Where To Find The Best Dim Sum On Oahu

DIM SUM = bite size portions of Chinese delicacies served on little dishes

We eat DIM SUM at least once a month or more when possible. In Hawaii, my kids LOVE eating dim sum because it’s one of the rare opportunities they get to use their fingers to eat and they don’t have to wait a long time for the food to be served.

Our very good Chinese friend introduced us to great dim sum on Oahu at a place called Empress Restaurant. It’s located in downtown Honolulu’s Chinatown, on the 2nd floor of the Chinese Cultural Plaza. The first time we went was a Sunday morning at around 9:30am, and it was empty. It only started to get crowded after 11:00am.

dim sum on oahu

We were immediately seated and shortly after, steaming carts full of dumplings and other intriguing Chinese delights rolled right up to our table. LouLou & Jaf loved being able to inspect the foods offered, and after asking questions, picked out whatever they wanted to try. Here’s what they chose:

Baked Charsiu Bao
Baked Charsiu Bao
Empress Restaurant
Shrimp dumplings
Deep fried shrimp
dim sum in hawaii
Steamed Charsiu Bao
Pork Dumplings
Pork Dumplings
Shrimp and Watercress Dumplings
Shrimp and Watercress Dumplings

Jaf wasn’t too fond of the dumplings, he preferred the baked and steamed charsiu bao (baked sweet bread filled with a Cantonese style barbecue-pork). Since our family motto is to try everything at least once, he did take a bite of everything on the table. Here’s some of his reactions:

IMG_0830 IMG_0853

The best part about eating dim sum with the kids is they get to pick and chose what they want to eat. We make it a point that if they chose it, they have to try it – no negotiations on this. We also try to guess what ingredients are in the dumplings, just for fun. We recommend these items also for kids:

  • taro puffs,
  • shumai,
  • cake noodle, look fun and
  • sesame balls (dessert)

Dim Sum with cart service is served daily at Empress from 8:00AM-2:00PM. We recommend you go early on a Sunday to avoid the crowds and get the best service. It was truly a culinary experience, and the kids can’t wait to go back!


100 North Beretania Street #304
Chinese Cultural Plaza
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817


Kid Friendly, Affordable, Fun

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