Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lin Heung

This will be my final Hong Kong post. It is also written in 2 parts; the 2nd part came about because I actually went back to this place again on the day before I left Hong Kong.

Part 1:

Lin Heung is another restaurant that Anthony Bourdain went to but I only found that out after going to it.


My friend (from London) said that her guidebook recommended this traditional tea house and we could go and try it out. Sure, I replied, expecting just another random dim sum/yum cha place.

How wrong was I.


The first thing that struck when we got in was the hubbub and the clicking of teacups and teapots (watch Anthony Bourdain and this statement will mean even more to you). My friend immediately declared, “Okay Jian Wey, you’re in charge here!”.

The first thing I did was to order tea. The guy rattled off the names of a number of different teas, and I randomly picked out one of them. There’s a story to tell with the tea here but I forgot to take a picture of it and it is very hard to describe without the picture. Suffice to say I didn’t want to show my ignorance and just agreed to whatever the waiter said but ended up drinking the tea out of the cup using the wrong method.

I asked the waiter whether we should just wait for the lady to push the cart by us, or to actually go and get it ourselves. He said that we could wait, but I could just go straight to the source and get it (which I did, thankfully, because by the time everyone was done getting what they want, anything that gets pushed by us had only things that people didn’t want).


The ladies wheel their carts right to the door of the kitchen, and the guy stacks up a number of baskets onto the carts, and then the lady wheels them out again. The moment she gets a new batch, a lot of customers get up from their seats and surround the lady to get first pick at whatever they wanted.


I had to randomly open those dim sum baskets to look in them and pick what I wanted, as the ladies just shout out the names of the dishes in chinese and I had no idea what they were. I remembered that in the show (even though I didn’t know that this was the same place at that time), Anthony Bourdain’s guide went straight to the kitchen to get some har gao. Thus, I decided to head over there too, and happened upon a lady who was receiving a fresh batch of dim sum baskets. I ended up getting shouted at by the lady because I was taking too long deciding what I wanted and kept asking her what each individual thing was. When I turned around to go back to the table I realised I was blocking 4 other carts behind me and nobody else could get to the food.


Not many pictures of food though. The situation was too stressful, but eventually I recovered my wits to take a few pictures.

I took this because this was familiar to me. Spare ribs are spare ribs.

I took this because this was unfamiliar to me. I still have no idea what it was. Had the consistency of fat, but I didn’t think it was fat. My friend didn’t dare try this though. Still, I thought it was very good (because felt like fat).

This is not a char siew pao, but a pork and yam bun. Its a bun with a slice of yam and a slice of pork (which, thankfully, isn’t 70% fat) in it. Like a sandwich.

I randomly picked this from the dessert trolley. We decided that it had toffee in it, but it literally just had a tiny miniscule drop inside the bun, and the rest of the bun was just, bun. More toffee (or whatever it was) would have been very welcome.

Other things that we had were char siew pao and siew mai (their siew mai was very good). Didn’t see any har gao (actually, my friend commented that we didn’t see a single prawn based dim sum), which was quite unfortunate.

The food here was certainly very good. Other people also ordered dishes in addition to their dim sum. I’d say the quality of the dim sum is nearly (only nearly) that of Tim Ho Wan, but they have much more variety here. The only problem is that you have to be familiar with what they are or you wouldn’t know what to get.

Highly recommended.

Part 2:

On the last day before a few of us left Hong Kong, we got together and came here again.

Because there were more of us this time, we were able to order more food and I had the opportunity to take more pictures.

Pork balls. Fairly standard stuff.

This is also fairly standard, but I have no idea what it is, nor what it is called.

This is the proper char siew pao…

…which looks different from the pork and yam buns. Here you can see the piece of yam more clearly.

Again, fairly standard stuff.

One of my favourites.

Chicken feet. The chinese translation comes out as ‘phoenix claws’, which I feel is inappropriate. You can’t eat phoenixes because they don’t exist.

Looks really good, tasted okay, but again, no idea what its called.

We also ordered a plate of fried noodles, which was, not so good. I still ate it though, but its not the best noodles I’ve had before (by far).


And these are my fellow elective friends whom I was very fortunate to have met. Certainly made the experience all the more worthwhile.

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