Hong Kong Mong Kok Tim Sum: Quality dim sum at $3.50 for all items in Chinatown Complex with invisible queue
At first glance, Hong Kong Mong Kok Tim Sum may look like just another hawker stall located in the bustling Chinatown Complex. On closer inspection, an invisible queue awaits diners as you get closer to the stall.
With no verbal instructions from the stall owner, I only noticed the small stand on the counter that holds card numbers. Just as I was about to clarify on the queue procedures with the auntie, an elderly man stepped in front of me and picked a card.
I immediately understood that diners were to grab a card number and await your turn when the number was called on the digital screen. While waiting for my number to be called, I noticed every order consisted of at least a basket of Char Siew Bao (S$3.50 for 3 buns).
Concurrently, I realised that the uncle standing behind the tall columns of steamed baskets were focused on only one task at hand — wrapping the char siew buns.
On repetition, he rolled out the dough, spooned out a sizeable amount of char siew meat filling into the small circular shaped dough before swiftly wrapping them up.
Naturally, I was most excited to try what the hype was all about.
What I tried at Hong Kong Mong Kok Tim Sum
As a whole, the cloud-like steamed buns were the perfect pairing for the sweet and savoury meat filling which made the construction almost addictive. I managed to polish them off even after 2 prior tastings!
Both attempts to capture a shot of the meat filling failed as the heavy and saucy char siew dripped and slopped onto the plate beneath. The different sizes of meat chunks were juicy and created texture while the gravy was not overly sweet.
This is a must-have item when you patronise this stall.
Moving onto the next item — Prawn Rice Flour Roll (S$3.50). The soy sauce used is unlike the conventional ones sold in renowned restaurants. A distinct soy sauce flavour is first tasted before a sweet finish follows suit.
There could be more whole prawns stuffed within the rice roll layers but for its price point, I am not complaining.
For the best of both worlds, one can purchase their Char Siew Rice Flour Roll (S$3.50) that features the same slippery flat rolls doused in that savoury soy sauce and the same meat filling used in those char siew buns.
Another must-get dim sum item is the Xia Jiao (S$3.50). A generous amount of whole prawns were encased within a slightly thick but translucent skin.
Unlike the sweet chilli usually used for dim sum delights, a fiery garlic chilli is used here. This may not be the most ideal pairing for those accustomed to the former option.
However, I love the sharp flavour contrast that it brought to the Shao Mai (S$3.50). Without the chilli, the meat dumpling would have tasted rather one-dimensional.
I saved my personal favourite dim sum item to try the last — Steam Chicken Feet (S$3.50). With a distinct pepper seasoning, no gaminess was tasted.
The gravy was saucy and adequately thickened to coat the chicken feet pieces well. However, perhaps fresh cut chilli would add that extra spice kick that all spice lovers enjoy.
All in all, I am rather perplexed that I have not visited this hawker gem despite patronising Chinatown Complex often. Hong Kong Mong Kok Tim Sum — especially those char siew buns — will surely be on my to-get list the next time I visit the market.
Expected damage: S$3.50 – S$10 per pax
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