Sun Hing Restaurant – Hong Kong - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Sun Hing Restaurant

A half-century-old handmade dim sum joint opens daily at 3:00 a.m. 


Tucked away on a busy street of Kennedy Town, Sun Hing is known for serving up heaping steamer baskets of fluffy char siu bao (barbecued pork buns), curried tripe, spare ribs, and Cantonese sponge cake to night owls starting at 3:00 a.m. every day. By the time the sun rises, the place is packed with customers ranging from elderly people sipping tea to students from the nearby university and still-tipsy revelers seeking late-night bites.

Opened by Chui Hoi in 1972 and now run by his son, Sun Hing has become something of an institution—one well-worth either getting up or staying up for. While mass-production has crept into many of the city’s pricier dim sum halls, cooks here still prepare everything from scratch, from dainty quail’s egg siu mai to salted egg lava buns with a yolk custard that tastes like warm cake batter. 

Unlike modern dim sum restaurants, where diners normally check off the items on a paper menu, patrons at Sun Hing can still select their dishes from roving trolley carts. A server marks the table’s card with the corresponding numbers of selected dim sum, then tallies up the bill at the end. Tea is self-service, with a selection of loose-leaf options—including black tea, tie guan yin (Iron Buddha), and pu-erh—perched on a stainless-steel shelf.

Diners can also watch cooks in the open kitchen rolling and flattening dough or skillfully folding dumpling wrappers into half-moon shapes. Servers continually call out fresh arrivals and it’s up to patrons to pounce on each new batch of dim sum before another table scoops it up.

Know Before You Go

Sharing a table with strangers is quite common at dim sum parlors. If you’re flying solo, you may sit with other diners at the same table but separated by plastic partitions.

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December 10, 2021

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