My Beautiful Hong Kong – A Visit to the Last Handcrafted Bamboo Steamer Shop
Hong Kong, a mesmerising metropolis of contrasting beauty, is easy to get under your skin. When I stepped off the Cathay Pacific flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong more than seven years ago, I never thought I’d stay beyond my initial 6 month internship. Well, seven years later, I’m proud to call this little island my adopted home.
Today, the need to make steamed buns from scratch suddenly took hold of me, and I just had to buy a steamer. Now, I know that Le Creuset makes a mighty steamer, and my amazing kitchen also comes equipped with a build-in appliance steamer, but I just had to have an authentic bamboo version. After all, we are in Hong Kong, the land of dimsum!
After a bit of research, followed by an hour of walking around steamy, humid Central and Sheung Wan, I finally located Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company. This little shop, located on Western Street in the district of Sai Ying Pun, looks as if it has been plucked right out of an old Hong Kong movie set. A narrow shop stacked to the ceiling with bamboo steamers of all sizes, this little company is the last remaining business of its kind in Hong Kong. Every item here is made 100% by hand, and is owned by the same family (the Lam family) that brought the craft from Guangzhou to Hong Kong in the 1950s. Today, handmade bamboo crafts are a dying industry, so I am so happy to see this little shop still keeping the tradition alive.
I couldn’t resist and bought a little bit of “the Hong Kong story” home with me in the form of a beautiful, hand-crafted bamboo steamer.
(Below) Steamers Galore!
All the knickknacks (spoons, ladles, even backscratchers!) are made from leftover bamboo from the steamers. How environmental!
Love these cake moulds – even if you don’t actually make cakes with these, they make beautiful decorative pieces for the kitchen.
The little cluttered office where the shop takes its orders from local and overseas Chinese restaurants.
My little piece of the Hong Kong story – so excited to start steaming amazing meals with this!
Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company
12 Western Street, Sai Ying Pun
Hong Kong Island