Nothing quite beats good ol’ dim sum when it comes to weekend brunch with family and friends. The variety of bite-size morsels allows us to savor a gamut of flavor and texture slowly while relaxing and spending quality time with loved ones.
However, with the huge number of dim sum joints across the region, it’s become somewhat challenging to find a good dim sum joint in KL and PJ. Here are 15 that you should visit on your next dim sum excursion. (The restaurants are listed in no particular order. Some of the establishments below are not halal.)
1. The Ming Room @ Bangsar Shopping Centre
Thanks to its elegant and cozy environment as well as a diverse menu, this decade-old restaurant has been a favorite weekend hangout. The dim sum here is more unique compared to other dim sum in KL. It is classic Cantonese cuisine with “Western” twists. Every morsel is well executed and presented. Must have its Chicken Pie with Mango Cubes, Pumpkin Wontons, and Chilled Durian Pudding(!). Its traditional staples, like the meaty and juicy shumai as well as golden-brown, crispy, flavorful taro “puff,” won’t disappoint your palate, either.
2. Lai Ching Yuen @ K.L. Grand Millennium, Bukit Bintang
The name is synonymous with exquisite, contemporary Cantonese cuisine. The dim sum restaurant in kl, comprising 50 unique dishes prepared live in an open kitchen, is out of this world. Everything is from scratch and made to order. Its durian pancake alone is enough to justify a splurge there. Also, fret not, vegans and vegetarians — they’ve got meat-free dim sum! The glutinous rice and deep-fried taro ring “basket” with fruit salad and toasted almond flakes (vegetarian) is mind-blowingly delicious.
3. Grand Harbour @ Fahrenheit 88, Bukit Bintang
Opened just last year, the restaurant serves delicacies with distinct influences from Shanghai and Hong Kong. Its creative presentations of food — such as shrimp dumplings adorned with quails’ eggs to resemble sparrows; custard-filled sweet glutinous-rice balls that look like white mice; and durian “puffs” that remind you of swans — appeal especially to younger diners. Want to impress your guests even more? Order the “teapot,” which is golden custard bun in disguise! Gently tear it apart and watch how its warm, oozy, flowing sweet-salty custard makes the table swoon!
4. Maju Palace @ Maju Junction Mall, Jalan Sultan Ismail
Hiding in a corner on the fifth floor of the lesser-known mall is this gem, which serves pork-free dim sum in KL. Don’t be fooled by the description, however! The dim sum — from har kow
and shumai to cha siu bao
— is as tasty as “conventional” ones. Also don’t miss out on its more “exotic” offerings, like deep-fried mango roll, deep-fried squid cheese ball, and deep-fried soft-shell crab in steamed bun. Come on weekends, and you will get 30% off the bill!
5. Jin Xuan Hong Kong @ Damansara Jaya, P.J.
This is one of P.J. folk’s favorite dim sum joints. It offers Hong Kong-style dim sum with contemporary touches that will impress your palate. Aside from the classics, including taro puff (“woo kok
”) and shumai, you must try its infamous golden, custard-filled steamed bun. When torn open, its warm, sweet-salty, yolky custard comes oozing out, calling out for indulgence. Enjoy all these in the restaurant’s neat, family-friendly, air-conditioned setting. Since it runs from morning through evening, you can now have dim sum for dinner too!
6. Restoran Ful Lai @ Bandar Manjalara, Kepong
This dim sum restaurant is popular among the residents in KL. The variety here is interesting with choices of steamed and fried delicacies. Besides egg tart, cha siu bao
, Hong Kong chee cheong fun
, and other dim sum classics, the restaurant also whips up fusion dishes like bacon-wrapped steamed fish cake and baked cheese escargot. Both are must-tries! They are also famous for yong tau foo
, which are stuffed ridiculously with fish paste, and jin dui
(sesame-coated, deep-fried glutinous rice ball), which is chewy, sweet-salty, and nutty.
