Nothing stimulates the appetite like the words "all-you-can-eat dim sum," and the Grand Hyatt's Chinaroom certainly succeeds in satisfying. Choose from a selection of thirty dim sum items plus desserts for a reasonable Y4200 (lunch only, until 2:30 on weekdays and 3:30 on weekends). The tasty morsels are served in pairs, so it's possible for a party of two to sample the entire menu.
For those too shy to ask for one of everything, the various steamed dishes are all highly recommended - bite-sized cha siew bao, sweet and savory pork buns; chewy shou lum bao (shoronpo), pork dumplings filled with a spoonful of broth and a dash of ginger; charmingly demure ha gow, shrimp dumplings accented with a sliver of bamboo shoots.
The Hong Kong-style onion pancakes are light and crispy, a novel treat. The pan-fried turnip cakes are wonderfully textured and frankly addictive. Although the several varieties of deep-fried spring rolls lacked distinctive character, the sticky rice and dried shrimp puffs inspired a spirited debate. Contrary to its somewhat stodgy description, the thinly sliced boiled beef on wilted lettuce was tender and delicious.
The wine menu, though mainly comprised of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, also includes some interesting Rieslings and other varietals like Viognier and Gerwurtztraminer. Bottles start around Y6000, with several nice selections in the Y7000 - Y9000 range.
The stylish main dining area, decorated with mirrored glass surfaces and illuminated leaf-patterned panels, seats around fifty and features three intimate booth tables. Private rooms are also available. Prices are subject to a 10% service charge.
by Melinda Joe