One of the oldest Dim Sum restaurants in Hong Kong - Lin Heung Tea House (Central) 香港老字号的港式茶楼：莲香楼 (中环)
A visit to an old school dim sum place in Hong Kong is quite an unusual experience for the uninitiated. And with a touch of tension all built in, in this case, the Lin Heung Tea House in Central Hong Kong. If you are searching for that greasy hole in the wall serving up dim sum food, look no further. Lin Heung Tea House is one of the oldest tea-houses in Hong Kong and they are still serving dim sum and traditional recipes with no signs of slowing down.
Lin Heung Tea House has remained authentic in terms of both décor and recipes since opening in 1920. As the name “dim sum” implies, a table full of food shared in good company will “touch the heart.” Be prepared to shout over the table as this place does not shy away from noise. Step back into the 1930s with the old paintings, authentic hot water kettle and the ceiling fans.
莲香楼位于中环的威灵顿街，它在上环还有一家分店 – 莲香居。两间茶楼的门口都挂上两个红红的大灯笼，非常古色古香。
Lin Heung is chaotic, a noisy sea of tables, teapots and trolleys that’s lit with harsh fluorescent bulbs. Ceiling fans push around the conditioned air and steam, and the staff members (who are generally indifferent to the establishment’s place in the tourist pantheon) send around carts loaded with char siu bao (barbecue pork buns), siu mai (pork dumplings). But to get the best items, you’ll need to catch them as they come out of the kitchen. It’s all part of the experience.
A waiter will hand over two cups (if one is alone) or the one cup one per pax, a basin for rinsing cutlery and a tally card. If one is solo, the larger of the two cups is used for tea making, and the smaller one for drinking. One steeps tea in the larger cup and pour it into to the smaller one to drink. If one's party is more than self, then a pot is served instead of the larger cup. The rinsing bowl is filled with hot water, and one is expected to rinse the cups, chopsticks and spoon in it to cleanse them. The speedy patron turnover here means you’ll need to action fast to rinse your own utensils but that's just part of the whole memorable experience of dining at this Hong Kong institution.
Every major city has landmark restaurants, time-honored addresses serving up plenty of nostalgia that are known as much for the setting as the cooking. In Hong Kong, such old school tea houses attract plenty of tourists as well as locals for good reason: They provide an inimitable sense of place, an increasingly rare commodity in city that changes as fast as Hong Kong. For me, I try to get a chance every visit to Hong Kong.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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