Quibranza: Goodbye, Harbour City SM City Cebu — where to next?

PIONEER. The first Harbour City Dimsum House in SM City Cebu opened in 1993.
PIONEER. The first Harbour City Dimsum House in SM City Cebu opened in 1993.

After nearly three decades as one of SM City Cebu’s pioneering tenants, Harbour City Dimsum House has announced the cessation of its operations, making way for the mall’s redevelopment.

“As we prepare to close our doors on Jan. 31, 2024, to give way to the mall’s redevelopment, our hearts are filled with love and gratitude,” wrote the brand on its Facebook page.

“Our first Harbour City branch in SM City Cebu opened in 1993 as a granted invitation of the mall to be one of the pioneering tenants of the first SM Mall in the Visayas. When we decided to push through with the opportunity, all the “what-ifs” came to mind,” stated Harbour City on its post. “Opening this branch was an auspicious act that paved the way for the Harbour City group’s journey...”

Alas, it’s not surprising that the branch closure has become the biggest news leading to the weekend by far. The closure has sparked a wave of nostalgia among Cebuanos who have fond memories of the dim sum place.

Cebuanos are a dim sum loving people. We’re raised on spring rolls and bowlfuls of steamed fried rice. Also, technically, the “steamed rice” we’ve come to love is not found anywhere else because it’s a version based on Fujian Fried Rice. So if you find yourself outside Cebu and order steamed rice, you would get a cup of white rice. Imagine the torture for Cebuanos based abroad.

To pay tribute to the branch, here are some tidbits of information for lovers of Harbour City:

This branch is closed but others are still open

Fans of Harbour City can still order and dine-in at the following locations in Metro Cebu: Harbour City SM Seaside City Cebu, Harbour City North Drive Mandaue and Harbour City Ayala Center Cebu.

Harbour City is under a corporation with three other popular dim sum brands

Together with Harbour City Dimsum House — under the Harbour City Dimsum House Co. Inc. umbrella— are three other dim sum brands Cebuanos are familiar with: Ding How (offering a more upscale menu), Ding Qua Qua (all-you-can-eat dim sum) and Dimsum Break (fast-food dim sum).

So, while it is sad to see the branch at SM City Cebu close, it’s safe to say that the tradition will continue to live on thanks to the brand’s diverse approach.

HCDHCI will still have a presence in SM City Cebu

While Harbour City at SM City Cebu will be closing, its Dimsum Break branch will continue operations. Many shops will be relocated for the mall’s redevelopment project, so we await further announcements regarding their new location and other details.

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