Saam Hui Yaat (叁去壹點心粉麵飯) – Old School Dim Sum in Hong Kong
We were on a hunt for something local and less touristy. Phoebe recommended us to try Saam Hui Yaat (叁去壹點心粉麵飯) in western district, near to Chau Kee. Sam Hui Yat (叁去壹) which means three minus one in Chinese, is a hole-in-the-wall old-school Dim Sum eatery in the area. It started from 3 owners who planned to start up a business together in 1978. Unfortunately, one of them backed out because his father was afraid of making a loss, hence the name “three minus one”. But he continued to work in the eatery.
Now, all of them are in their 60s and despite the fact that age is catching up, the team still starts work at 3am daily to make their own dim sum. That shows the passion and commitment they have for their trade. When you look around, the signs of its age are clearly visible, with its tiled floor, metal fans, altar and furniture all partly covered in grease. But it is this old school charm that keeps many old folks around the area to go back frequently for their dim sum fix.
The dim sum here is really affordable, selling about HKD 14-20 per item. The steamed pork and crab meat siu mai had a typically thin casing open at the top with the filling bursting out. Pork fillings are juicy and fresh. One of the owners even worked in dim sum factory in Japan prior to this business, and he has learnt to create very delicate har kau (shrimp dumplings). Inside were tiny dices of water chestnut and whole shrimps. The crystal skin is thin and translucent, yet is sturdy enough not to break when picked up with chopsticks.
Their steamed rice series is very popular as well. We managed to get the last bowl (at 9.30am) of steamed minced beef with egg and dark soy sauce. Once we ordered, the owner will remove the rice from steamed, crack an egg into the meat and serve. When mixed, the juices from the beef and gooey yolk coat the rice perfectly. I can happily make a meal out of dim sum. I love the way the food comes out in waves and I can just sit there quietly and watch the owners work. It is not difficult at all to find a dim sum place in Hong Kong but THIS is definitely one of the most traditional and old-fashioned dim sum eateries. We will be back for more!
Saam Hui Yaat (叁去壹點心粉麵飯)
Address: 11 Pok Fu Lam Road, Western District, Hong Kong (西環薄扶林道11號)
Phone: +852 2547 3917
Opening Hours: 5am to 3pm daily