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Seldom is food more Instagram-worthy than these creative twists on dim sum. Sometimes referred to as ‘cute dim sum’, it’s classic dim sum given a playful and cheeky spin. Here are five of our favourite places to try out these novelty wonders in Hong Kong and Macau.
Dim sum has been around for centuries in China. These popular bite-size dishes, usually served with tea, are traditionally eaten at breakfast or lunch. In an attempt to modernise dim sum, it’s becoming more common for chefs to experiment and put a playful spin on classic dim sum dishes such as BBQ pork buns and shrimp dumplings. Using traditional ingredients, they are given a modern twist – often inspired by fictional or cartoon characters, they’re a feast for the eyes as well as the belly.
The dim sum here looks good, is given a modern creative spin, but it’s not a gimmick – quality ingredients take pride of place. Standout dishes include the BBQ piggy buns, the hot molten custard buns and the doggy sausage rolls. Novelty dim sum without compromising on taste or quality.
Now you can sleep, breathe and EAT Disney – literally. Chefs at the Hong Kong park have specially created dim sum dishes that resemble some of the most popular Disney and Pixar characters. Available exclusively at the Crystal Lotus restaurant inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, you can feast on unique dishes such as three little pigs barbecue buns, little green men pork and vegetable bun, and Mickey’s double-layer turnip and taro pudding.
These sweet taro filling pastry in swan shape are about as elegant as dim sum gets. You’ll find these small works of art on the dim sum menu at Pak Loh Chiu Chow restaurant in Macau, along with several other traditional dim sum dishes given a modern twist. Perfectly executed with artistic flair, they are designed to demonstrate the restaurant’s expertise when it comes to combining food with finesse.
The Eight is Macau’s only Chinese restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars. They are renowned for their delicious lunchtime dim sum menu that offers over 50 different kinds, including a few animal-shaped surprises. Don’t miss the beautiful goldfish-shaped shrimp dumplings and hedgehog char siu buns (BBQ roast pork buns). Also, clawing its way onto the menu are the adorable crab-shaped baked tartlets with crabmeat in curry sauce. Not to be outdone are the river shrimp dumplings coated in a delicious puff pastry that come expertly crafted in the shape of a purse. Full marks for presentation and taste – worth every penny!