Dim sum is never the type of meal where men need to be in smart attire. But at Lung King Heen, the restaurant at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong, proper pants are required. Our friend Terrence learned this the hard way when he arrived at the restaurant wearing shorts and was denied entry. But despite the angry protests, he had to either accept a loaner pair of pants or borrow one of ours. Terrence had to put on his big boy pants for this meal.
I think that tells you all you need to know about Lung King Heen. You are required to wear pants, because it’s a very proper and elegant place. It’s so proper that there’s an unspoken rule that you can’t bring your young kids here, because that would kill the mood. Tables book up many months in advance. And the dim sum on the menu is priced per piece, like a nigiri. So one dumpling will cost you $6, 4 for $24. Men who wear pants and the ladies with their Hermes and Chanel bags are unfazed by dim sum priced like nigiri.
So naturally you’ll ask is the dim sum here worth all the trouble, should it really be 3x the price you pay for something back home? It makes absolutely no sense to compare Lung King Heen to a Jing Fong back in NYC. You wouldn’t, for instance, ever compare the $19 burger at 4 Charles Prime Rib to a $6 burger at Shake Shack, would you? Or would you question paying $20 for a cocktail made by a mixologist when it costs much less to make it on your own? You know you’re paying for entirely different experiences, and you can’t consider the burger or the dim sum out of context.
If it’s any consolation, in addition to paying for the ambiance, service and the beautiful table settings, you are also paying for significantly better taste and ingredients. Believe me when I say that you can taste the difference. Dim sum can oftentimes be a hit or miss. When fresh it is amazing but left out too long it’s a disappointment. The food at Lung King Heen is always at the perfect temperature and texture. And the flavors are much more vivid than in a plate of food from a run-of-the-mill dim sum place. You can actually really taste the ginger and the brine in the shrimp, whereas those complexity and layers are more faint and muddled at a lesser place. And the wrapper somehow is so thin and impossibly gossamer. Only a delicate and dexterous pair of hands rolled these, not an industrial machine. The entrance fee to this exclusive club is a bit steep, but the price of admission is worth it.
Lung King Heen
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong
+852 3196 8888