Foodie travel has always been a big part of our travel experience. Now we have a little one, we have had to tailor where we eat and when to keep our little one happy and prioritize our foodie experience a bit more. When traveling to Hong Kong with our toddler, we knew that we had to sample the best Hong Kong dim sum. Any quick google or read of any of the best travel books will point you towards Maxims dim sum as the best Hong Kong Dim Sum.
Maxim’s Palace at City Hall – the best Hong Kong Dim Sum?
While Maxim’s has several outlets across Hong Kong, the City Hall branch is the famous one where foodies from all around the world flock too! It is in a great central location close to the IFC Mall. It’s location can be difficult to find if you get there early and you don’t have the tell tale queue to guide your way. The restaurant is located within city hall on the second floor so do go inside.
The branch is so popular that there have been known to be queues of up to 2 hours, even with the 500 tables available. Traveling with our little one meant that there was no way I would be able to stand in a two hour long queue for dim sum so we decided to get there at opening at 11am. I am so glad we did as by 11:15 the queue had started to form and by the time we left the foyer was very crowded. But the big question is is Maxim’s Palace at City Hall worth the hype?
Maxims Dim Sum
One of the main reasons to go to Maxim’s Palace is to get a traditional and authentic dim sum experience. Unlike many dim sum houses now, Maxim’s is served in the traditional manner with women pushing trolleys full of dim sum around the grandiose ballroom. It really is the quintessential Hong Kong dim sum experience. You don’t need to worry about ordering as all carts have menus in both English and cantonese to help you choose.
Apparently there are over 100 dishes on offer at Maxim’s but I think that only a limited number of these would appeal to a Western palate. I’m quite adventurous when it comes to food but I couldn’t bring myself to try chicken’s feet!
Was Maxim’s Palace worth the hype?
Overall, and I hate to say this, I was disappointed by the Maxim’s Palace City Hall experience. Even though we were in a relatively prime location, the trolleys seemed to bypass our tables. We struggled to flag down waitresses for tea or to order more dim sum. And while the dim sum we ate was nice, I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was exceptional. The best dishes in our opinions were the steam prawn dim sum and the chicken spring roll. One in particular however, the chicken and fish steamed dim sum, was particularly unpleasant. Maybe it was what we order, maybe if we had gone with locals we would have picked better, but the dim sum we ordered was average at best.
Overall, the combination of poor service and average dim sum made me very glad that we arrived when we did and we didn’t queue for the experience.
Have you been to Hong Kong? Where did you have the best Hong Kong Dim sum? Did you try Maxims Dim Sum? Was your visit to Maxim’s Palace different from our experience?