7. Restoran Yuen Garden Dim Sum @ Bandar Puchong Jaya
This two-storey restaurant gets hectic on weekends. Besides its excellent har kow
and shumai, its other dim sum offerings are impressive, such as the big, fat lor mai kai
, taro puff, fried daikon cake, cha siu bao
, and deep-fried prawn dumplings with mayonnaise. Meanwhile, its famous steamed Shanghainese dumpling bursts with flavorful broth inside and tastes even better when served with a ginger-vinegar dip. One caveat of dining here, however: the place isn’t air-conditioned!
8. Yan Yan A One @ Old Klang Road
Dim sum cravings in KL at midnight? No problem. This place runs 24/7, serving some of the most affordable, yet tasty dim sum in KL! Its array of offerings is amazing; it includes "salad" shrimp rolls, spicy dumplings, XO sauce and Chinese chive dumpling, steamed pork ribs, cha siu chee cheong fun
, and lor mai kai
(steamed glutinous rice with chicken). Enjoy these and more in its air-conditioned restaurant with great service!
9. Celestial Court @ Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail
The acclaimed restaurant is running an all-you-can-eat-dim-sum special from now till Dec. 31 this year, between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sundays and public holidays! Be mesmerized by its impressive variety of 70-plus innovative dim sum delicacies, including mini minced seafood bun in homemade tom yum
broth, bean curd skin rolls with sea cucumber, taro puff with miso meat and mushrooms filling, and pan-seared stuffed scallops with shrimp mousse and pumpkin puree. Its delicate Chinese desserts — like steamed custard-filled bao and chilled mango cream — aren't shy on flavor and texture, too!
10. Tai Zi Heen @ Prince Hotel & Residences, Bukit Bintang
Another popular spot for all-you-can-eat dim sum in KL. It's pork-free, and available on only weekends and public holidays. The variety here — from the steamed and baked to the pan- and deep-fried — will make your palate dance with joy. Some of the unique dishes are its shrimp dumpling with crabmeat and conpoy
, bean curd wrap, and steamed purple spinach dumpling with Mexican clam. Of course, its other more classic dishes and desserts are not shabby at all!
11. Xin Cuisine @ Concorde Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail
This dim sum in KL are still being served from carts (trolleys). On top of the classics like cha siu bao
, fish balls, shumai, har kow
, golden custard bao, and egg tart, try the restaurant's signature stir-fried savory daikon cake and unique smoked duck dumpling. Finally, end with dainty desserts like its aloe vera sweet soup and modernized mango "pudding," which comprises a creamy and silken mango puree smoothened with coconut milk, a scoop of mango ice cream, and a pool of pearls of sago.
12. Key Hiong @ Taman Megah, P.J.
A favorite dim sum joint among the locals here. Some of its signatures are savory pan-fried daikon cake, lor mai kai
, dai bao
(i.e., giant steamed bun, literally), and shumai. It seems perpetually brisk, especially on weekends. Thankfully, its service is fast, plus food is reasonably priced by local standards. Still, it's best to plan ahead for the best time, to avoid the crowd, when you want a visit here!
13. Hong Kee @ various locations across the Klang Valley
Another success story like Jin Xuan, it has opened seven outlets across the region as of now! Savor its fresh, lip-smacking (nonhalal) dim sum in its cozy, family-friendly, air-conditioned interior. Adding to the atmosphere, as well, is its dim-sum-filled carts. If you are keen on learning about the art of making dim sum and recreating the foods at home to share with loved ones, perhaps enroll in their dim sum-centric culinary school!
14. Mee Bon @ Jalan Ipoh
A go-to dim sum spot among the locals. It opens daily, and is always full in the morning. This 40-plus-year-old institution has been steaming up tray after tray of piping-hot nibbles to satisfy people’s cravings. Must-orders include its lor mai kai
and various steamed buns, such as red (azuki) bean paste bao
, cha siu bao
and dai bao
. One thing about their menu, though, is there are no fried items. (Not necessarily a bad thing!)
15. Marco Polo @ Wisma Lim Foo Yong, Jalan Raja Chulan
Last but not least, the round-up wouldn't be complete without a mention of this restaurant — one of the oldest in K.L. that have survived the fierce competition. Located in the heart of K.L., it serves legendary har kow
(shrimp dumpling) and shumai alongside classic lor mai kai
(steamed glutinous rice with chicken) and other moreish nibbles. Since it's also famous for Peking duck, remember to save room in your belly for that!