Luk Yu Teahouse: A Hong Kong Institution For Yumcha


Luk Yu Teahouse is currently Hong Kong’s oldest restaurant. It opened its doors in 1933 in Central and still retains its old school colonial charm, dark wood furnitures, brisk and brash service but elderly waitstaff. I wasn’t sure about the food given how palates have changed over the decades and generations, but the food was delicate, luxurious and very very tasty.

The name of the restaurant is derived from the Tang dynasty poet Lu Yu who wrote The Classic of Tea, an ode to the history and culture of Chinese tea. We ordered a couple of the signature dishes and shared a pot of pu’er tea.

Luk Yu Teahouse Menu Stars

I love a good sweet and sour pork. They do an excellent one here – the right mix of tart and sweet, the deep fried pork crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside.

They have siewmai dumplings topped with slivers of pork liver – a delicate balance of texture and flavours. I wish other restaurants would serve them the same way.

My friend loves Malai Gou, the spongey flour soft bun, they do a decent one here. We tried the aubergines which were OK – great with a bowl of white rice.

The star was the shrimp toasts – crunchy, crispy ( if a little greasy) prawns on toast dipped in a sweet sauce.

Generations of tycoons and businessmen have dined here. The long-time customers continue to come in for yumcha and dimsum, often alone, sitting for hours reading the newspapers after lunch or having a banter with their fellow retiree friends. In recent years, there was an assassination that took place where a wealthy business man was shot dead point blank while having breakfast – a gory triad crime. I think about all the Hong Kong triad movies I grew up watching while trying to imagine the history the teahouse holds while I tucked into dimsum.

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