We had been in Hong Kong for little over a day, but the craving for some authentic dim sum was inescapable. We assembled outside a relatively nondescript yet bustling building.
The venue was rammed. The owner officiously signalled we would be waiting 10 minutes, before darting back inside to oil the managerial gears of this dumpling powerhouse.
Oolong tea was swiftly poured the moment we sat down. Both the chair and table were tiny – yet four burly 6ft men squeezed in as if the last piece of a jigsaw.
Our focus immediately turned to the menus, which were literally inside the surface of the transparent plastic table. Safe, no doubt, from the torrents of dumpling sauce that flowed freely within these walls.
It was less than ten minutes and two glasses of tea later that our first dish arrived. Of particular note was the crispy pork bun.
Let me break it down for you. From the exterior it looks like a fluffy bread roll and is relatively unremarkable. I was advised by a supposed sensei of the pork bun to poke a hole in the top and drizzle some dumpling sauce into its molten core. This was rather inelegantly achieved with a chopstick, much to waitress’ chagrin (I was since told it was a lifetime of bad luck to pierce food with chopsticks, though this too may be pure conjecture.
My dumpling tryst was met with what is best described as a volcanic eruption of porky goodness, finely diced and ready to devour.
You are at first hit with the intense sweetness of the bun, incredibly light in texture and melting in your mouth. The stronger flavours of the pork and sour sauce then smack your taste buds, leaving you wanting more. This virtuous circle would continue until there was no crispy pork bun to speak of. Our group, all speechless from the experience, consumed the next seven courses with barely a word spoken.
After a veritable feast and almost emotional experience, we opened our wallets expecting a decent hit. It was the cost of two coffees in Hong Kong and was undisputedly one of the tastiest pork buns I’d ever had.