The yum cha scene in Hong Kong in old days was different. In restaurants, staff pushed trolleys around with dim sum on them, yelling out the name of dim sum. If you liked the dim sum, you got it direct from the staff.
Now, you are given a paper menu and you mark what you want and then food will be delivered to your table.
The old way was much more mesmerizing, of course. Kids are very intuitive of what is good and that is why my two little nieces like going to Maxim’s restaurants for dim sum where trolleys are still being pushed around.
I have been to the Maxim’s Palace in City Hall in Central and Taikoo Shing. Dim sum is pricy but of high quality. And the atmosphere is good because of the old way. Avoid the crowd on weekends, though.
Maxim’s restaurants, with comfortable seating and some innovations in producing new types of dim sum, still represent the modern version of yum cha. If you want to try the really old way of yum cha, the renowned century-old Lin Heung Tea House (No. 160-164 Wellington Street, Central) is the place to be.
Its patrons and its waiters/waitresses are all middle aged and above; the decor, the tea ware and dim sum are very traditional; you have to find seats yourself; it is noisy, crowded and probably a bit unclean, and don’t expect good service. But that is the place for the real old way.