Review: Hung Sum Restaurant

On our trek down Somerset last Friday, my wife and I wanted to try out the Dim Sum in Ottawa.
When we lived in Calgary, we would go on a “Dim Sum Date” every month or two, and having been without dim sum for over three months, it was about time to go and find something and pray that it would satisfy.

A quick perusal online resulted in the suggestion to go seek out a little dim sum eatery called Hung Sum Restaurant.
While there were some larger restaurants that offered dim sum, we opted to try this one first and at some other point go to the other two larger restaurants.

Hung Sum is perhaps one of the most unassuming restaurants I have ever been to.
It is a restaurant that is renovated from what would have been an old home and has incredibly steep steps to get to the front entrance. We had our stroller with us and so we found it a little difficult to traverse the steps up to the door; furthermore, we found that the restaurant itself only had about 8-10 tables, of which only 3-4 seated more than 2 people.

We found it cumbersome to situate ourselves down and ended up leaving our son in his stroller for the duration of the lunch and fed him as he sat in his stroller.

The restaurant is a “mom and pop” restaurant and as such, there is only one lady who is the cashier, waitress, and table runner. So, if you are going to visit this restaurant, please be patient because throughout our meal, she was doing a great job servicing all of the customers as best as she could.

That being said, if you want a seat in this restaurant for lunch, come before 11:30am!
We were seated at about 11:30am and after 10 minutes passed by, the entire restaurant was full, and people were lining up and waiting for tables to be emptied, even well past 1:00pm!

It is said one judges the quality of any ethnic restaurant by the amount of ethnic patrons who frequent that restaurant. Hung Sum would definitely rate “high” in that regard as there were many old-timers and young Asians who were patronizing the restaurant as well as a healthy mix of non-Asian customers as well.

We quickly rifled off our selections on the menu and handed it to the owner and she sent it to the back for her chef (likely her husband!) to cook. We knew the food was going to take its time, so my wife and I conversed, enjoyed our jasmine tea and tried to entertain our son as best as we could.

The food came out in waves and we consumed it with gusto!


Congee to start for our son! The har gow in the steamer was consumed almost before the waitress could put it on the table. (j/k!)


One of my staples at any dim sum adventure. The chicken feet had a great sauce to compliment its “fall off the bone” cooking.


I didn’t get to try the bao, as we primarily bought it to help fill our son’s voracious appetite…


This was the first time I have had a pork-only shu mai … it was like steamed sausage… ’nuff said


One of mine and the wife’s favourite dim sum dishes is the steamed meat & seafood wrapped in bean curd and cooked in oyster sauce (or abalone sauce depending on the dish).


Steamed garlic spare ribs! YUM


Sticky rice in lotus leaf


Deep fried shrimp dumpling in homemade sweet and sour sauce; definitely different than the mayo dip that most Calgary restaurants have.

I enjoyed the meal at Hung Sum. The food was tasty, fragrant, and not over steamed. The service was slow, but the restaurant is small and run by a family – there is only so much one can expect. Perhaps come earlier or come after the lunch rush if you are wanting to enjoy the meal and try many of their offerings.

One of the things that surprised me the most about our meal at Hung Sum was the price tag: it was less than $35 for our meal that would have typically cost us around $50-$60 in Calgary.

Definitely a recommended place to visit if you are ever in town and are a fan of dim sum!


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