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Strolling through Tsim Sha Tsui can be a little overwhelming, as the heart of Kowloon’s shopping region is strewn with fine dining and street food venues alike. If it’s traditional Old Beijing-style cooking that you’re after, duck into The Royal Garden hotel and head down to the basement level where you’ll find Dong Lai Shun, a restaurant known for its authentic selection of Beijing and Huaiyang cuisine.

Every aspect of the interiors at Dong Lai Shun have been chosen to emanate quintessential Chinese fine dining. Striking monochrome paper lanterns hang from the ceiling, crafted in the Chinese artistic folk style. Set against a wall of back-lit crystal boxes, juxtaposed by dark wood flourished with magenta, gold and black touches, the cutting edge décor is impressive to say the least.

Opened in 2004, Dong Lai Shun showcases traditional cooking styles from the Jiangsu province north of Shanghai. Bringing Chinese culture and cuisine to Hong Kong, the team behind Dong Lai Shun, headed by Chef Sze Chiu Kwan is committed to producing the finest quality cuisine using tried and tested methods. Sze’s authentic focus is evident in his adherence to the philosophy of ‘eight specialities’: ingredients, portions, condiments, pots, soups, garlic, sides and a range of dishes.

With the help of Sze, Dong Lai Shun has well and truly established itself as the go-to restaurant for Shuan Yang Rou – a Chinese lamb-based hotpot dish. The meat used in this dish comes from the best cuts of a 12 to 18 month black-headed white sheep from northern China. The lean, tender lamb meat is served paper thin, seasoned with ancient spice combinations that provide flavoursome kick to each dish.

Each table is fitted with an inbuilt flameless heater to continue the cooking process right before your eyes, twisting the traditional hotpot techniques with a modern spin. The accompanying hotpot soup consists of dried shrimp, spring onion, ginger and mushrooms, combined with garlic that has been coated in sugar for three months to give the broth a sweet finish. According to custom, hotpots are served with a selection of mustard greens and marinated chives, before being topped with fresh coriander.

In addition to the hotpot you’ll find seafood options such as the stir-fried shrimps, and well-loved staples like the Beijing style dumplings that are equally authentic and delicious. For a taste of Huaiyang dim sum opt for pan-fried buns or pancakes with flavoursome beef or mutton filling.

No venture into Beijing cuisine is complete without sampling roasted Beijing style duck. Also known as Peking duck, the dish is renowned for its crispy red skin. The whole duck is expertly carved right at your table for piping hot, juicy meat that’s bursting with flavour.

Save room for dessert where you’ll find delicacies including squares of osmanthus flower jelly, baked durian pastries and glutinous rice dumplings filled with black sesame or red bean – each a technical challenge that the culinary team execute with ease and finesse.

Dong Lai Shun’s commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed, having been awarded a Michelin Star in 2013. With tradition at its core and the unwavering dedication of the kitchen to adhere to authentic ingredients and preparations, Dong Lai Shun has rightfully earned its place as a crowd favourite among Hong Kong locals and visitors alike.

Locate Dong Lai Shun

Basement 2, The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui HK


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