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Granted, it's a lot more fun to eat dim sum in a restaurant where the carts come to you and you get to check out what looks good. But the advantage of ordering dim sum from a menu is that the food arrives hot and freshly cooked. With some dim sum dishes, it makes a big difference in flavor. The Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce (38) was bright green and tender, and the crispy pan-fried pork dumplings (45) were excellent.

The xiu mai (2) at Hong Kong Dim Sum are among the best in the city. They are big and fat, with a bright-yellow cradle of dumpling dough. Since they are rushed to your table straight out of the steamer, you never have to contend with the rubber ball texture that cold xiu mai so often acquires.

My only disappointment was the red bean sesame balls (55). I once had some spectacular red bean sesame balls that were fresh out of the fryer at Fung's Kitchen's dim sum brunch. They tasted like hot jelly doughnuts with juicy sweet red bean paste inside and fragrant sesame on the outside. I ordered them at Hong Kong Dim Sum figuring I might relive the hot jelly doughnut experience. But it wasn't happening. The sesame balls were cold. And the red bean paste in the middle was thick, brown and terrible.
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Get your dim sum and your Malaysian fix with the xiu mai and the Belanchan kang kung.
Daniel Kramer
Get your dim sum and your Malaysian fix with the xiu mai and the Belanchan kang kung.

Location Info

Map

Hong Kong Dim Sum

9889 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, TX 77036

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Outer Loop - SW

Details

Belanchan kang kung $7Chow kueh teow $9Xiu mai $2.85Stuffed eggplant $2.85Fried shrimp puff $3.35

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The last time I stopped by Hong Kong Dim Sum was on a weekday at lunchtime. And as the crowds will attest, that's the best time to go. On the weekend, you might as well go to one of the big dim sum palaces and order from the carts. But on a weekday, there are only a few places serving dim sum, and Hong Kong Dim Sum is one of your best choices.

The crunchy fried shrimp puff with mayonnaise (48) was awesome. And once the shrimp puffs were gone I experimented with dipping the chewy steamed beef balls (10), the slightly rubbery shrimp-stuffed bell pepper (54) and the pork-studded pan-fried turnip cake (40) in the mayonnaise too. I can report that mayonnaise seems to make everything taste better.

A few tables away, I noticed a couple of xiu mai containers and a plate of Belanchan kang kung, and I silently congratulated the diners for their astuteness. Combining the best of both menus is the smart way to order here.

Hong Kong Dim Sum is located in the new Chinatown shopping center at Bellaire and Beltway 8 along with Fu Fu Café and Noodle House 88. The space was formerly the home of another, short-lived, Malaysian restaurant called Penang.

I intended to take James Oseland, the editor of Saveur and the author of an Indonesian and Malaysian cookbook, to sample a few dishes at Pedang when we visited Noodle House 88 back not long ago [see "Great Gaddo Gaddo," March 20]. But the restaurant had gone out of business.

Give the new owners credit for turning things around by recognizing that Houstonians love dim sum dumplings and that the esoteric charms of Malaysian food are not for everybody. And if you are an adventurous diner, take advantage of the rare opportunity to order a little bit of each.

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