蓮香樓 Lin Heung Tea House
Lin Heung Tea House is one of the oldest Hong Kong style restaurants in Hong Kong. Like many traditional restaurants, they serve dim sum only during the day, and main courses only during the night. Lin Heung's food is traditional and delicious, especially their dim sum, which makes the restaurant quite famous and popular among local people, as there are not many restaurants that still provide traditional dim sum nowadays.
Reservation is highly recommended (almost required) for dinner time, unless one would like to wait forever. My favourite dish at this place is their "Lin Heung Special Duck (House Style)" ($150), which is called the "Babao Duck" in Chinese. Babao means "eight treasures" in Chinese, referring to the eight different kinds of ingredients stuffed into the duck, including glutinous rice (sticky rice), beans, lotus seeds and salted egg yolks. The stuffed duck is first deep-fried until its skin gets all crispy, after that it is stewed until the flavours of the duck and the fillings combine together into a heavenly taste. Nonetheless, although their Babao Duck is extremely luscious, and in my opinion, the best in town, it could be very filling. So think carefully before you order other dishes. Also, since each duck needs hours to be prepared and cooked, it is required to call them at least a day before to reserve a Babao duck. Feel free to order any other dishes as you wish, they are all very delicious.
Despite its popularity and quality, it is not a good idea for foreigners to go there for dim sum (breakfast and lunch), unless you are ready to experience something totally different. First of all, be ready to stand for half an hour behind the people that are eating in order to wait for their seats, among many other people that are waiting as well. Do not expect the waiters to lead you to your table from the entrance, they do not do that. In fact, do be careful not to stand in the waiters' way when they are working and moving in between tables. Secondly, do not expect the waiters to clean the table for you. They just sweep the bones and crumbs off the table, onto the floor, and wipe your table with a wet cloth that is just a bit cleaner than the table. Finally, as you have waited behind people for their seats, expect that there would be people waiting behind you for your seats too. Now if all that sounds fine to you, you are ready to experience one of Hong Kong's most interesting food culture, and to taste some of the most authentic and delicious dim sum on earth. I can ensure you that all their dim sum are so unique and delicious that it wouldn't be easy to find their taste anywhere else!
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