ Bangsar Shopping Centre

Thanks to its elegant and cozy environment as well as a diverse menu, this decade-old restaurant has been a favorite weekend hangout. The dim sum here is classic Cantonese cuisine with “Western” twists. Every morsel is well executed and presented. Must have its Chicken Pie with Mango Cubes, Pumpkin Wontons, and Chilled Durian Pudding(!). Its traditional staples, like the meaty and juicy shumai as well as golden-brown, crispy, flavorful taro “puff,” won’t disappoint your palate, either.

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2. Lai Ching Yuen @ K.L. Grand Millennium, Bukit Bintang

The name is synonymous with exquisite, contemporary Cantonese cuisine. The restaurant’s dim sum, comprising 50 unique dishes prepared live in an open kitchen, is out of this world. Everything is from scratch and made to order. Its durian pancake alone is enough to justify a splurge there. Also, fret not, vegans and vegetarians — they’ve got meat-free dim sum! The glutinous rice and deep-fried taro ring “basket” with fruit salad and toasted almond flakes (vegetarian) is mind-blowingly delicious.

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3. Grand Harbour @ Fahrenheit 88, Bukit Bintang

Opened just last year, the restaurant serves delicacies with distinct influences from Shanghai and Hong Kong. Its creative presentations of food — such as shrimp dumplings adorned with quails’ eggs to resemble sparrows; custard-filled sweet glutinous-rice balls that look like white mice; and durian “puffs” that remind you of swans — appeal especially to younger diners. Want to impress your guests even more? Order the “teapot,” which is golden custard bun in disguise! Gently tear it apart and watch how its warm, oozy, flowing sweet-salty custard makes the table swoon!

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4. Maju Palace @ Maju Junction Mall, Jalan Sultan Ismail

Hiding in a corner on the fifth floor of the lesser-known mall is this gem, which serves pork-free dim sum. Don’t be fooled by the description, however! The dim sum — from har kow and shumai to cha siu bao — is as tasty as “conventional” ones. Also don’t miss out on its more “exotic” offerings, like deep-fried mango roll, deep-fried squid cheese ball, and deep-fried soft-shell crab in steamed bun. Come on weekends, and you will get 30% off the bill!

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5. Jin Xuan Hong Kong @ Damansara Jaya, P.J.

This is one of P.J. folk’s favorite dim sum joints. It offers Hong Kong-style dim sum with contemporary touches that will impress your palate. Aside from the classics, including taro puff (“woo kok”) and shumai, you must try its infamous golden, custard-filled steamed bun. When torn open, its warm, sweet-salty, yolky custard comes oozing out, calling out for indulgence. Enjoy all these in the restaurant’s neat, family-friendly, air-conditioned setting. Since it runs from morning through evening, you can now have dim sum for dinner too!

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6. Restoran Ful Lai @ Bandar Manjalara, Kepong

Popular among the residents nearby. The variety here is interesting with choices of steamed and fried delicacies. Besides egg tart, cha siu bao, Hong Kong chee cheong fun, and other dim sum classics, the restaurant also whips up fusion dishes like bacon-wrapped steamed fish cake and baked cheese escargot. Both are must-tries! They are also famous for yong tau foo, which are stuffed ridiculously with fish paste, and jin dui (sesame-coated, deep-fried glutinous rice ball), which is chewy, sweet-salty, and nutty.

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7. Restoran Yuen Garden Dim Sum @ Bandar Puchong Jaya

This two-storey restaurant gets hectic on weekends. Besides its excellent har kow and shumai, its other dim sum offerings are impressive, such as the big, fat lor mai kai, taro puff, fried daikon cake, cha siu bao, and deep-fried prawn dumplings with mayonnaise. Meanwhile, its famous steamed Shanghainese dumpling bursts with flavorful broth inside and tastes even better when served with a ginger-vinegar dip. One caveat of dining here, however: the place isn’t air-conditioned!

