Hong Kong Frugal Bites: Dimsum @ Saam Hui Yaat
This local dim sum dive is where grandmas and grandpas come for breakfast, lunch and tea at shared tables. In the early mornings before 6am, you’ll also see plenty of construction workers, taxi and bus drivers (from the nearby Shun Tak bus terminus) having breakfast before their morning shift. I stumbled upon this wonderful hole in the wall one late night after drinks as it’s a stone’s throw from my apartment.
Saam Hui Yaat opens at 3am and the dim sum is sold out by 4pm on most days. A pot of hot water is served to wash your utensils with before you dig into lor mai gai (chicken steamed in a lotus leaf with glutinous rice), char siu bao (BBQ pork buns), chee cheong fun (rice flour noodle rolls), siew mai (steamed pork wrappers topped with roe), har gau (steamed shrimp dumplings), omelette rice and chicken feet.
The menus here are all handwrittened in calligraphic characters plastered over the walls, so sign language or a prewritten list would definitely come in handy if you don’t speak Cantonese.
The order above for two people would cost about HKD50.
Zolima city magazine covers my favourite, not-so-secret anymore dimsum dive in deeper detail here.
I always wondered why the restaurants was called “3 minus 1” but never thought to ask, and here we have it:
“The small tea house was set up in 1978, when three Chinese restaurant chefs—Fung Wai, Yeung Chi-keung and Law Shu Tak—wanted to be their own bosses. Law consulted deities about his business prospect through fortune telling sticks called kau4 chim1 (求籤). He received an unlucky lot. His father then advised him against co-owning the tea house, so he ended up working as an employee instead. This gave the tea house its name, Saam1 Heoi3 Jat1(叁去壹) which means ‘Three Minus One.'”
All this food enough for two for just HKD51!
Very very tasty siewmai and hargaus so fresh, you get a satisfactory crunch biting into the prawns and very delicate translucent skin.
The lormaigai—glutinous rice with chicken is possibly the best I’ve had, the rice all soft and delicate and the fillings with gravy oozing out.
Saam Hui Yaat
11 Pok Fu Lam Road,
Sai Ying Pun