Hong Kong BBQ & Dim Sum is a restaurant located inside the Vinh-Hung Supermarket in Mira Mesa. They have Chinese lunch specials and other dishes as well as a special Dim Sum menu available to order off as well. They don’t do the dim sum carts here – you just order and they bring the dishes out to you.
[The Dim Sum menu at Hong Kong BBQ & Dim Sum]
Mind you, I am no expert in dim sum or Chinese food and this is just my American take on the foods presented here!
[inside the restaurant]
The supermarket is an old, converted movie theater. You can clearly see that the back area used to the concession stand. The stairs led up to where the bathrooms were at the theater. If I remember correctly, it used to have 8 screens. I remember walking or riding my bike here in the summer when high school was out to catch a show by myself. I would scrap up all of the money I had and walk over in the morning to catch an early show since I didn’t have much to do. When they build the new Edwards theater next to the freeway, this place was closed down and converted into the supermarket. There was another movie theater across the street with 4 screens that was torn down and it was redone to be the little shopping center housing the Panda Express, Game Stop and Jollibee.
I’ve been here three times already. Every time I picked my own table. I always headed back towards the windows so I could have a little bit more natural light. They bring you a little pot of hot tea to start. If you want water, you have to ask. If you want a fork, you have to ask for that, too. Service is a little spotty here – I’ll explain more later.
On my first visit, I ordered way too much. I’ll just be doing brief overviews of everything since I’ve tried a bunch of stuff already!
The shrimp dumplings were one of my favorite items. You get four of them and they’ve got a nice chewy wrapper and shrimp inside. Totally delicious for my belly! Of the steamed buns I tried, the BBQ Pork Bun was also my favorite of the bunch. You get three little steamed buns, but they can fill you up really quickly! Excellent flavor on the filling – sweet, porky goodness.
I also ordered the tripe for some reason. I think I thought the menu said “beef tips” because “tripe” wasn’t spelled correctly. The only time I really ever eat tripe is inside of a bowl of Pho, so having it like this was weird to me. I really liked the ginger flavor, but it was so, so, so chewy and I gave up eating it fairly early on since I didn’t like it by itself. The red bean sesame balls were quite good as well – pretty much the same as any other place I have gotten them. Nice, smooth, creamy and sweet red bean paste and the balls weren’t too oily like at other places I have had them.
This is from my second visit! The shu mai were good – total meat fest there. They’re wrapped in that dumpling wrapper with the tops peeking out and just a big ole hunk of meat awaits you. I also had the steamed chicken buns this time – same amount as when you get the steamed bbq pork buns. The steamed chicken buns aren’t bad, I just prefer the sweetness of the pork and it’s sauce.
The BBQ Pork Tarts are a really excellent choice as well. It tastes like the same filling for the steamed buns, but the filling’s been stuffed into a crunchy, flaky tart shell. Lovely outer crisp.
[Magic Rice Wrapped Chicken – $3.50]
On my third visit, I tried the “Magic Rice Wrapped Chicken”. I guess leaves are “magic” since that’s what these little bundles of rice are wrapped in. It’s a bunch of sticky rice which is seasoned with some kind of flavoring and the chicken is stuffed in the middle. I wasn’t really super impressed by it. The flavor was okay, but overall I didn’t find it very exciting and with a larger price tag, I would rather get some cheaper items. But that’s just me.
[Pan Fried Vegetable Cake – $2.95]
I also got these Pan Fried Vegetable Cakes on my last visit. Imagine my surprise when the “vegetable” cakes were filled with meat (pork, I believe). There are some veggies in there, but it is mostly meat and filler veggies in it. Not what I was expecting at all. Flavor was okay, but again, not my favorite item.
Now then… about the service…
Getting my food was never a problem. The dishes were brought out quickly and I was able to eat fast and get full. But getting out of here is where the problem lies. I haven’t figured out yet if I’m just doing it wrong or what. I manged to get the check brought to my table on the 2nd visit, but on my other visits I ended up heading up to the front, asking for my desk and for a box to take my leftovers to go. I would think they would at least bring the check over, but apparently I’m too impatient to wait. Hey, I only have an hour for lunch, you know!
In any case, this is a lovely little find – good amount of cheap dim sum can be had, just be aware that you might have to wait a bit to actually get out of here. Some things are hit or miss, but it’s kind of fun to try out different items here.
Hong Kong BBQ & Dim Sum
10550 Camino Ruiz
San Diego, CA 92126