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City Hall Maxim’s Palace, Central, Hong Kong

This is my final post ending a week of dim sim and it is time for the place you will probably go if you visit Hong Kong or will have definitely been if you live here – Maxim’s Palace in City Hall.

The reason you will go or have been is that it is has dim sum trolleys.  Simple.  It also has all of those other things which somehow mean character when you apply them to dim sum restaurants - putrid carpet, epic chandeliers and the appearance of entrenched chaos. Maxim’s has all of them in spades. I want to mention two things in this review.  The first, given that you normally go to dim sum on a weekend relatively early after an inappropriate amount of alcohol is particularly important.  The coke they served is the best I have had for ages.  Cold, in nice bulbous crystal glasses.  Fresh and fizzy.  Not the normal cheap made it Turkey in 1923 stuff you sometimes find.
Second, despite the fact that some of the trolleys have TVs in them (seriously) it is an above par experience.  It is even, on occassion good. But most of all it is fun.  It is like that dim sum experience you loved as a child where you delve in trolleys not knowing what you might find.  Lids lift up, steam escapes.  People fetch and bustle.  You glimpse around the room trying to catch the trolley containing your favourites before it escapes. There were also a couple of very good dishes.  Neither of which I have pictures of so I am left trying to explain them.  One was a type of octopus jerky where there was chewy octopus, cold, which you slowly munched on.  The other was a baked BBQ pork bun with custard inside.  Sounds terrible.  Was delicious.
Whenever a friend comes to visit in future I’ll take them to Maxim’s as it is a little microcosm of Hong Kong where you can just sit back and enjoy the chaos.
  • Price – 300hkd (£26) if you are very hungover. 200hkd (£17) if you are less so.
  • 1/F, City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong

PS make sure you get there early as when we left at 11:30am the queue must have been over an hour

7 Comments

  1. lunnalun

    Thanks Tom, for the dimsum reviews, really helpful :-)

  2. Razlan

    Where are the photos of the said coke? ;)

    The dim sum here are not friendly to the wallet, but the price is definitely worth the experience. There is another similar place (less chaos, less crowd) at TST waterfront. Let me dig out the name of the place.

  3. Nordic Nibbler

    Argh! You're killing me with all the dim sum posts :-) It looks just heavenly. I've had such an insatiable craving, and unfortunately we have nothing remotely close here in Oslo.

    By the way, what were the TVs in the trolleys for?

  4. Mr Noodles

    The advantage of trolley dim sum is that you can pace yourself better although if you go somewhere with few punters, it can mean the dumplings get a bit tired.

    Not had the trolley dim sum in years. Last time was in Sydney and it was excellent. Although with hindsight, being on holiday and being hungover might've had something to do with that!

    Great series and one I hope you return to at some point.

  5. Little Miss Random

    Oh yay! You made it to Maxim's. :) I just love that they've got old-style trolleys.

  6. Feel free to give these cafes a try too, some are repeated and recommended as above already. Not really my endorsement, but its fun to explore them I guess! :)

    - Dane’s Coffee. A few shops like the newly opened Capo’s Espresso or Kosmo’s also use it, but Dane’s does the best espresso in town.
    - Coco Espresso. Caffe Latte is gorgeous, espresso depends on luck!
    - Caffe Essenza (Corridor/Assembly group) has a great barista nowadays.
    - Bespoke has their own coffee roaster, much like Holly Brown. Its ok. Around the corner is KC Coffee, which uses Japanese roasted beans, but better suited to French Press coffees.
    - Cafe Golden does a mean lever machine espresso. Just don’t order their foamy cappucino!
    - Soul Mate uses Corridor beans, but its done very well.
    - Crema/Initial Cafe are not bad. I think Initial makes a decent milk coffee, but forget about the espresso!
    - I love Istanbul for turkish coffee.
    - Fuel Espresso. Ok I know you don’t like here, but this place really fluctuates, unless you can get Sarah to make the coffee! For some reason, their blend works much better as an espresso than say a latte. Weird!
    - Cook Light Cafe does a very good milk or espresso drink, the owner/barista is very knowledgeable about coffee, surprising!
    - Cafe Y Taberna is great when Vincent is there, but he’s alternating between this and a new Thai shop in wanchai, so I hardly see him there anymore!
    - Wah Sing in Sai Wan does really great siphon coffee nowadays, but no one really goes there. Xen Coffee is also good. May be I should blog about them sooner than later, they’re piling up!

    There’s a fair few more I’ve tried but will come short of recommending! Unfortunately, I’ve almost given up coffee in HK. Its getting better, but there’s still something really missing! :D

    • HK Epicurus – many thanks for giving me an epic list. Last week when in London I did a 10 coffee tour to say goodbye to the city and think this might be the basis for a 10 coffee tour of HK.

      I think my view of coffee in HK is clouded by the fact that my local is Barista Jam which, although I know some people aren’t amazed by, I truly think is London/ NY/ European class. I can’t speak to whether it reaches the heights of Australia as I haven’t been there!

      I am quite excited by the fact that Fuel is going to opening in the Landmark. The owners seem to be present again more at the one in the IFC (apparently for training of baristas) but it has recently resulted in an upswing in coffee.

      I really want to try Xen for siphon coffee as whilst relatively established in Japan / Asia from what I understand there is still relatively little good brewed coffee in London. Tapped & Packed and Penny University (now closed) were big exceptions to this!

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