The Islamic Centre Canteen is probably the only fully halal Dim Sum place in Hong Kong. It is located on the 5th floor inside the Masjid Ammar / Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre in Wan Chai (near the Causeway Bay side). Dim Sums are served daily from 10 am to 3 pm, while their dinner hours (6-9 pm) serve classic Cantonese dinner dishes. As a popular halal travel site, Have Halal Will Travel, says in one of the blog posts –
“DO NOT, we repeat, DO NOT, leave Hong Kong without trying this!”.Have Halal Will Travel
Dim Sum is such a Hong Kong staple so I totally agree that one simply can’t visit Hong Kong without having at least one Dim Sum feast. And the best news of all, you can enjoy a halal version of them! On the menu, you’d find all sorts of traditional Dim Sums. As you first walked in and sit down, you’d be given a card to bring with you to the counter for ordering Dim Sums. Simply say what you want and the staff will hand you the dim sums on a tray and mark down your orders on the card. As per tradition, all dim sums are categorised and the price varies from each category. For non-Dim Sum dishes, you can just order it from the table.
Here is what we ordered:
Har Gao (Prawn Dumplings)
One of my favourite Dim Sums of all time is Har Gao. I really recommend these from the Islamic Centre. The dumpling was incredibly clean to the palate. The prawns tasted fresh and had an al dente texture. There was water chestnut mixed together into the prawn filling, which added an edge to the flavours. As for the dough, it’s beautifully translucent. It was done fairly thin, with an elastic but non-sticky texture. All in all, I urge you to must order this!
Wonton Noodles (HKD $28)
Wonton noodle soup is a huge Hong Kong staple. This one, though it has a clean and clear-tasting broth, I feel it needed an extra punch of flavours. But overall it was a nice bowl of noodle soup. The wontons were delightful. They were of good size and the filling carries a nice subtle savoury touch. The noodles were very springy but without a too overwhelming alkaline taste. Alkaline water is typically used to attain that springy texture, and it could have easily resulted in an overly alkaline soup-like flavour. Thank goodness that alkaline touch was relatively subtle but still distinct enough to feature this uniqueness of wonton noodles.
Mince Beef & Egg Omelette (HKD $55 for small portion)
Here’s another one to order off the Cantonese dish menu (i.e. non-dim sum). We only ordered a small size but it’s still of a decent portion. I am not quite sure how to put it in words properly. You may think it’s just eggs but there’s this certain savoury flavour and fragrance that makes it special. It’s almost like a massive egg pancake. The ratio of eggs, mince beef and scallions were very proportionate. The mince carried a beefy flavour but it was very well-balanced with the egg. The scallions simply elevated the flavours altogether. Beef has gone expensive in Hong Kong these days so I’m delighted to still see good amount of it that are of good quality being served. I would recommend ordering this and it would go well with some rice!
Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Baos are honestly one of my biggest food weaknesses. It is a shame that the majority of them are not halal. So whilst here with a galore of fully halal dim sums, I was very much anticipating for this one (they substituted the pork with chicken). However, I was left disappointed. From the look of it, though nicely presented with 18 folds at the tip, it looked slightly sunken. The real problem is that the Xiao Long Baos had already been left cold on the side when we ordered them. As a result, the soup inside the Xiao Long Baos have pretty much already dried up. This ended up with a soggy dough and a rather dry filling.
For Xiao Long Bao recommendation in Hong Kong, visit Islam Food in Kowloon City.
Lor Mai Gai
Lor Mai Gai is basically glutinous rice and meat wrapped in lotus leaf. As you unwrap the lotus leaf, an alluring fragrance hits you instantly. There is a very well-balanced soft and sticky texture. On top of that, there’s a fairly generous amount of meat in it that’s super saucy and tender.
Although a lot of dim sums are steamed, you can still get some fried goodness. Crispy on the outside with a decent portion of vegetable fillings on the inside, the dumplings were quite a delight. We didn’t manage to catch the freshest batch but it was still warm-ish. Though deep-fried, it didn’t feel greasy.
Chicken feet is actually a very popular dim sum dish in Cantonese cuisine. Before everyone gets scared or grossed out…let me tell you, it’s just chicken! I guess the best way to describe it is that it’s almost like eating chicken skin. The most enjoyable part of savouring chicken feet is licking and sucking the sauce. The sauce is incredibly savoury and with a subtle hint of spice.
The halal version of Siu Mai, just like the Xiao Long Baos, simply replaces the pork filling with chicken. Siu Mai is quite a Dim Sum staple in Cantonese cuisine so you should definitely try it out. There is a clean, non-greasy taste to it. The downside is though, again, it’s been left aside to get cold. As a result, it’s slightly dry and a bit stiffer than normal. Regardless, it’s still pretty tasty.
…the Islamic Centre Canteen is certainly an unmissable spot for halal dim sum in Hong Kong. I mean it’s pretty much the only fully halal dim sum place available in the city so there aren’t many choices. Despite slightly confusing directions from the MTR stations, it’s worth it. Food is absolutely delicious and authentic. I only wished we can have the dim sums more freshly made upon order rather than serving them by the counter in rounds where they can all get cold. A couple of dim sums we criticized were mainly because of that reason. Anyway, this is one you must add to your list if you’re planning a trip to Hong Kong.
Nearest station: Wan Chai / Causeway Bay