Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008

2. Lin Heung Tea House

Proletarian clientele vie for shabby seats at shared tables as ceiling fans whir and an ancient wall clock keeps time — rather pointlessly, given that it's forever 1962 at the Lin Heung ("Fragrant Lotus") Tea House. But if you're going to have dim sum only once during your stay in Hong Kong, this is the place. A decades-old parlor in Hong Kong's Central District, Lin Heung makes no concessions to modernity or to English speakers, so be prepared for pantomime or go with a Cantonese-speaking friend. But what Lin Heung does offer is a tasty and unmediated slice of Old Hong Kong. (Don't leave without trying the lotus paste buns or the glutinous rice dumplings.) The city's culinary and cultural authenticity are potently concentrated in a few surviving places like this. (Nearest MTR: Central)