2/F, Lower Block, City Hall, Edinburgh Place, Central
Visited 4th August 2008
Yum Cha is on of the quintessential Hong Kong dinning experience and Maxims Palace is perhaps the quintessential place to indulge. A house full of guests keen for a day at Ocean Park called for a serious breakfast so we all tumbled into Maxims to prepare for the pandas, turbo drop and pushy hordes following stupid flags. Once located on prim harbour real estate, City Hall now seems to have been a little lost in the glamour of recent developments and land reclamation. Maxims however has lost none of its popularity and though we arrived early enough to avoid the queue, by the time we left there was a huge line waiting for tables. The decor is rather traditional with lots of red and dragons dominating the huge, high ceilinged room. For me though, a touch of class was derived from the gorgeous white porcelain tea-cups and a spectacular view of Victoria Harbour.
Dim Sum is still served by traditional trolley wielding waitress and we ordered up a tower of baskets that included all the usual favourites: sui mei, barbecue pork buns, steamed beef balls, shrimp dumplings, steamed pork ribs, rice paper rolls, spring rolls and fried squid. The quality of ingredients used was obvious and most of the food was top-notch. I was particularly impressed with the seafood and loved the prawn dumplings and sui mei. The selection of alcoholic drinks available is pretty limited, but seeing what time of day it was that didn't particularly bother us as we were happy with tea.
Maxims Palace really is a perfect place to bring guests to Hong Kong; the foods excellent, the view fantastic and the restaurant has a classic Hong Kong busy bordering on craziness, yet it's restrained with a hint of elegance. The service was fine and the staff were than happy to assist us ordering items that weren't rolling past on trolleys. Maxims' reputation ensures prices are above your street average yum cha joint with the dim sum ranging from $25 to $44. The bill for four of us came to $503, which isn't bad considering the restaurant's reputation, quality and location. Visiting Maxims seems a bit too much bother for Sunday yum cha - I'd prefer somewhere more local in both location and ambiance - but I'll certainly be taking visitors there in the future. Visit restaurant's strangely Chinese only website.