One of the coolest experiences you can have at Hong Kong Disneyland is sampling the character dim sum at Crystal Lotus. During our trip, we decided to go all out and ordered the entire menu of Disney dim sum, eating every character from Mickey Mouse to Duffy the Bear. This post reviews our dim sum experience at Crystal Lotus, and shares a bit about this flagship HKDL restaurant.
Crystal Lotus is Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel‘s award-winning, fine-dining restaurant specializing in Chinese cuisine. The menu includes regional cuisine from Guangdong, Beijing, Sichuan, and Shanghai. It’s a stylish restaurant with beautiful decor, interesting dishes, and great service. Highly recommended for a special occasion.
Prior to our trip, we had heard about the special “Disney Dim Sum” menu set at Hong Kong Disneyland. These handmade Disney Dim Sum looked really cool, and since Crystal Lotus is known for its Dim Sum, we knew we had to try it. We stopped at Crystal Lotus to inquire about the Dim Sum menu on our first night. The hostess there told us we had to order what you wanted in advance, as the Dim Sum takes time to prepare.
We ended up getting lucky–you’re required to place your order three days in advance, and the Dim Sum is only available on weekends or public holidays. Fortunately for us, the last day of our trip was three days away, and on a weekend. They are strict on these rules, so do not expect to waltz up at the last minute and be able to order any Dim Sum. (Not sure how strict they are on the policy that the Dim Sum is only for hotel guests.)
Ordering was simple, with the hostess presenting a checklist style picture menu of what the options were. When I told her that we wanted “one order of each,” I think she thought something must have been lost in translation, so she asked me to point at which ones we wanted and indicate a number. Despite ordering literally the entire menu of Dim Sum, we weren’t required to pay in advance, which was nice.
On the day of our meal, we returned to Crystal Lotus for lunch and were seated quickly. Shortly after, servers began bringing out containers of our Dim Sum, and the fun started.
The setting of the restaurant is beautiful and befitting of the name, with chandeliers of crystal hanging from the ceilings, and glass walls outside the restaurant containing crystal lotuses.
Cast Members had a variety of different costumes (possibly depending upon their position), and their service was great.
We had no less than 4 different Cast Members attending to us during the meal, each of whom went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed.
The restaurant in general is well-appointed, with beautiful carpet, fixtures, and a sense of design that fuses modern with traditional Chinese. Despite its impressive looks, it is not stuffy or unwelcoming.
Rather, the inside is light and airy, and felt fairly welcoming to families. Perhaps this is different at dinner (we noticed the mood was darker and more romantic when we stopped by at dinner).
We have had dim sum plenty of times before, but it’s difficult for us to review this Disney Dim Sum that Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel claims is “brainchild of our Executive Chef, which won the Gold with distinction award of the Dim Sum Category in Best of the Best Culinary Awards held by Hong Kong Tourism Board.”
To put it bluntly, most of our dim sum experience is on the lower tier of the spectrum, as we’ve dined primarily at low to mid-range restaurants.
With that said, we both found each of the Dim Sum dishes we ordered to be very good. The ‘craftsmanship’ on each piece of Disney Dim Sum was great and they were cute, but more impressive was the taste.
We’ve had bland and spongy Dim Sum before, but these were freshly steamed and had a great consistency. For the most part, the meat/filling to bun ratio was also very good. (In fairness, Crystal Lotus is not as good as our meals at Tim Ho Wan, the renowned and inexpensive Michelin-star restaurant in Hong Kong.)
Let’s take a look at each item we ordered:
We’ll start with the “Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Bun.” I thought using the chopsticks as “the claw” was clever here–I’m sure the waitstaff wondered why I was taking a photo with one hand and holding up a bun with another, though.
This ended up being my favorite bun, as the pork and vegetable flavor were a perfect compliment to one another. Plus, how can you go wrong with the aliens?!
The “Duffy Steamed Lotus Red Been Puree” is next. This one was okay, but not a highlight.
This is “Mickey’s Seafood Glutinous Pancake,” which was basically a crispy pancake of a seafood medley. I’m not sure which types of seafood were in it, but it was quite delicious.
Here’s the “Little Pigs Barbecue Pork Bun.” This was right up there with the green aliens as my favorite Dim Sum. The pork was delicious and made this a nicely substantive bun.
The “Chicken Little Steamed Lotus Seed Puree Bun” was another good but not great bun.
This is the “Mike Wazowski Shrimp Bun,” and was another great–filling–option.
This set is called “Mickey’s Double-layered Turnip and Taro Pudding.” They didn’t look or taste like any conventional idea of pudding, but these were excellent.
“Mickey’s Chilled Fresh Fruits and Mango Pudding” was brought out for dessert. The mango pudding was really good, and I suppose the fresh fruit was neat with regard to presentation, but I wish we would have ordered a more novel dessert.
That’s the downside of ordering everything on the special menu as opposed to picking and choosing, though.
If you are planning on visiting Crystal Lotus, we highly recommend the Dim Sum. It’s unnecessary to order the full menu as we did, unless you have 4 or more people in your party. (We’re pigs.)
Getting a couple of orders of Dim Sum for the table is probably sufficient, and that may also allow you to order something else from what looked to be a very impressive menu.
However, we figured that since Crystal Lotus touts the Disney Dim Sum as its signature menu items, and we were not going to be able to get cool Dim Sum like this anywhere else. The meal was not cheap (~$150 for the two of us), but Crystal Lotus is Hong Kong Disneyland’s flagship fine dining restaurant, so a cheap meal should not be expected. In terms of quality, we considered it on par with any Walt Disney World “Signature” restaurant, and you would easily spend $75/person on a meal at those restaurants.
Overall, we highly recommend Crystal Lotus for the Disney Dim Sum special sets. The restaurant is gorgeous, the cuisine is creative and delicious, and the service is impeccable. While we didn’t sample the non-Dim Sum choices on the menu, we cannot imagine Crystal Lotus disappointing for a regular lunch or dinner, either. The unique Dim Sum is something you won’t find anywhere else, so even planning on doing a smaller meal or snack here is well worth your time.
For the rest of your planning needs, consult our Hong Kong Disneyland Trip Planning Guide. It covers everything you need to know for a visit to HKDL, including reviews, strategy, packing, and more. If you’re visiting the city as well, please consult our Hong Kong City Guide on TravelCaffeine, our non-Disney planning site.
What do you think of the Dim Sum served at Crystal Lotus? Is it something you’d like to try? If you have fined at Crystal Lotus, what did you think of the restaurant? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!