Chinee like me: Dim sum at Royal Garden

Since I’m Chinese, people often ask me where the best dim sum in town is. To be honest, it kind of depends on various factors, like price, service and overall quality. It also depends what year it is, as Chinese chefs are constantly being stolen from one restaurant or another.

One of the most consistently good-quality dim sum spots over time has been Royal Garden in the Ala Moana Hotel — it’s a little spendy compared to other places, but most Chinese people will tell you it’s pretty worth it. Chinese people, spending money? You know it’s gotta be good.

The secret Hawaii Chinese Dinner Society decided to have the August meeting over dim sum (never mind that it’s lunch and not dinner), and since it coincided with Nonstop’s Tracy Chan’s birthday, a little splurge was in order. Ho sik!

Dim sum at Royal Garden

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Here’s a typical dim sum spread, with just about all of our favorite dim sum. Note that this is a litte more expensive than other dim sum houses; this plus a few more dishes cost seven of us $20 each. But it’s quite worth it.

Photo by Tracy Chan

The lunch was also the first meeting for Ricky Li, so we decided to interrogate, I mean interview him, to see if he was Chinese enough to join the society. I usually end these blogs with a lightning round of everyone’s favorite dish, but most readers know what dim sum is like and that it’s all good, so instead, you get to watch Ricky’s initiation. (Sorry about the sound quality.)