Yum Cha in Hong Kong traditionally means reading your newspapers over cups of tea and nibbling on dim sum served on push carts. However, it is getting more difficult to find places using dim sum push carts. We were thus thrilled to be introduced to Metropol Restaurant at United Centre in Admiralty. It is a huge restaurant with seats for over a thousand. Many of the items on the dim sum menu are either displayed on the glass cabinet in the central area of the restaurant or on push carts.
We went to Metropol Restaurant for breakfast. At about 8.30 in the morning, the place was already busy. We could order from the menu as well as pick dim sum items on push carts which the staff would wheel from table to table. As always, we were tempted to order more than we probably should.
We started with the Cheong Fun or Steamed rice flour roll with BBQ pork (HK$43), the Char Siew Soh (HK$36) and Steamed BQ Pork Bun or Char Siew Pau (HK$36). The buns were excellent. The filling was moist and tender and the dough was fluffy with good consistency. The other two items were quite good too. The crust of the Char Siew Soh was thicker than expected and not that flaky.
We also ordered the pan fried turnip cake (HK$36), the Har Kau (HK$36), Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf (HK$40) and Steamed Beef Dumpling (HK$36). There was no consistency in the number of pieces served for each dim sum item. There could be four pieces of an item in one basket or just 2 pieces, like the Char Siew Pau, per basket.
All the items did not disappoint. They were served hot and were tasty. The simple Har Kau (prawn dumplings) deserved special mention because they were delicious. The translucent skin was delicate but did not tear easily. The filling was well-cooked and tasted fresh.
There are many more dim sum items available at Metropol. Alas, we could not try so many of them in one seating. Besides the more traditional items like spare ribs with black bean sauce, deep fried shrimp with mango and steamed bean curd skin roll we noticed several rather unusual or unfamiliar ones. They include fish paste stuffed in pepper, steamed squid with curry and braised ox-stomach with satay.
Metropol serves more than just dim sum. They have noodles dishes, soups, fried rice, rice bowls and a wide variety of traditional desserts. Thus, you can find e-fu noodles, roasted duck rice, black mushroom noodles as well as desserts such as fried sesame balls, white sugar rice cakes and steamed egg yolk sponge. There is even a Fried Vermicelli “Singapore Style”.
Metropol Restaurant is a restaurant in Hong Kong where you do not need a reservation and there is usually no queue. We found the staff at Metropol to be friendly and accommodating although sometimes it was difficult to get their attention because of the size of the restaurant. The restaurant is in a convenient location and has a wide variety of dim sum. According to the restaurant, no MSG or colouring is added to their food.
On the whole we had a very enjoyable dim sum breakfast in traditional yum cha style in Hong Kong. Metropol Restaurant is on our list of dim sum restaurants to visit when in Hong Kong.
4/Floor, United Centre
95 Queensway Road
Tel: 2865 1988
Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 12 midnight