My Beijing Top 4 Cantonese/ Dim Sum


To be fair, with dimsum, I’ve had my share of very bad ones and good ones, and when I found a good dim sum place that didn’t give me food poisoning, I tended to stick with it. Lei Garden still tops my list. This one in order of my best picks—again open to discussion!

Lei garden
A favourite with ladies who lunch and businessmen in the Wangfujing area, this Cantonese restaurant lives up to its name in every way. The soups taste like they’ve sat on the stove for hours on end, made laboriously with love and the dimsum dishes deliciously light. The hagau (shrimp dumplings) so fresh in their translucent skin, you could almost feel them for a pulse. Feel right at home as most of the staff speaks Cantonese as well as Mandarin.
3/F, Jinbao Tower, 89 Jinbao Jie,
Tel: +86 8522-1212

Tang Yuan
Here is where the Beijing dim sum network (I’m a sucker for eating groups, embarrassing I know) gathers for Sunday brunch. A favourite with foodies despite nonchalant service as the price point is low, yet the quality outstanding. The menu reads like a dimsum book, so skip past the prologue, just go with the standard orders of all the dim sum stereotypes and finish with the egg yolk lava bun—it’s all done to perfection here.
209 Jixiangli,
Tel: +86 6553-0198

Summer Palace
Housed in one of Beijing’s first luxury hotels, the dimsum here is faultlessly executed with no surprises. Peruse the menu, but order the predictable favourites like hagau (steamed shrimp dumplings) charxiu bao, carrot cake, siew mai and the xiaolongbaos. Best to go for their daily dim sum lunch and try the Huaiyang dishes for dinner on a separate occasion to fully enjoy the best of provincial cuisine.
China World Hotel, No.1 Jianguomenwai Avenue,
Tel: +86 6505-2266 ext. 34

Herbal Café
Not quite dimsum, but lots of good stuff at average prices and nothing beats comfort Southern cuisine like this Hong Kong owned café that stays open till the wee hours of the morning, for that post party bite at 4am. The menu runs the gamut from stir frys to, noodles, soups and a range of Cantonese desserts like dangui and almond milk. The steamed dimsum selection isn’t their forte, but the carrot cake, lormaigai (chicken in glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves) and beggar’s chicken are definitely worth ordering.
S6-33, 3/F, The Village at Sanlitun, 19 Sanlitun Lu,
Tel: +86 6416-0618

There’s also Din Tai Fung that my friends go to often as a no brainer option, but I found the food average at best and they should really get over that 20 year old NYTimes accolade! Things have changed! I guess I’m also prejudiced as I had those crab xiaolongbaos that tasted like a cholestrol grenade and didn’t sit so well with my stomach. Even then, this is not quite counted as Cantonese!

I personally haven’t been to the Cantonese restaurant at the Grand Hyatt but I’ve heard good things about it. I’d give Fook Lam Moon at the Summit a miss as well as the Park Hyatt’s private room, great venue to entertain clients on your expense accounts, but the food just so-so.

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