Hunting for authentic dim sum as a vegetarian in Hong Kong can be difficult if you don’t know where to go. LockCha Tea House is infamous for serving high quality vegan and vegetarian dim sum which are sure to excite visitors regardless of their dietary requirements.
A lesson in tea
The original LockCha Tea House is situated in the peaceful surroundings of Hong Kong Park, with three others dotted around the island and the mainland. Each Tea House has a slightly different offering: the Admiralty Express Essential House serves vegetarian dim sum alongside traditional teas, the Central Tea House blends Eastern and Western cultures and has beer on the menu, and the Té Bottega at Mei Foo combines tea with art. Here, they seek to educate visitors about the cultural significance of Chinese tea through art and education.
The roots of dim sum are uncertain, and the word may date back as far as the 10th Century. It is generally agreed that dim sum as we know it was first enjoyed by people travelling along the notorious Silk Road. Travellers stopping at roadside tea houses discovered that drinking tea helped their digestive systems, so they started enjoying a couple of the tasty little dumplings on the side. This practice became known as ‘yum cha’ or ‘drink tea’.
‘Dim sum’ can be roughly translated to mean ‘touch the heart’, and they were not originally intended to be something to fill up on. But despite traditions, you will find it difficult to stop at just two. Nowadays, most people eat dim sum as a proper meal, either for breakfast or brunch. The elderly sometimes arrive at restaurants as early as 5am for a bite to eat and a cup of tea after exercising. It is recommended to arrive early at LockCha to avoid disappointment, as they are known to sell out of many of their most popular dishes by lunchtime.
Dim Sum to die for
LockCha serves a delicious array of vegetarian and vegan dim sum made from fresh, seasonal ingredients. Their specials change daily, but expect things like Steamed Turnip Cakes and Golden Mushroom Rolls. Traditionally, dim sum are eaten with chrysanthemum tea, green tea, oolong tea or floral scented tea, but LockCha has 70 other authentic Chinese teas for you to choose from. Many of the teas they sell are organic and produced in small quantities. They are mindful of the environment and dedicated to their tea farmers, ensuring that they produce the best quality Chinese tea. According to their website, at LockCha they take pride in the fact that they pay the utmost attention to being environmentally friendly and trading fairly.
American Express Essentials named the Admiralty Tea House one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the world. “Lock” means happiness and enjoyment, and all that is required of customers is to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the space – even your tea will be poured for you! So if you are looking for an authentic tea house experience without having to dodge dishes containing animal products, LockCha is the perfect place.
Address: Shop 01-G07, Block 1, Taikwun, 10, Hollywood Rd, Central
Monday – Sunday | 11am – 11pm