Following my first post on where to find authentic Asian food in Munich https://foodieadie.com/where-to-find-authentic-asian-food-in-munich-germany/, I would like to introduce to you the one and only restaurant that offers the full-blown authentic Dim Sum experience in Munich, perhaps the whole of Bavaria.
I have to be honest with you. The Cantonese food scene in Munich is not great at all (in fact, kind of sucks). Other than your usual sweet and sour crispy duck or pork, there are not many restaurants that offer authentic Cantonese food. That was before I discovered Oriental Hong Kong Kitchen (link below at the end of the post). It is located in Karlsfeld, not exactly in Munich, but still within the “M” zone. So, if you want to eat good food, you need to hustle!
One of my favorite dim sum items would be “Teochew Fen Guo” or 潮州粉果 in Chinese. Wrapped in a sticky glutinous skin, the individual hearty parcels contain pork mince, woodear mushroom, chives, peanuts and mung bean noodles. The filling is so savory and nutty, really fragrant and aromatic with the nuttiness from the sesame oil.
I really miss my grandma’s cooking, she makes a mean braised chicken feet that are so soft that you could suck the skin/meat off the bone with the slightest effort. However, making the dim sum style chicken feet is by no means an easy feat. First, one has to deep fry the chicken feet. Trust me, this is a huge and messy undertaking, as the hot frying oil would splatter everywhere due to the moisture in the chicken feet. Next, you braise the feet in a sauce made out of Chinese five spice, garlic, fermented black bean, soy sauce and oyster sauce. The feet need to be braised until they are soft and tender. The process of frying and then cooking in sauce is a unique technique that would create a unique texture especially that contains lots of collagen, the result is a spongy texture that would soak up all the sauces that it’s been cooking in!
However, my experience of the dish at the Oriental HK Kitchen was rather a mediocre one. The chicken feet were not braised long enough, resulting in a tough and rubbery texture. On my second visit, the dish slightly improved, but it still did not hit my expectations. In any event, if you have never tried chicken feet and are game to try it, why not?
This is another favourite dish of mine. Thickly cut aubergine, stuffed with pork and shrimp/fish meat paste in the middle and then deep fried. Lastly, it is served with a starchy, savoury sauce made from garlic, fermented bean paste and oyster sauce. The aubergine after being deep fried soaks up all the flavours from the sauce and is unbelievably soft and juicy.
Steamed rice rolls exist in a few East Asian or South East Asian cuisine, including the Vietnamese and Chinese. The Cantonese-style steamed rice rolls are usually made from steamed batter consisting of rice flour, tapioca starch and water, resulting in these thin, smooth starchy sheets which are subsequently rolled up. Very often, meat or seafood is added into the rice rolls and are served with a sweet and savoury sauce.
The steamed rice rolls at Oriental HK Kitchen were decent. Silky soft and smooth, the steamed rolls were served with Char Siew (Cantonese barbequed pork). It’s a kind of dish that gives you this warm, hearty feeling.
There is nothing to shout about these deep fried dumplings. However, one thing worth of mentioning is the mayonnaise. It’s not the German mayo that you get here, but the Asian version which is slightly sweeter and more citrusy.
Tiny morsel of pork mince with finely chopped carrots, mushroom, garlic, cilantro, etc (any ingredients that you like) wrapped neatly in small envelopes of bean curd skin. The bean curd skin serves as a sponge that would absorb all the sauces from the steaming.
Here, the Oriental HK Kitchen uses minced chicken. For some reason, the flavours just did not pop. The filling and the sauce were quite bland. A rather mediocre dish, I must say.
Crystal prawn dumplings, also known as “Har Gao” in Cantonese. Wrapped in glutinous rice wrappers, these dumplings each contain rather huge, plump and juicy prawns in them. The skin could have been a little thinner, but overall I think it is a very well-balanced dish in terms of taste and texture. I recommend to try it! :)
The Shanghainese soup dumplings, also known as Xiao Long Bao, also known as XLB (hipster term). A well-executed XLB should come with a very thin (paper-thin) wrapping skin and savoury soupy filling inside. Unfortunately, the XLB served at Oriental HK Kitchen fell few feet short from what/how XLB should be. The skin was simply too thick and doughy, the top part of the dumpling (where they twist the skin the seal off the dumpling) was even half-cooked on my portion. On a brighter and more positive note, the soup inside the dumpling actually tasted good and was full of umami flavours.
Last but not least, the Siu Mai. I call it the king of Dim Sum. Why? You can find this in almost every Dim Sum restaurant, if not night markets in South East Asia. When you want to judge whether a Dim Sum restaurant is good, try the Siu Mai (in my opinion lah) :)
It comes with savoury pork mince, sometimes minced prawns are thrown into the mix, wrapped in wanton skin wrappers, with the filling half exposed at the top, sometimes garnished with chopped carrots or even caviar in some fancy restaurants.
On both of my visits to Oriental HK Kitchen, the Siu Mai was simply rather disappointing. The filling was too dry and gamey. Perhaps the pork in Germany is gamey in general which is rather difficult to get rid of :(
Overall, it’s a mixed bag of the good and mediocre, depending on which Dim Sum you order. Nevertheless, given that it’s the only restaurant in the whole of Bavaria which offers such an extensive menu of Dim Sum, I have to give it credits that it has done a pretty decent job in keeping the Cantonese Dim Sum culture alive here :)