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CHINESOLOGY Revives 1980s Dim Sum In Nostalgic Brunch

CHINESOLOGY dips into the past to bring fresh delights to spring with the launch of an exquisite dim-sum brunch experience evoking nostalgia, heightened by a free-flow option that stars the famed Chinese-inspired cocktails of the house. Reviving traditional savoury and sweet fancies of the 1980s with a touch of modern joie de vivre, the opulent Chinese dining destination in ifc mall, Central, helmed by acclaimed culinary expert Saito Chau, celebrates Hong Kong’s golden years of cuisine and culture.


The new weekend brunch captures a nostalgic essence that aligns perfectly with Chef Chau’s culinary philosophy of exquisite presentation, innovative concepts and authentic recipe offerings. His dim-sum creations are a testament to his meticulous craftsmanship, honouring the centuries-old culinary art while incorporating a tinge of innovation. Revisiting favourites from the past five decades, the menu presents cherished dishes that have gradually disappeared from Hong Kong’s culinary scene due to their intricate preparation.

Back to the ’80s Dim Sum Brunch” (served from 12 noon to 3pm, HK$588 per adult and HK$488 for children aged three to 11) begins with Chef Chau’s ‘Five Fortune’ appetiser of five tantalising creations on one inviting plate. A blast of sour-sweet flavours, Free Range Egg Mousse, Vinegar sees egg yolk smothered in velvety whipped-egg foam. Chilled Botan Shrimp, 20-year Huadiao is an umami Shaoxing wine-soaked treat; Hong Kong-treasured Jumbo Razor Clam bears a fiery Chilli kick; and the refreshing Italian Tomato, Seaweed, Vinegar marries tastes of Italy and Japan. A winning combination of pickled Scallion, fruity Roselle and tangy Vinegar rounds off the five taste-bud-awakening bites.

Soup is the house signature Sea Cucumber, Winter Melon, Bamboo Fungus, Carrot Oil, Chicken Oil, Superior Soup, beloved for the richness of its collagen-packed chicken broth and the nutritious boost of the prized marine delicacy.

The main is a choice from a tempting trio of dishes: Lobster, Sergestid Shrimp Sauce, Handmade Rice Flour Rolls, the most luxurious of cheung fun, freshly rolled, steamed and smothered in fragrant sakura-ebi sauce; Free Range Chicken, Wild Mushroom, Lotus Root, Chives, the freshest chicken dish imaginable, paired with vegetables of contrasting textures; and Premium Dried Abalone, Goose Web, Secret Recipe Sauce (add HK$298 per person), a gourmet’s dream – South African 33-head dried abalone stewed with chicken and Chinese ham, then slathered with Chef Chau’s special fish-maw accompaniment.

The free-flow dim-sum selection comprises 11 savoury creations, with four being specially recommended. The chef’s childhood favorite, Siu Mai Quail Egg, receives a healthier twist with lean minced chicken replacing the traditional, oilier pork mince. Siu mai, first introduced during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), holds a significant place in Hong Kong dim sum, and this unique variation featuring quail eggs evokes the charming dim-sum culture of the ’80s.

The story of xiao long bao, a renowned soup dumpling, traces back nearly 150 years to the Shanghai suburb of Nanxiang. At CHINESOLOGY, the culinary team honours this heritage with its Minced Pork Xiao Long Bao dumpling, featuring a thin wrapper (less than 1mm thick) meticulously folded into at least 18 delicate twists.

The Weekend Brunch dim-sum menu also showcases a sensational rendition of Egg Yolk Corn Starch Pudding, a crisp-fried, diamond-shaped delight with a collagen-filled soup centre. This exquisite dish, once a humble street food in Beijing, rose to prominence during the Qing Dynasty court and subsequently became a beloved staple in ’50s-’60s Hong Kong dim-sum establishments. Chef Chau masterfully melds savoury flavours by simmering aged chicken and Yunnan Jinhua ham to create a rich broth, which is then combined with egg and encased in a golden batter. The result is a tantalising interplay of crispy, soft and liquid textures – a culinary marvel that Chef Chau modestly calls ‘bite-sized soup’.

Known for its heart-warming qualities, congee plays an essential part in Hong Kong culinary culture. Chef Chau’s Wild-caught Mottled Spinefoot and 15-year-old Tangerine Congee delivers a delightful oceanic aroma without any overpowering fishy taste. He elevates the flavour profile by infusing the fragrant essence of aged peel from his personal collection. Top-quality tangerine peel, valued for its health benefits, is in limited supply, making it a prized ingredient.

