Hand’s down, Maxim’s Palace at City Hall (HK island) was the most memorable yum-cha experience of my life. A bold statement, even if I say so myself. Never the less one that I feel describes my time perfectly. A combination of excellent dim-sum, attentive service, thriving atmosphere and a very reasonable bill at the end, all helped to create an amazing lunch and a perfect ending to my holiday.
When lunch service begins sharply at 11:00am & concludes promptly at 3:00pm, you would be a straight out fool not to expect heavy traffic ahead of you when you arrive. A diverse range of locals, tourists and ex-pats fill this monster 7 days per week. Not to worry, the staff are highly capable of managing the masses, as you will quickly see, when you dine in this massive eating hall. This venue seats 100′s of people and the space is delightfully palatial (new word for me). White table cloths, chandeliers, fine china and view of the harbour. What an environment?
Did I mention trolley service too? You must be sold! We began with the steamed beef dumplings ($40 HKD – $5 AUD). Moist, plush and delicious. Only problem is I had to keep asking for soy sauce throughout the meal. Must be a very Western addition to dim-sum.
The only vegetarian dish of the lunch. Am I a bad person for eating animals? (probably). Steamed dumplings with assorted vegetables ($35 HKD – $4 AUD). These were fabulous and the skin did not fall to pieces either!
Steamed prawn mince dumpling ($40 HKD – $5 AUD). This dumpling wins my vote for the unique wrapping style. The only remainders of this round were the soy stains in the table cloth.
Shrimp rice noodle roll ($40HKD – $5 AUD). Must order. There were three optional fillings of prawn, beef or pork. Note: these easily cut in halves – wise to do so to avoid (more) mess.
Char Siu – baked barbecue pork buns ($40 HKD – $5 AUD). These were very similar to the ones found at Tim Ho Wan. Sweet pastry on the outside complemented with sweet BBQ pork. Hard to go wrong here…
Steamed pork dumplings with crab roe ($40 HKD – $5 AUD). A standard choice – above standard quality.
We could not help but order more rolls of this type. Mainly so because I rarely find these in Melbourne. Barbeque pork rice noodle roll ($40 HKD – $5 AUD). Drool drool drool.
Barbeque pork bun ($35 HKD – $4 AUD). Although we already had pork buns, we could not go past the original, the first, the champion of all pork buns.
Steamed shrimp dumpling ($40 HKD – $5 AUD). I sometimes dream about these little pillows of heaven. One bite of delight!
9 courses for two people at approximately AU$25 per person. A very affordable experience and a TOTAL must go! All-in-all my yum-cha research paid off big time! Maxim’s, along with Tim Ho Wan, are both incredible experiences for any die hard yum cha fan. Besides the high standard of food, they are two totally different adventures.
Travel well, order well, chom hard.
The Important Details…
Cuisine: Yum-Cha, Chinese
Noise: Not quiet by a long shot – them trolleys are noisy but easily maintained conversation
Bookings: Rock up, take a number and start drooling
Suitable for: Chommers of all ages
Dress: Smarter than usual – I looked like a bogan Aussie
Price: Approximately $200 HKD or alternatively $25 AUD (don’t forget we ate a sh*t load)
My View: Amazing experience, not to be missed – Did you see the chandelier?
Address: City Hall, Hong Kong Island – 5 Minutes from the Star Ferry by foot