樂也樓: 又來點心tea Apr 29, 2009
After I came back to Hong Kong, I found myself gradually changing my afternoon tea habit. Instead of having my regular cup of joe and cookies, nowadays I am fond of having simple dim sum and Chinese tea. Not that I didn’t like to have dim sum in the afternoon in the past, but in New York, dim sum was strictly a lunch time thing. Hence I was glad to find 樂也樓 soon after I returned to Hong Kong, as it served dim sum all day and most importantly, the food was quite good for the price that they charged.
Among all the dim sum at 樂也樓, the best is definitely 蝦餃 which happens to be my favorite dim sum. The quality of the 蝦餃 at 樂也樓 is the best among all the dim sum specialty stores (點心專門店) I have tried. 蝦餃 at these dim sum places usually suffer from tiny dense shrimps or thick dumpling skins, but that’s not the case at 樂也樓. Each time I was presented with four large dumplings full of fresh bouncy shrimps (爽口的蝦肉) encased in the semi-translucent skin (澄皮不會太厚). The only potential flaw is that if you order during off-hours, the dumpling skin may be a bit mushy due to the continuous steaming in the basket. During lunch time, these gems always come out fresh and scrumptious.
鵪鶉蛋燒賣 was a pleasant nostalgic choice with bits of pork , shrimp, and mushroom mixed together in the filling. 牛肉燒賣 had good beef flavor and bits of chestnuts inside, but the minced meat had lost the texture with the blending in a mixer. 糯米雞 was jumbo-sized with generous innards, and the spareribs 排骨 were tasty despite the thick corn-starch coating.
The skin of 腸粉 was too thick to my liking, and the meat inside the 义燒包 was a tad too sweet for me. However, I did enjoy the 馬拉糕 and 麻容包 which were not overly sweet or cloying. If the 馬拉糕was a bit richer and fluffier like大榮華 it would have been perfect.
Avoid all fried items as they were pre-cooked and were cold like yesterday's dim sum when they got on to your plates.
Consider that all the dim sum are just $10-$15 (except 蝦餃for $18), 樂也樓 definitely delivers quality and value at a rather underrated food court. There are also lunch and dinner sets which are mostly homey dishes like steamed eggs or minced pork patty. 乾炒牛河 seemed to be one of their signature and popular items, as I saw many people ordering it every time I was there.
While I couldn’t confirm if the current chef of 樂也樓was previously the head chef at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Malaysia as claimed by a magazine, I am pretty sure that I am delighted to be able to get quality dim sum all day in a food court, and will continue to go back.
Recommended Dish(es): 蝦餃,鵪鶉蛋燒賣,糯米雞,馬拉糕, 麻容包
Date of Visit: Apr 28, 2009
Spending per head: Approximately HKD35(Tea)
Value for Money5