Want some, get some: dim sum. There is nothing more urgent in our lives than having a go-to list of dim sum spots. Why?
Well, for starters, let’s state the obvious: It’s universally accepted as delicious. There are a million things to choose from; even the pickiest eaters can find a dumpling they’re not offended by. It’s a great place to take your extended family – you can bring together your own love of the humble jiaozi and your favorite auntie’s insatiable appetite for chicken feet. Everyone wins.
On the plus side – you can skillfully avoid the banana leaf-induced food coma that follows our favorite form of carbicide. Hey, we didn’t make the rules, guys – it’s just the way it is.
Dare we say, you might even still have room for a post-meal cocktail, if that’s your vibe (it’s very much our vibe). Or dessert, if that’s more your thing (hey, it’s also kinda our thing, too).
So, sit back, dry your eyes that are still watering over the untimely departure of our city’s only two Tim Ho Wan outlets (RIP), and let us fill you in on where to get your yam cake fix, your char siu bao (steamed pork bun), your truffle xiao long bao (soup dumplings), and also which of these joints is open at 3am, when the munchies descend upon you.
Guilty as charged: Expect there to always be one or two Bangsar restaurants on any of our food lists. That said, Ming Room is great, and the fact that you need to have a reservation if you plan on going Saturday or Sunday is a testament to that. Please order the scallop and prawn dumpling, it’s so light and flavorful. We also turn up for the stir-fried radish cake — just throwing that out there.
3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre
285, Jalan Maarof, Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-2284 8822
Eden Dim Sum City
A bit out of the way in Kepong, but one of the few dim sum places left in that area that serves until the wee hours of the morning. Trust us, sometimes having dim sum after a few beers is the best thing you can do for yourself at 3am. We recommend the char siew bao (pork bun) and the scallop-topped siu mai (pork and shrimp dumpling).
Funny story: We were once in Shanghai, and our local friends wanted to take us to their favorite dim sum restaurant. Can you guess where we went? Yep. Paradise Dynasty.
Paradise Dynasty offers a myriad of flavored xiao long bao (soup dumpling) including foie gras and truffle. Ooooh. You can order a sampler and try all eight of their signature flavors. Worth it, but do yourself a favor and get an extra set of the truffle ones — they’re our favorite. Additional suggestion: We really like the cucumber salad. It’s refreshing. Get it!
Several locations around Kuala Lumpur
Shang Palace at the Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur
OK, so about a year ago, we went to Shang Palace with a group friends for their annual all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet, and the level of fullness we felt that day has yet to be replicated. We couldn’t stop eating. Everything was delicious. We even found ourselves nibbling on chicken feet, which really never happens. Basically, everything was great, especially the BBQ chicken pau. Check to see if they’re offering the all-you-can-eat promo (last year it was in July), and wear sweat pants.
11 Jalan Sultan Ismail
Phone: 03-2074 3904
Restoran Dai Sam Yun
Ah, Jalan Ipoh dim sum — how you remind us of our misspent youth. Early-hours-of-the-morning dumpling overload at its best. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s centrally located, and we really do enjoy the chee chong fun and the giant bao. There is all the standard fare, and the service is incredibly efficient. Be wary of the deep-fried items — make sure they’re fresh or you’ll find yourself with rather unpleasant indigestion on the ride home.
459 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah
Phone: 012-379 7672
Hee Lai Ton
Deep inside Shaw Parade, an old shopping center near Pudu that you forgot existed, is the rather delightful and family filled Hee Lai Ton. We rate it as one of our favorites, if only to pretend that the other diners are ghosts lingering from the mall’s past. Come early because once it runs out, it’s gone, and don’t be shy in speaking up if someone tries to cut in front of you (ahem). Also, don’t forget to get the deep fried pork ribs if cholesterol is just four syllables synonymous with delicious for you.
Shaw Parade at Cangkat Thambi Dollah, Pudu,
Phone: 03-2148 8666
DC Mall, one of Kuala Lumpur’s latest shopping centers, is also home to Royal Canton, aka Canton Fare at its old location in Plaza Damansara, the Hong Kong-style dim sum spot that sometimes speaks to us in our sleep. Please get the char siu (roasted pork), it is so melt-in-your-mouth fatty we’re weeping thinking about it. There’s also a wide selection of vegetarian dim sum, which is rare in this meaty world. Great place to go for a quick work-week lunch.
DC Mall, Jalan Damanlela, Bukit Damansara
Phone: 03-2731 4628
Din Tai Fung
Insiders will refer to this exclusively as DTF because obviously, what else would those initials stand for? Taiwan’s uber-famous, Michelin-starred, dim sum emporium has loads of locations across the Klang Valley. Be prepared to take a number and walk around because it will be at least an hour’s wait, at any time of the day. Honestly, you can eat at DTFs from Kuala Lumpur to Australia to the US. While that level of ubiquity could be off-putting for some, for those of us who hold DTF near and dear to our hearts, it just means more cities we can get our pork xiao long bao. Please, make sure you eat here at least once in your life.
Several locations around the Klang Valley including Pavilion Shopping Mall, and MidValley Megamall
Yen Yen A One
Formerly known as Yan Yan A One, we just call it “the 24-hour shop on Kuchai Lama.” Is it the best dim sum? No – let’s be honest, it’s not. However, it is incredibly cheap, with each basket retailing for RM3 (less than US$1) and it’s open 24-hours. Finally, somewhere to go between your last beer and just before your hangover sets in. What do we recommend? Anything deep fried. Always deep fried.
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