Dim Sum Library serves Cantonese classics with an art-deco twist

New restaurant offers dim sum after dark with a twist on Cantonese classics

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 4:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 4:12pm

The Aqua Group, adding to its other 16 restaurants in three cities, recently opened Dim Sum Library in Pacific Place.

Drawing from an era when rickshaws trundled up and down the city’s roads and tea house patrons were accompanied by their pet birds, Dim Sum Library’s art-deco décor is consistently charming.

Though disappointingly in a mall, the restaurant’s soft lighting and glam atmosphere draws you diners in quickly. It’s dim sum after dark here, where tea gives way to cocktails and lounge music merges with low chatter.

We started with cocktails from the DSL Collection, all of which are tea infused. Tea-tinctured cocktails aren’t new, but they’re difficult to make well. We ordered One Thousand Years of Song (HK$85) – with Jasmine tea-infused Tanqueray gin and peach purée, egg white and lemon juice – and the Camellia Sinensis colada (HK$95) – also with Tanqueray gin, but with crème de cacao, pineapple, coconut cream and green tea powder. Neither of them disappointed.

Instead, the first had us marvelling at the quality of the tea alone. The second managed to merge a pina colada with a milk-tea delightfully.

The extensive menu is best sampled in a group, and an impressive portion of the menu is vegetarian.

We started with the wagyu beef puff (HK$88 for three pieces), which is recognisable to those who’ve dined at Mot 32 and Mandarin Oriental’s Man Wah. This was the unexpected star of the show – with millefeuille pastry you’d leave your husband for.

The dan dan xiaolong bao (HK$48 for three pieces) held spiced nutty minced beef with Sichuan tones- but were mild enough for a Cantonese palate. Adding a luxurious layer to the classic dim sum dish, the black truffle har gau (HK$48 for three pieces) was delicious.

Next was the Yunnan black truffle, crispy-skin chicken. The dish lived up to its name, with a light and crispy skin that almost hovered above ultra-tender meat – made ever more succulent by the black truffle sauce. We recommend the half portion (HK$195) for smaller groups, as it’s a rich dish that’s best paired with a light vegetable plate or green tea cocktail. We ate it alongside a serving of okra with ginger (HK$78).

Impossible to resist was the lava chocolate mochi (HK$42 for four pieces), which lived up to expectations– rather than red bean paste or lotus and green tea, the centres was were filled with warm liquid chocolate.

Had it been later in the week, we would have settled in for a game of mahjong at one of the tables in the back parlour, armed with a second tea-infused cocktail.