If you aren’t really in to squishing into crowded seats and sharing table space with complete strangers, Lin Heung Tea House may not be the place for you.
The seats are uncomfortable, the tables are grubby, and you may be herded in and out of empty seats like cattle. The ambiance is loud and hectic throughout the whole day.
But the noticeably aged interior only makes Lin Heung Tea House have that much more character. This dim sum shop has over 7 decades of history and is considered one of the oldest, most delicious restaurants in HK.
With high hopes my family and I headed over to the restaurant, located between Central Station and Sheung Wan Station. I will link the exact location below.
The shop front is adorned generously with gaudy red decorations that adds to the ambiance.
As you can see, the place is quite large, but is literally filled to the brim with people.
Lin Heung is famous for its original way of ordering dim sum, which is not at the comfort of your table but by scurrying to the dim sum lady when she maneuvers around the crowded tables. The dim sum is always a surprise, and you may have to pass by a few carts until you come upon your favorite dish.
This is the magical cart of dim sum and other delicious dishes.
Close-up. Dim sum comes in bamboo steaming pots, while other miscellaneous dishes come in plates. My family and I went for dim sum only. Keep an eye out for the carts, because people literally flock over to the ladies as they start pushing their cart, and if you’re not fast enough everything will be gone by the time you get there.
As customary per any local restaurant in HK, the first part of your meal consists of washing your bowls/plates/cups/utensils with boiling hot water. I have no idea how this custom emerged, but at least that means everything is thoroughly cleaned. At first it’s difficult to wash everything when the water is boiling hot, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough. Stack all of your bowls and plates together and pour the water directly on to everything. Much easier to wash everything at once. Don’t forget to wash your chopsticks!
Soon enough, we had enough dim sum to feed a small army. Mind you there’s just four of us.
Our hearty spread included some of my favorites.
Pork and shrimp siomai. The texture was nice and springy, and the filling very flavorful.
One of my favorites, steamed sticky rice in a lotus leaf. The lotus leaf leaves the rice nice and fragrant, and in the rice you’ll find a mixture of sweet and savory soy-sauce based meats. Like a present.
We thought this was a meat-filled dumpling, but after tearing it open we realized we got another lotus paste bun. The perks of choosing these kinds of buns is that you don’t always know what is inside, so it’s always an adventure.
It’s delicious so no one complained.
Like I said before, the place is packed with people and there is often an queue, so if you go to Lin Heung don’t expect to enjoy a peaceful, laid-back meal. The dishes are tasty, but not mind-blowingly so. The flavors are a bit more stronger than Tim Ho Wan (review here), but overall I think I would prefer Tim Ho Wan because of their specialty dishes such as the phoenix claws in abalone soy sauce and their meat buns, perfection encased in a sweet crispy shell of pastry. And it’s much more convenient because Tim Ho Wan chains are located all around the city. But if you would like to experience an authentic 7-decades-long HK dim sum shop, I would recommend heading over to Lin heung. It would be ideal to visit the restaurant in the morning for breakfast and then look around the Central and Sheung Wan area.
Address: 160-164 Wellington St, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2544-4556
Hours: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm
I have also started to upload mini recipes to my YouTube channel. If you are interested, please check out my newest recipe for Japanese style potato salad.
I hope you enjoyed this review, and until next time! 🙂