Choosing the Layover: Dim Sum in Hong Kong


Getting on a plane is always exciting for me. But as I plan trips that involve incredibly long hours, cramped in a small seat, one question always arises. What to do about layovers? When searching flights I always look for the most efficient way to get to my destination, while still keeping thing cost effective. So when I went to New Zealand back in February I knew I was going to spend at least 24 hours traveling, with a layover somewhere. Unfortunately, technology has not advanced enough for me to jump on a direct flight from New York to Auckland. So what was I going to do about this layover, or possible multiple layovers? I ended up choosing a flight with only one stop in Hong Kong. I even went a step further, I chose the flight that allowed me the opportunity to get out of the airport, walk around and have lunch with an old friend, Je Yeon.

Eight years ago I met Je while studying abroad in Hong Kong. We quickly became friends and like me, she loves good food. She’s originally from South Korea, but stayed in Hong Kong after her studies. It’s been great because we’ve been able to connect over the years even while I was living in Paris and more recently in New York. So I WhatsApped her immediately when I booked my flights to arrange a rendez-vous over dim sum.

Side Note- The Cantonese created dim sum in southern China and you can find it all over Hong Kong. Some even argue that Hong Kong championed dim sum. And by the way the locals speak Cantonese, not Mandarin.

Back to my day in Hong Kong- I let Je choose the restaurant since she knows the food scene over there way better than I do. Social Place was her choice. It’s more cotemporary dim sum, in a posh environment but super tasty nonetheless. We caught up quickly and shared many laughs, but there was one thing we couldn’t stop laughing about. We ordered the Signature White King Pigeon, it was prepared similar to Peking duck, and they brought it with disposable gloves. Yes, gloves! I’d been to dim sum many times in Hong Kong but this was a first. Je informed me this was quite common for certain things eaten with your hands. I saw it as a new Hong Kong tend. I’m all about getting my hands dirty, but I think I was so amused I couldn’t resist, so the gloves went on. How was the pigeon you might ask? Delicous! Lacquered to perfection and the blend of Chinese Five Spice was in perfect balance.

We ordered a variety of things, truffle shitake buns, ginger pork knuckles, lemon prawns, dragon beard kale, noodles with pork, etc. When it came to dessert I was blown away! The last thing to arrive on our table were these beautiful black buns with gold painted on the top. When bit into, a yellow sweet custard oozed out of the center. It was super simple, I almost feel like it as just a mixture of sugar and egg yolk. The bun itself was made with cocoa powder and I was in heaven. I had never tasted anything like it. Well done Je, next time I’m in Hong Kong I’ll just let you continue to pick the restaurants.


Needless to say my day in Hong Kong was pretty sweet and worth the stop. I got to stretch my legs, walk the old streets, and catch up with a dear friend. A mini adventures before my bigger adventure in New Zealand. Don’t be afraid to take a little extra time somewhere new when booking flights that include layovers, you might just discover something different and exciting!