First and foremost, let me say that I wanted to go to Hamburg because I knew there would be seafood.
Friends of ours invited us to drive up to Hamburg for the long weekend. We rarely take the time to visit other parts of Germany, so we happily agreed. And also seafood.
Hamburg was never on my list of places to visit, but I am certainly glad we did! For anyone interested in military history, the German Tank Museum is located in Munster, an hour's drive south of Hamburg. Fun fact: the Germans named their tanks after cats (like Apple OS).
Hamburg felt like a city that didn't want you to know it was a city, so it curled up into itself at the top of the country where most people wouldn't want to bother it. The people who do seek it out, however, are packed together in small restaurants and bars like Auster Bar and Ramen Bar Zipang.
Miniatur Wunderland was the largest place we went to, and it may have been the most enjoyable tourist experience I've ever had. I thought it was going to be just dioramas of places around the world, but there were so many stories throughout the exhibit. If you don't think you'd like it, consider this: there are all kinds of sneaky Easter eggs tucked away into all the displays to keep you entertained, like unicorns, E.T., lovers in a field...
We also went to the Fischmarkt early Sunday morning to get all kinds of seafood goodies for dinner, including oysters, crabs, and mussels, all of which were alive when we purchased them. Even if your accommodations don't have a kitchen, there are trucks with prepared foods to be enjoyed zugleich (i.e. immediately).
The highlight of the trip, of course, was the dim sum restaurant Dim Sum Haus. Luckily our friends are equally as starved for delicious Asian food as we are, so the recommendation was well received. Shockingly, however, was that they had never eaten dim sum!
Dim Sum Haus is on the first floor of the building, modestly decorated as Chinese restaurants go. Nowadays it seems that carts coming around to the tables is out of fashion. I'm sure it helps with food waste and costs, but whether it helps me stuff my face with fewer dumplings has yet to be determined.
Places that advertise dim sum usually have only three typical items listed under their appetizers: siu mai (pork dumplings), har gao (shrimp dumplings), and bao (steamed pork bun). Dim Sum Haus, however, lived up to its name. While I couldn't list every dim sum item there can possibly be, the menu included a significantly wider variety than what many restaurants in Europe seem to offer.
We ordered siu mai, cha siu bao, soup dumplings, spare ribs in black bean sauce, deep fried taro dumplings, and beef rolled in rice noodles. It doesn't seem like a lot of food, but I have this blurry memory at the end of being very, very full and satisfied.
It may not deliver the full dim sum experience, but does that really matter when your belly is full of delicious dumplings?