City Pulse: Dim sum with a magical Disney touch

City Pulse: Dim sum with a magical Disney touch

CNNGo reader Erin De Santiago heads to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Hotel for a one-of-a-kind dim sum experience
Crystal Lotus
Crystal Lotus features a mix of traditional Chinese and modern decor.

The Crystal Lotus features an extensive menu of sushi, sashimi, and traditional Chinese dishes from Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong. But it is the special dim sum menu that ultimately steals the show. Available for lunch on weekends and public holidays, the Hong Kong Disney Resort has something you are not likely to find anywhere else; traditional dim sum dishes inspired by Disney characters.

With picturesque views of the hotel grounds and surrounding bay, the chic mix of modern and traditional Chinese décor will make you forget you are at a theme park resort. The Crystal Lotus is regal in appearance, situated with elegant high back wood chairs and traditional family style round tables, complemented by the massive lotus flower chandelier, geometric lighting fixtures, and the delicate crystal lotus flowers that adorn the restaurant's exterior glass wall.

Crystal LotusDisney themed dim sum offerings include Mickey Seafood Glutinous Pancakes.The iconic Mickey head shape

The instantly recognizable Mickey head has been immortalized in numerous Disney food items like cookies, pancakes, waffles, pasta, and Rice Krispie treats, so why not dim sum too? The Crystal Lotus restaurant features a few creative additions to the growing list of Mickey shaped foods. Try the delectable Seafood Glutinous Pancakes served with a side of hot sauce, and the Mickey-shaped double-layer Turnip and Taro Pudding. Initially, these may not sound all that appetizing to the novice dim sum eater, but the subtlety of the flavors that seamlessly blend together make these two of the more popular menu items.






Crystal LotusMr Potato Head Lotus Seed Buns.Disney characters come alive… in buns?

Be sure to save room for a few extra friends at lunch. How about the Three Little Pigs or a few characters from "Toy Story"? Several of the most creatively themed dishes include the Three Little Pigs Barbequed Pork Buns, Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Buns, and Mr Potato Head Lotus Seed Buns.

The painstaking detail on these three dishes is instantly apparent and I found myself wanting to just take photos and somehow preserve them versus immediately snatching them up with my chopsticks. The verdict? They were all quickly devoured. Surprisingly, the buns were fluffy and soft, not dried out as you might expect given the added dough and detail.




Crystal LotusAnother signature dim sum menu item is the Xiao Lung Pork Dumplings.Crystal lotus signature dim sum

In addition to the array of themed dim sum offerings, the Crystal Lotus also features some signature menu items for those who cringe at the thought of devouring poor Mr Potato Head and friends.

Several recommended options are the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings, Steamed Shanghai Xiao Lung Pork Dumplings, and the Golden Seafood Spring Rolls. Admittedly rather partial to the legendary Xiao Long Baos from Din Tai Fung, I was rather surprised by the delightful burst of flavor in the Crystal Lotus Xiao Lung Dumplings.






Crystal LotusSave room for the delicate Swan Vegetarian Taro Puffs. A 'swanderful' ending

Still have room for one more dish? Try ending your one-of-a-kind Disney dim sum experience with one last surprise and order the delicate Swan Vegetarian Taro Puffs. Obviously not traditionally a dessert, the slightly sweet taro root and crunch of the salted puffs make a perfect ending to your meal -- still leaving you with just enough energy to head over to Disneyland itself and work off some of that enormous lunch!

Crystal Lotus Restaurant is located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Lantau Island. Dim sum dishes are served only on weekends and public holidays between 11am-3pm (risk of sell-out around 2pm). All Disney themed dishes are $48 HK, with several other dim sum options ranging from $58-$78 HK, all subject to a 10 percent service charge. To make reservations contact +852 3510-6333. Free shuttles run between the Disneyland Park and the Disneyland Hotel approximately every ten minutes.

About the author: Erin De Santiago is a freelance travel and food writer currently based in Taiwan. When not traveling the globe and supporting her Disney addiction by visiting all the Disney Parks, Erin can be found most often writing about International Travel, Asian Cuisine, or blogging about culinary travel.

Erin submitted this piece as part of CNNGo’s CityPulse section. To find out what other stories we are looking for, go to our CityPulse page