• AHK - Culture

Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company – Cantonese Hand-Woven Creations

April 13, 2021

Name (English): Tak Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company
Name (Chinese): 德昌森記蒸籠
Category: Practical Information
Phone Number: +852 25485751
Address (English): 12 Western Street, Sai Ying Pun
Address (Chinese): 西營盤西邊街12號
Address Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/TotVumt9GX1wsjXE6
Address longitude and latitude: 22.28754646168254, 114.14088767398721
Nearest MTR Station: Sai Ying Pun Station Exit B1
Nearest MTR Station Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/sYnqBHWMXuPCD5Nx6
Nearest MTR Station longitude and latitude: 22.28651402470475, 114.14175360057914
How far from the nearest MTR Station: 6-minute walk from Sai Ying Pun Station Exit B1
Opening Hours:
MON 09:30 – 15:30
TUE 09:30 – 15:30
WED 09:30 – 15:30
THU 09:30 – 15:30
FRI 09:30 – 15:30
SAT 09:30 – 15:30
Recommended Time to Visit: anytime during opening hours
Accessibility Note: easy access
Reminder: temporarily closed

Image source: Mingpao

Dim sum and bamboo baskets are an item – the delicate pieces of goodies do not taste any good if not being steamed through the circular cookware. Though they are now mostly produced in China or machine-made, there are still a few craftsmen in the city who are still supplying the Cantonese restaurants with their hand-woven creations. One of which is the Lam family from the Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steam Company 德昌森記蒸籠 with their store perched on the slope of Western Street (西邊街).

Image source: Mingpao

In their long and narrow workspace, steamers of all sizes are stacked up to and other cooking utensils are hung from the ceiling while a whiff of grassy bamboo sweeps through, as though you are in an old Hong Kong movie setting. Each steamer stamped with the signature brand name has to go through a series of steps that include bamboo splitting polishing, weaving and bamboo pins making. Despite the labor-intensive making process, there is a reason why the craftmanship can be passed on to the Lam’s fourth-generation – they adapt to social changes throughout the past 70 years of establishment. 

The Lams survived through the exodus before the 1997 handover and the gentrification in the western district which were even a boon to the business, making it more accessible to the public. The bamboo steamers are something that can never be replaced by alternatives, as it is durable and a perfect remedy to capture the moisture from the steaming, and can be easily washed. Given that dim sum has gained international popularity now, there is a demand from overseas restaurants as well as creative businesses that have even repurposed the crafts. Maybe it could be another better souvenir to gift? 

Image source: Mingpao

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Peggy Lam

Peggy here, and I am a storyteller. Despite not being a professional tour guide myself, I am thrilled to share and write about the fun things to do in town, the untold stories & even my personal observations.