Expectations will always run high when dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. In spite of that, none of the dim sums at Duddell’s were less than perfectly crafted. Though too fancy and a little pricey to become a regular yum cha spot for regular people like me, it’s definitely worth a try if you want to spoil yourself one weekend or impress some visitors.
Alternatively, for dim sum that’s less fancy, see my Guide to Hong Kong Local Food, for genuinely good and local dim sum spots in Hong Kong (that won’t break your wallet).
The most flavourful Har Gau
Har gau (shrimp dumpling) and siu mai (pork and mushroom dumpling) are the two mandatory dim sums to order for any yum cha gathering. Siu mai is usually my favourite dim sum, but this super flavourful har gau had big, fresh and crisp shrimps inside with a strong mushroom flavour to it too, ultimately winning my heart from the “standard dim sum choices” (none of which were standard at all though).
On the other hand, while the siu mai was no less than perfect, and better than 95% of the siu mais I’ve had, it did not live up to its menu title of “iberico pork”. The name led me to expect stronger meat flavours.
Char siu perfection
Without any fancy titles or twists, the char siu bao (BBQ pork bun) was memorable for being simply perfect. The bun was steamed perfectly and the filling was tasty without being salty. The char siu so (BBQ pork puff) was even more impressive though. I rarely voluntarily eat BBQ pork puff but this one has got to be the best I’ve had. Again, there wasn’t really a unique twist to it, but the pastry was so balanced with the filling; it was thin, delicate and was not too buttery or heavy (as they usually are).
On the other hand, the mushroom dumpling is something you see less often in typical Chinese restaurants. I did love the mushroom part, but I thought the skin could’ve been more delicate and thin. Overall it was probably my least favourite dim sum here.
The taro puff is a must order! The outerside of the puff was crispy and delicate, with a pretty strong mushy taro filling.
Abalone tart – saving best for last
Saving the best for last, the abalone puff with chicken definitely left the strongest impression (a difficult feat, considering the high quality among all dim sums here), though I don’t deny that its cost and rarity probably did a lot of the job too. The abalone texture was excellently tender and easy to bite through (they’re often a tad chewy) and was served atop a super delicious, still piping hot and crunchy tart, that bore some sweetness to it.
A worthy dim sum experience
All in all, the dim sums I sampled were all of top notch quality. Apart from the mushroom dumpling, I thoroughly loved every dim sum served and thought they were perfectly crafted. The har gau was a highlight for its strong flavours, while the BBQ pork surprisingly impressed with its delicate pastry. But of course, one must order item has to be the abalone tart which is rare to see on typical dim sum menus and made extremely well here!
3/F Shanghai Tang Mansion
1 Duddell St.
Phone: 2525 9181
This dinner was part of the Diageo World Class food round finals