Dim Sum Library | Aqua Restaurant Group's new casual-chic offering in Pacific Place
There’s a new kid on the block in the dim sum world. On the first floor of Pacific Place, you’ll now find the 1920s art deco–inspired Dim Sum Library.
It’s backed by Aqua Restaurant Group, who are already famed for the dim sum at their award-winning northern Chinese restaurant, Hutong. This time, their aim is to use international ingredients (think 24-hour slow-cooked Wagyu, foie gras, black truffle) in centuries-old Chinese recipes, present the dishes beautifully and offer them to guests at an affordable price – a task led by Chef Wah, a man with 15 years of experience, including a stint as dim sum sous chef at the Mandarin’s Man Wah.
What you’ll find at Dim Sum Library are contemporary dishes that aren't overly gimmicky (none of our steamed buns had faces spewing custard). And because modern Hong Kongers enjoy dim sum at any time of the day, guests can also order larger sharing plates for a heartier meal.
We tried a variety of dishes and especially loved the following:
Wagyu beef puff with black pepper ($88 for 3): This came wrapped in a millefeuille-like pastry and was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious
Dan dan xiao long bao ($48 for 3): Flavourful with mala sauce. Spicy!
Black truffle har gau ($48 for 3): A modern classic.
Crispy aubergine tossed with salted fish and Chinese chives ($108): Close to perfection, the aubergine sticks were nice and firm with the tastiest, crispiest coating.
Yunnan black truffle crispy chicken ($390 for the whole chicken, $190 for half): Moist, truffle-flavour-saturated meat, enhanced by the delightful crunch of crispy chicken skin.
The Hokkaido king crab spring rolls ($88 for 4) came topped with a healthy amount of sea urchin, but we felt the spring rolls were so tasty on their own that the sea urchin flavour was barely detectable. The same went for the foie gras flavour in the Wagyu and foie gras stone pot fried rice ($228).
As for the vibe, while it’s in the middle of a busy mall, it feels like a cheeky escape. The lighting is dim and the decor is pretty, especially the front chinoiserie bar, which would be perfect for perching, people watching and enjoying one of their delicious tea-based cocktails (we loved the Blackened Rose Buds, $90). While at 4,000 square feet in size, the space is skilfully divided into two main dining areas and a private room that fits up to 40, ensuring the restaurant feels cosy no matter where you are.
And happen to fancy a game of mahjong? The private-ish back dining room has two tables free for guests to use and while away an afternoon.
We’d recommend Dim Sum Library as a good option next time you’re around Pacific Place. It would be great for a work lunch, after-work drinks and some nibbles or a weekend stop post-shopping. The service is attentive, the design is sleek and, best of all, the food is an affordable luxury.
Shop 124, Level 1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 3643 0088
This post first appeared on Foodie.