I wasn’t only excited to go to Hong Kong Disneyland for the theme parks’ attractions and rides. Of course, as a foodie, I was over-the-top thrilled for the highlight…and you guessed it right—food! Seeing cute pictures of Disney Character Dim Sum Lunch Set being served at Crystal Lotus Restaurant (Disneyland Hotel, Hong Kong) 大嶼山香港迪士尼樂園酒店 made me want to pack my bag and travel to Hong Kong right away! (Read the rest of our activities in Hong Kong and two-day trip itinerary here.)
Because the restaurant website states that at least 48 hours of reservation is required to avail of the Disney Character Dim Sum Lunch Set, I took a long-distance call to book for two sets in advance. I knew it was going to be a delightful treat both for our eyes and stomach, and it turned out I wasn’t wrong after all. 😉
Review of Crystal Lotus Restaurant 晶荷轩 (Disneyland Hotel, Hong Kong)
We rode the Disney Resort Shuttle Bus (free service) from Hong Kong Disneyland Resort to the Disneyland Hotel. 10 minutes passed and we found ourselves lurking our way to Crystal Lotus Restaurant while directing our gaze to everything beautiful and elegant inside the hotel.
“True to its name, the décor of Crystal Lotus takes the theme of the majestic lotus.” The chandeliers were magnificent, pretty close to jaw-dropping.
The wall-to-wall design filled with crystal panels from the outside was stunning. Arranged in Victorian-style but still with Disney touch, the comfy chairs matched with the family-friendly tables well; it was a shame we couldn’t fit them in our suitcases. 😆
I mentioned my name to the restaurant receptionist and she immediately escorted us to our seats. The table was reserved for six of us, and we successfully contained our excitement seeing the menu for the first time (it’s not available online).
After quick checking, I realized that the Disney Character Dim Sum wasn’t listed on the menu. I had to ask the waiter for it and he reiterated about their policy (that it can only be served to those who have pre-ordered 48 before visiting on Mondays to Fridays). The staff had to validate with the hotel receptionist I talked with about my booking.
Finally, they confirmed and said that waiting time would be three minutes for the appetizers and the rest of the food on the character dim sum set will be released in half an hour’s time. Good grief. Proper timing was observed and our requests were accommodated with no issue.
Food items were all so cute that we almost didn’t have the heart to bite into them. If you’re worried that the food is good only in visual presentation but not in taste, fret not. The food quality and standard here are generally at par with any first-rate Chinese restaurant.
For appetizer, we had Mickey’s Seafood Glutinous Pancake (米奇煎薄饼) which were perfectly browned on the sides, with tender, flurry insides. Shaped in Mickey Mouse face design, these pancakes were extra chewier than regular pancakes and less sweeter, so I suspect a combination of only rice and flour was in play. The twist? Tasting light in flavor, carrots and greens were mixed in the pan and fried until crispy.
Another appetizer was the Rice Pasta With Shredded Chicken in Sesame Sauce (麻酱鸡丝分皮) which consisted of cold rice noodles, cucumber and lettuce topped with shredded poached chicken and drizzle of sesame sauce. Motivating and sweet, the rice pasta had a good texture cooked just right not to mushy or slimy.
Next to arrived was my most awaited set: Disney Style Dim Sum! All praise be to the chef who executed the designs; what came out are these bun wonders that are surprisingly good. Even if it took us some time to eat them (because I was taking pictures for like five minutes in different angles), the warmth still permeated until the last bite. We slowly savored the Little Pig Barbecue Pork Bun (蚝汁叉烧猪仔包) and Little Green Men Pork and Vegetable Bun (绿色小人菜肉包).
The Little Pig Barbecue Pork Bun was filled with sweet barbecued pork (asado), and the Green Three Eyes Alien (character from Toy Story) was filled with vegetables. While I was instantly seduced by how they looked, I thought the fillings were lacking in the quantity department.
Moving on, we had the Double-boiled Sea Whelk and Stuffed Whole Dried Scallops in Mickey Winter Melon Soup (米奇元贝炖鸡). The chicken broth-based soup featured Mickey’s head which was actually winter melon cut-out, with stuffed dried scallop at the center and and carrot as the ears. The saltiness of the dried scallops imparted a lot of taste in the soup.
For the Chinese, the winter melon soup is known to increase energy, nourish the heart and tranquilize the mind. It’s definitely tagged as healthy! 🙂
The Wok-fried Shrimp and Disney Root Vegetables (豉汁芥兰度炒虾球) was one of my favorite in the array of dishes in the set, because I love eating vegetables. Joined by wok-fried fresh king prawns, the kale stems and carrots were crunchy and great with no additional seasoning required.
We were warned that the Braised de-boned Short Rib in Spicy Sichuan Sauce (彩椒双菌牛柳粒) would be spicy. Yup, it was a little spicy but not to the point when one should drink a glass of water (or maybe tea) to choke it down. The sauce which resembled almost beef soup had strong flavor, and the beef cubes were really tender and juicy.
Like in traditional Chinese dining, rice came last, just before desserts. The Fried Rice with Crispy Eel and Pickled Vegetables in Golden Nest (金盞脆鱔炒飯) was served with satisfying aroma. I didn’t seem to taste the eel as its taste was disguised as char siew. On the other hand, the pickled vegetables’ crunch and taste were evident and the thin deep-fried crispy wonton skin was so yummy.
Another batch of food we almost went insane for was the Combo of “Duffy” Steamed Red Bean Puree Bun (迪士尼小熊) and Chilled Dual “Mickey’s” Pudding. Duffy (a Disney bear, not chipmunk)’s inside was filled with not-too-sweet red bean (红豆). Screaming fall, the yellow-orange pudding was composed of pumpkin and almond. The green one—er, I forgot. Sorry! 😛 Anyway, it was also deliciously indulgent.
My dad is a strict vegetarian/vegan so he could not have anything on the Disney Character Dim Sum Lunch Set except for the dessert. For his main course, he had Si-Chuan Style Tofu with Mushrooms (HK$ 95) from the à la carte menu. The tofu was marinated before frying in the hot wok, and the result was flavorful, soft and chewy tofu with firm exterior. To anyone who likes tofu, I’m sure this is something you can enjoy.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
We were not hotel room guests so price of the Disney Character Dim Sum Lunch Set was more expensive (HK$ 378), exclusive of service charge (which I recall to be 10% of the bill). Yes, the price is heavy but we had two sets shared by five people and the meal was enough to call lunch. The unique presentation and decorations of food was my main reason not to deter, aside from the hotel dining experience. Oh well, Crystal Lotus Restaurant is a winning Chinese restaurant inside Disneyland Hotel, so there’s nothing more that I can say.