Translucent Har Gow, Tiger Prawn, Minced Pork, and the vegan-friendly Kale, Vegetable, Dumpling – enclosing green goodness instead of the usual prawn – are other delectable steamed treats. The light, multilayered coat of Mushroom, Pepper, Puff Pastry uncovers a savoury spiciness. Other fried wonders are Crispy Shrimp, Spring Roll with carrot and cabbage, and the syrupy crunch of the classic Guangdong village treat of Fried Wonton, Sweet and Sour Sauce (right) – due to the auspicious yuanbao (Chinese gold ingot) shape at its heart, this wonton is typically served at wedding banquets.

You should also try their classics like Steamed Mini Sticky Rice with Minced Pork, Egg Yolk and Lotus Leaves, unveiling a fragrant combination of tender meat and egg yolk wrapped in lotus leaves, while Handmade Rice Flour Rolls, cooked with the chef’s secret recipe for Hong Kong XO sauce, presents an irresistibly umami-packed experience that is not to be missed.

There are eight unlimited dim-sum dessert pleasures including two stellar sweet soups. Tragacanth Gum, Pistachio is the chef’s recommendation, a premium twist on almond or walnut that blends 40 handpicked Iranian pistachio nuts in each bowl and is thickened with natural tragacanth gum, a natural gum from tree sap. Pink Guava, Pomelo, Konjac soup swaps out the usual mango for super-sweet guava, with root vegetable jelly adding healthy texture.

The much-travelled teahouse classic of Egg Tart is another recommendation, made by Chef Chau with Australian full-cream milk and homemade cookie dough in a faithful rendition of the authentic Hong Kong recipe that will evoke memories of the city’s past glories.

Chinese puddings are headlined by Sponge Cake, Sugar, a white, fluffy steamed rice cake typically cut into triangles and bought from hawker stalls of yore. The house recommendation of Black Sesame Glutinous Roll is a ’70s and ’80s dessert tradition that reminds of an old-fashioned film roll; its 18 handmade layers and alluring sesame aroma conjure the spirit of old Hong Kong. Originating from Taishan in Guangdong and prepared like a cupcake but steamed in the bowl then left to cool, Cup Cake, Red Bean, Sugar Cane (right) is a nostalgic, chewy-textured, sweet rush of ubiquitous red bean.

Equally enticing are the chilled delights of luscious Coconut Cake, Split Peas, which resembles panna cotta, and citrusy Passion Fruit Pudding, featuring a velvety texture enriched with healthy chia seeds and coconut milk. Both desserts offer refreshing indulgence.

The “Back to the ’80s Dim Sum Brunch free-flow drinks option at HK$288 per person underscores CHINESOLOGY’s exuberant Tang-ren essence, reflecting the grandeur and glamour of the Tang dynasty when spirited feasts were all the rage, and heady Hong Kong in the booming 1980s.

Three cocktails from the mixology team’s extraordinary collection fusing Chinese tradition with Western techniques are featured. Bamboo Punch(original price HK$128, right) stars Shanxi’s bamboo leaf-infused Chu Yeh Ching Chiew stirred with homemade five-spice cordial and sparkling wine. The West-East vibe continues with Southern Sidecar (original price HK$108), which blends VSOP Cognac with kumquat liqueur and ginger spice. The Florist, featuring Widges London dry gin, homemade jasmine and floral tea syrup topped up with tonic water, is exclusively served at the Weekend Brunch.

Wine lovers can also complement the delightful dim-sum experience with fine French pours: sparkling Saint Louis Blanc de Blancs Brut, and Le Bosq Rouge or Blanc from Languedoc-Roussillon. Those in the mood for mocktails may sip CHINESOLOGY Lemonade (original price HK$90), an effervescent mix of lemongrass, lychee and sparkling water, or The Ruby (original price HK$90), a fruity cranberry, pineapple, orange passionfruit concoction fizzed by ginger ale. Unlimited Herbal Tea and Orange Juice are also available.

“Hong Kong is a vibrant hub of Cantonese dim-sum culture, and we are thrilled to recreate beloved ’80s classics, celebrating the meticulous craftsmanship and personal touch of this culinary tradition,” says CHINESOLOGY Culinary Director Saito Chau “Our new weekend brunch experience aims to capture the nostalgia of traditional teahouses, presenting a delightful setting that brings the joy of the ’80s era to life.”

CHINESOLOGY’s vibrant interiors enhance the carefree mood of brunch, melding the sophistication of grand Chinese mansions with contemporary styling. Plush banquettes and chairs in bold hues, rich textures, a jazzy, chequered floor, and a double row of patterned glass panels dividing the space induce relaxed refinement against the stunning backdrop of Victoria Harbour. Three private dining rooms, each seating 10 people, encourage business entertaining, or social or family get-togethers, in the beating heart of the city.

CHINESOLOGY is located at Shop 3101-3107, Level 3, ifc mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong, and is open daily from 12 noon to 3 p.m.; and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information, please visit; for reservations, please visit chinesology-reservation, or email [email protected], or call (852) 6809-2299.

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