Don’t you love the thought of waking up to delicious dim sum particularly when you are in Hong Kong? My Japanese friend cum tour guide, Terada San was going to bring me to Happy Valley aka 跑馬地 which directly translates to ‘Land of galloping horses’. It is an upper income residential area located on Hong Kong Island. The dim sum restaurant that he was going to bring me to was Yu Man Fang 譽滿坊. It serves deliciously, authentic Hong Kong Dim Sum and is rumoured to have a queer (gay) owner.
Much to my delight, we will be going there by taking my favourite old fashion tram service from his place at Sheung Wan. These double-decker public transport have been serving the Hong Kong people since 1904 and continue to be a cheap and fun way to get around. Once you are on board, rest your bum next to a window on the upper deck for the best views of colourful neighbourhoods such as Wan Chai, Happy Valley, Causeway Bay and North Point. They operate daily from early morning till midnight and cost a flat fare of HK$2.30 no matter how far you travel! Remember to prepare exact change if you are paying by cash before you get off. All trams accept Octopus cards as well.
It did not take us long from where we alighted to reach Yu Man Fang 譽滿坊! 譽 meant reputation in Mandarin hence I presumed that 譽滿坊 should mean a place of brimming reputation. Feel free to correct me in the comments section below if you know the owner personally.
According to Shinichi, we were really lucky to get seats without prior reservations. It definitely pays to come for dim sum early in the morning before the crowd streams in.
Despite the wide variety of dim sum options available, we made quick works of the menu. The first to be served were our Darn Egg Tarts – Chinese Egg Custard Tart. I am not trying to be rude here; the word ‘Darn’ was included in the menu. It was there probably because it sounded like eggs in Mandarin.
These egg tarts were small and handy. As I lift one of them up, its custard centre was still slightly wobbly. Together with its crispy, flaky crust, the contrasting textures and flavours of this egg tart created a simple yet heavenly taste experience. It was so addictive…. I ended up having 2 of the 3 egg tarts.
Our next dim sum, Chun Chu Gai was neatly wrapped in hot, steamy lotus leaf!
This dish consists of glutinous rice steamed with chicken, pork, dried scallops and abalone in lotus leaf. I adore the soft, sticky texture of the glutinous rice. After hours of absorbing from its various ingredients and the lotus leaf, the plain glutinous rice now commands a flavourful bite.
That’s Shinichi waiting eagerly for the next dim sum to be served.
Next up was Fun Guo – Steamed Diced Shrimp With Minced Pork & Vegetable Dumplings. The ingredients were really fresh and you must definitely take them with their sauces.
We also had Zine Har Gao – Steamed Dumpling With Shrimps & Bamboo Sheets. I have no idea why Zine was added in front of Har Gao. I love the generous amount of shrimps that were present; they were an absolute joy to bite into.
Our last dim sum Kau But Lei 狗不理 was not exactly native to the Hong Kong people. This is Peking style steamed bun with pork and vegetable that originated from Tianjing, China. The name literally means that these buns are shunned even by street dogs. So why are humans so obsessed with them? I had to take a bite to find out. The pork was overly dry and the bun tasted really normal.
Nevertheless, the dim sum that were served at Yu Man Fang 譽滿坊 were pretty good in terms of quality and standards overall. But I’ve always wondered why is it that there are so many more lao zi hao (old brand names) restaurants in Hong Kong than there are in Singapore.
Could it be that the masters in the kitchen in Hong Kong get more respect or are valued more; and this then makes them want to continue working for the same restaurant longer? If so, then is there a lesson in there for us? I’ve recently learned from NTUC that it intends to push more people in Singapore to “Value Every Worker”. If every worker is cherished and respected, I am sure everyone, not just those in the food industry, will get to benefit.
I will still recommend a visit if you are around the area, here’s the full information of the restaurant:
Yu Man Fang 譽滿坊
Address: G/F, 63 Sing Woo Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Tel: 2834 8893
You may also like to check out my posts on other exciting travel destinations here