At the height of some of the worst ever riots in Hong Kong, fuelled by conflict between the Communists and the Nationalists, two businessmen started a small restaurant.
The 1950s were a time of unrest for the city. The end of the second world war had brought Japan’s occupation of the strategic Pearl River delta to a close, and Britain was reasserting its control over the territory. But the simple promise of “Chinese food, Western service” made Maxim’s so successful that it is now one of Asia’s largest restaurant groups, with an empire that stretches across the continent.
Maxim’s is one of the only places left in Hong Kong where one can buy traditional dim sum served ready to eat on steam-heated trolleys. The restaurant, located in a refurbished ballroom, is so popular that customers are encouraged to queue via an app before venturing down to the harbour.
Diners face the unique challenge of lunging for their favourite Cantonese snacks while waiters known for their efficiency push trolleys between the tables. Fortunately there are endless cups of green tea to ease the pain. Don’t let the maître d’ push you out without a bowl of the signature mango, sago and grapefruit dessert.
2/F, Low Block, City Hall, central Hong Kong
Photographs: Getty Images