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8. Yan Yan A One @ Old Klang Road

Dim sum cravings at midnight? No problem. This place runs 24/7, serving some of the most affordable, yet tasty dim sum! Its array of offerings is amazing; it includes “salad” shrimp rolls, spicy dumplings, XO sauce and Chinese chive dumpling, steamed pork ribs, cha siu chee cheong fun, and lor mai kai (steamed glutinous rice with chicken). Enjoy these and more in its air-conditioned restaurant with great service!

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9. Celestial Court @ Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail

The acclaimed restaurant is running an all-you-can-eat-dim-sum special from now till Dec. 31 this year, between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sundays and public holidays! Be mesmerized by its impressive variety of 70-plus innovative dim sum delicacies, including mini minced seafood bun in homemade tom yum broth, bean curd skin rolls with sea cucumber, taro puff with miso meat and mushrooms filling, and pan-seared stuffed scallops with shrimp mousse and pumpkin puree. Its delicate Chinese desserts — like steamed custard-filled bao and chilled mango cream — aren’t shy on flavor and texture, too!

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10. Tai Zi Heen @ Prince Hotel & Residences, Bukit Bintang

Another popular spot for all-you-can-eat dim sum among KL-ites. It’s halal, and available on only weekends and public holidays. The variety here — from the steamed and baked to the pan- and deep-fried — will make your palate dance with joy. Some of the unique dishes are its shrimp dumpling with crabmeat and conpoy, bean curd wrap, and steamed purple spinach dumpling with Mexican clam. Of course, its other more classic dishes and desserts are not shabby at all!

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11. Xin Cuisine @ Concorde Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail

The dim sum here are still being served from carts (trolleys). On top of the classics like cha siu bao, fish balls, shumai, har kow, golden custard bao, and egg tart, try the restaurant’s signature stir-fried savory daikon cake and unique smoked duck dumpling. Finally, end with dainty desserts like its aloe vera sweet soup and modernized mango “pudding,” which comprises a creamy and silken mango puree smoothened with coconut milk, a scoop of mango ice cream, and a pool of pearls of sago.

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12. Key Hiong @ Taman Megah, P.J.

A favorite dim sum joint among the locals here. Some of its signatures are savory pan-fried daikon cake, lor mai kai, dai bao (i.e., giant steamed bun, literally), and shumai. It seems perpetually brisk, especially on weekends. Thankfully, its service is fast, plus food is reasonably priced by local standards. Still, it’s best to plan ahead for the best time, to avoid the crowd, when you want a visit here!

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13. Hong Kee @ various locations across the Klang Valley

Another success story like Jin Xuan, it has opened seven outlets across the region as of now! Savor its fresh, lip-smacking (nonhalal) dim sum in its cozy, family-friendly, air-conditioned interior. Adding to the atmosphere, as well, is its dim-sum-filled carts. If you are keen on learning about the art of making dim sum and recreating the foods at home to share with loved ones, perhaps enroll in their dim sum-centric culinary school!

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14. Mee Bon @ Jalan Ipoh

A go-to dim sum spot among the locals. It opens daily, and is always full in the morning. This 40-plus-year-old institution has been steaming up tray after tray of piping-hot nibbles to satisfy people’s cravings. Must-orders include its lor mai kai and various steamed buns, such as red (azuki) bean paste bao, cha siu bao and dai bao. One thing about their menu, though, is there are no fried items. (Not necessarily a bad thing!)

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15. Marco Polo @ Wisma Lim Foo Yong, Jalan Raja Chulan

Last but not least, the round-up wouldn’t be complete without a mention of this restaurant — one of the oldest in K.L. that have survived the fierce competition. Located in the heart of K.L., it serves halal, yet authentic dim sum. Its legendary har kow (shrimp dumpling) and shumai are hard to beat, alongside classic lor mai kai (steamed glutinous rice with chicken) and other moreish nibbles. Since it’s also famous for Peking duck, remember to save room in your belly for that!

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