Family-run shop with hand-made steamers
Handmade bamboo steamers
"We used to hang the bamboo steamers on a thick leather strap so waiters could carry them around their shoulders to sell dim sum," says Mr Lam. His family has been making bamboo cooking utensils for five generations, stretching all the way back to the current owner's great-great-grandfather, who travelled between village markets in Guangdong. "Then, in the 1960s and 70s, when dim sum was made into different shapes and sizes, we also had to start producing different steamers. In addition to the 21-inch original, we now have 17 types," he explains.
This is one of the last places in Hong Kong where steamers are made by hand. Learning to hand-make a steamer from a single piece of bamboo takes three years. Choose from the wide selection of chopsticks, spoons, plates and, of course, steaming baskets. Mr Lam is also happy to tailor-make his bamboo steamers for you: "There was once a foreigner ordering a batch of mini-steamers that could only hold one siu mai; he told me later he used it to hold his wedding gifts".
Bamboo is best
There was a time when metal steamers became popular, but they quickly went out of fashion when chefs realised the metal taste was detectable in the dim sum. They now insist on using bamboo steamers to bring out the authentic and fresh flavour of the food.