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Man Ho goldfish dumpling

The most beautiful dim sum in Hong Kong to try right now

The art of yum cha

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Dim sum is an integral part of Hong Kong dining. While we love our bamboo steamers filled with traditional siu mai and har gow, it’s also good to see more dim sum restaurants flexing their creative muscles as they transform dumplings and bite-sized morsels into stunning works of edible art. From sausage rolls dressed as candy to pastry puffs in the shape of a purse, these dim sum items will feed your Instagram as much as your stomach. By Ann Chiu and Sarah Moran

RECOMMENDED: Still hungry? Check out the best dim sum places in Hong Kong, or if you’ve more of a sweet tooth, these cake shops should keep you sated.

The most beautiful dim sum in Hong Kong to try right now

Deep-fried roasted goose puffs
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

With the outer beauty of a swan and the inner beauty of a goose, this deep-fried creation ($78) is one of the signature items served at Celestial Court. While this type of dim sum puff is often filled with mashed radish or taro, the restaurant breaks with tradition here by folding rich, oil-slicked roast goose and fragrant wild mushrooms into the delicate yet crunchy pastry. Flaky, buttery and utterly delicious, this is a dim sum worth honking about.

DNA candy sausage roll
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Central
  • price 2 of 4

Inspired by Chinese martial arts clubs of the 1970s, cutting-edge restaurant Dragon Noodles Academy is known for its innovative takes on traditional Chinese food culture. When it comes to dim sum, DNA boldly thinks outside the conventional steamer. Take this candy-like sausage roll ($59), for example. The dual-coloured ‘wrapper’ is made from dough kneaded with red cabbage juice and spinach juice. It’s then cloaked around a Chinese preserved sausage and steamed to create an adorable one-bite roll that you can pop into your mouth like candy.

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Marriott goldfish dumplings
  • Restaurants
  • Admiralty

With its elegant form and its auspicious heritage in Chinese culture, the goldfish has become one of the most popular designs in contemporary dim sum. In a sea of fish-shaped dumplings, the one served at Man Ho ($90, pre-ordering required) stands out for its exquisite craftsmanship. A filling made from fresh shrimp and fish is enveloped in a delicate wrapper that’s lightly stamped with a comb to create a scale-like pattern. The surface is then brushed with a light lustre for an impressively dynamic effect.

Crispy beef puffs
  • Restaurants
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Dim Sum Bar offers quite a few fun and creative options. These puffs ($44), for instance, feature homemade pastry filled with beef and pork cooked in a bold black pepper sauce. This package is then folded into the shape of a miniature handbag and then deep-fried until golden and irresistibly crispy.

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South Australian scallop, garoupa, caviar, gold leaf and egg white dumplings
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Central
  • price 3 of 4

This next-level steamed dumpling ($95) demonstrates Mott 32’s penchant for creative, contemporary and classy Chinese fare. It starts with a Shanghainese egg white and seafood scramble that’s gently nestled into a delicate, open-top wrapper. In true Mott-style extravagance, the gorgeous dumplings are finished with vinegar pearls, caviar and a tint of gold foil, proving that they’re anything but your average dim sum.

Chilled coconut, papaya and strawberry pudding with bird’s nest
  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Tsim Sha Tsui
  • price 4 of 4

A true work of art specially crafted by Spring Moon’s award-winning dim sum chef Kanny Cheuk. A reimagining of a traditional Chinese dessert, Cheuk’s creation ($118) features a coconut pudding goldfish in a crystal clear pond that contains pieces of nourishing papaya and refreshingly sweet strawberry. Embellished with a generous helping of bird’s nest on top, this sweet concoction is easy on the eyes and is also great for your complexion.

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Baked pineapple puffs
  • Restaurants
  • Sheung Wan
  • price 2 of 4

Trendy Canto restaurant Yum Cha is famed for steaming, baking and frying up a wide assortment of photogenic dim sum, among which is this popular pineapple puff ($53). Inspired by Taiwanese pineapple cakes, the dim sum chefs wrap a shortbread-like dough around sweet pineapple paste and then sculpt it into the shape of a bird before adding two small black sesame seeds as eyes. Baked and cooled, these are then served to the table in a traditional birdcage, which makes for a great Instagram shot.

Need some coffee afterwards?

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