The best dim sum restaurants in Bangkok
Best for: Modern appropriations Southern-style dim sum
Jetpruek “Jong” Lapnarongchai, one of the second-generation restaurateurs of Ah Ma Dim Sum in Hat Yai, brings his family’s Malayinfluenced, Betong-style dim sum recipes to Bangkok.
Best for: Dim sum with coffee
A group of friends, comprised of two interior designers and a food stylist, have ventured into a café business that highlights caffeinated brews with dim sum bites.
Best for: Pretty dim sum presentations
A spin-off of the popular late-night franchise cooking show Iron Chef Thailand, Iron Chef Dragon injects a modern edge to Chinese fare both in preparation and presentation. Chef Thanarak Chuto, the mainstay Chinese-cuisine chef on the show, leads the kitchen and churns out beautiful sushi-inspired dim sum. Order for yourself the koi-shaped har gow with sablefish (B120), and the magenta-colored foie gras and caviar dumplings (B200), which derives its color from beetroot.
Best for: Xiao long bao
With restaurants dotting the city’s shopping malls, the famous Taiwanese chain does not play down the quality of their xiao long bao selections (B190 to 370). These steamed goodies are filled with a tasty, steamy broth and perfectly cooked meat of your choice. Also noteworthy is the shumai with steamed pork and glutinous sticky rice.
Best for: All-you-can-eat dim sum
Despite being situated in an area notorious for dodgy night clubs and those kinds of bath houses, this Chinese restaurant in Swissôtel Le Concorde draws in the crowd with an affordable all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet (only B790) that doesn’t scrimp on ingredients. Among the selections are chewy bites with fancy fillings such as steamed shrimp mixed with squid ink dumplings (topped with a gold leaf, no less), and steamed scallops and egg white dumplings with bird’s nest.
Best for: Dumpling bites at the mall
Steered by culinary powerhouse Water Library, Hong Bao is always packed with in-the-know locals who don’t mind queueing up just to savor the Chinese eatery’s dim sum creations. Expect top grade produce making their way into steamed and fried dim sum bites like duck foie gras xiao long bao, abalone and pork dumplings, and steamed scallops with spinach dumplings. Hong Bao is also known for offering one of the best custard lava buns in the city, filled with delicious creamed egg yolk.
Best for: Lunch deals offering superb quality
Shang Palace at the Shangri-La has always topped lists of best dim sum restaurants in Bangkok, thanks to savory bites that scream authentic Cantonese flavors. Even better, their dim sum lunch sets come at a good price—for B788 per person, you can savor all of Shang Palace’s 46 homemade bites between 11:30 and 14:30 on weekdays. Shangri-La’s top-notch service is another added bonus.
Best for: Gorgeous Instagram photos
Remember that scene from Only God Forgives where Yayaying, Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas meet up in a fancy dining room with jaw-dropping interiors? That was shot at the China House at the Mandarin Oriental. Awardwinning design studio Neri & Hu dressed up the dining room in seductive modern Chinese aesthetics, taking inspiration from 1930s Shanghai art deco. The food, especially the dim sum, courtesy of chef Andy Leong Siew Fye, is just as amazing.
Best for: Dim sum in a luxurious hotel setting
Hong Kong native Chef Oscar Pun whips up authentic Hangzhou’s Beggar Chicken and amazing Peking duck at one of the city’s best Chinese restaurants. Pagoda, however, is also an ideal spot for savoring scrumptious dim sum. Available only at lunch, the steamed bites here take a traditional approach and use topnotch imported ingredients. Zero in on the steamed pork dumplings with whole abalone, prawn and shitake mushrooms (B180) and the broth-filled xiao long bao with crab and pork (B180). Sweet options include durian cake and the crowd-pleasing chocolate bun.
Best for: Value-for-money dim sum
This discreet eatery is praised as one of the best—and most affordable —dim sum restaurants in Bangkok. Tuang is run by Hong Kong-born chef Yip, who was also behind the success of Shangri-La Bangkok’s Shang Palace restaurant. While almost everything is a can’t-miss, the most noteworthy bites would be shrimp with rice flour roll (B50) and har gow (steamed shrimp dumpling, B50).
How have young dim sum restaurateurs made dim sum cool for the modern diner?
“I was born into a family of dim sum makers, so I grew up eating so much dim sum to the point that even hearing about it became so boring to me. When I ventured into my own dim sum restaurant, I wanted to appeal to today’s customers, which is why I created an environment that evoked a modern Chinese café vibe but still stayed true to the Betong-style dim sum my family has been praised for.”
“We opened a dim sum restaurant in Yaowarat, which is probably the best area to find Chinese food in Bangkok. Despite our modern approach, we also wanted to pay respect to the historical and cultural context of the neighborhood. Given our location at the beginning of the Yaowarat stretch (which could also be the end if you come from the other direction) and the fact that most people come to Yaowarat for street-food hopping, we designed our café to be either the prelude or the finishing point of their journey by offering light satisfying bites with refreshing coffee and tea. Also, as an interior designer, it was my duty to come up with a space that doesn’t feel out of place in the whole neighborhood, and that harmoniously combines both the elements of now and then.”