truffle duck @ hakkasan
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Hakkasan (San Francisco, CA)

Hakkasan San Francisco opened at the end of 2012, but I didn’t have a chance to visit until this most recent SF trip. I’ve dined at Hakkasan’s Las Vegas and now-closed Beverly Hills locations a couple of times and have enjoyed my prior meals. I was interested to see how the SF location’s upscale Chinese food would compare.

Our party of four ordered a handful of prior favorite dishes, along with a few new ones.

dim sum @ Lung King Heen
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Lung King Heen (Hong Kong) [2]

Lung King Heen is a three Michelin starred restaurant in Hong Kong. It was the first Chinese restaurant to be awarded that distinction in 2009 and is still one of the most notable Cantonese fine dining establishments in the city. I’ve been here once for dim sum and had a good meal; this would be my first dinner visit.

While a tasting menu is available, we opted for a la carte focusing mostly on items noted as a ‘chef’s recommendation’ on the menu.

ha gow & yan toh heen
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Yan Toh Heen (Hong Kong)

Yan Toh Heen is a two Michelin star restaurant inside Hong Kong’s Intercontinental Hotel. The restaurant serves upscale Chinese cuisine featuring dim sum for lunch. I’ve had two upscale dim sum lunches in Hong Kong in a prior visit (Lung King Heen and T’ang Court), but this would be my first time here. The restaurant is located on the ground level of the hotel featuring plenty of harbor views.

great eastern san francisco
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Great Eastern (San Francisco)

I’ve been to Great Eastern countless times. It’s been a staple for family gatherings on my dad’s side for decades, serving up banquet-style Chinese food. I don’t come here nearly as often since I’m no longer local, but squeezed in a meal on a recent trip.

The restaurant is best known for an impromptu takeout order by Barack Obama in 2012, which reliably brings Chinatown tourists through these doors. I’d like to think the food continues to draw locals into the restaurant too, though.

t'ang court hong kong
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T’ang Court (Hong Kong)

While planning meals over the last couple of days in Hong Kong, we wanted to fit one more dim sum lunch in. T’ang Court, a Michelin three star restaurant at The Langham, was just a couple of blocks down from the hotel and had a last-minute reservation available.

Like fellow three-star Lung King Heen, the menu was extensive even for lunch. We planned to go for one of the set tasting menus, but they were only offered for tables of 2 or 4. Oddly, neither could be tailored for a party of 3 so we went a la carte.

Charcoal Roasted Goose
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Yung Kee (Hong Kong)

My parents and I were walking around the Central District of Hong Kong trying to figure out where to have our last meal before heading to the airport. We initially walked over to Yat Lok, a Michelin-starred roast goose specialist. Unfortunately, it closed just as we got there (it’s closed for dinner on Sundays). We quickly called an audible to this restaurant, another roast goose specialist that my parents had been to previously. Established in 1942, the restaurant’s been very popular and highly acclaimed even garnering a Michelin star in 2009 (it has since lost it).

Steamed Shrimp and Crab Meat Dumplings with Egg White @ Lung King Heen
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Lung King Heen (Hong Kong)

Dim sum was one of the things my family and I really wanted to explore while in Hong Kong. How much better would it be in Hong Kong vs. California? My mother’s cousin, who is a frequent visitor to the territory, recommended Lung King Heen as his favorite. The restaurant at the Four Seasons, which is Michelin three-starred and ranked 99th best restaurant in the world, certainly promised to be a different kind of dim sum experience compared to what we were accustomed to.

tim ho wan
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Tim Ho Wan (Hong Kong)

Tim Ho Wan might be the most famous Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong. The “hole in a wall” dim sum restaurant gained a star in the 2010 guide, launching it to fame as the world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurant (I’m not sure if it still is, particularly after dining at Ho Hung Kee). The restaurant has leveraged its success for expansion throughout Asia in recent years with outposts currently in Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. This location, at Olympian City, is one of the three Tim Ho Wans that currently hold a Michelin star in Hong Kong.