Delightful Dim Sum

Delightful Dim Sum

Nothing can be as delightful as these bite-sized pleasures.
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Ended my last day of Phase 3 Heightened Alert with a dim sum brunch with friends, but still craving for dim sum when a return to office is needed — had been thinking of Victor’s Kitchen’s “Bo Loh Yau” Butter Bun having passed by their outlet at Sunshine Plaza quite a number of times recently; a rather new item that seems like a pretty recent addition to the menu.

Turns out, the “Bo Loh Yau” Butter Bun was an item I quite liked; their version isn’t quite the thick-crusted ones that we have had recently at 5-Star Dim Sum, but I still liked how their version is lightly crisp in the crust — aptly buttery, while the bread beneath feels freshly-toasted; sufficiently crusty without being overly dense. Wasn’t quite a fan of the Lurpak Butter that it came with — not sure if these were an arrangement due to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) where takeaways are the norm, but would definitely prefer them to come with slabs of butter just like it was illustrated; true-blue Hong Kong-style. Overall; not too heavy, and less food coma-inducing than I have expected.

My love for fried shrimp roll cheong fun had also led me to the “Spring is in the Air” Cheong Fun — an exceptionally fancy name for a HK rice roll noodle that comes with a crispy, fried prawn roll hidden within. It’s all I ask for in my Chee Cheong Fun; smooth, silken rice noodle that encases a crispy, better prawn roll within — one that is infused with spring onions and with succulent prawn flesh that is naturally sweet and comes with a good bite. The light soy sauce is sufficiently savoury, though I did wish they packed slightly more so that it can go around the rice rolls just a little more for better flavour.

Despite the slightly altered experience given the takeaway nature of the items, I must say I am pretty stoked about what I have had — so much so that a dinner plan is probably underway once dine-in is reinstated; it’s indeed been quite a while since I have ever dined in at Victor’s Kitchen, and it would be interesting to have these items the way that they are intended to be in the eatery itself!

There are many established names in the local F&B scene when one mentions about Chinese restaurants that are situated in hotels, but Song Garden is one that seems to be rarely mentioned — the Chinese restaurant is hidden within the second level of Mercure Singapore Bugis and currently only accessible via a lift that is located outside the premises of the hotel itself.

Serving dim sum only during the lunch hour, we were quite surprised by the spread that they actually have here — apart from the quintessential items such as the Steamed Prawn Dumpling and Steamed Honey BBQ Pork Bun, they also do have other more inventive creations such as the Baked Abalone Tart with Black Truffle and Pan-Seared “Otah” Seafood Dumpling.

Being here for a quick weekday lunch whilst being back in the office, the Shrimp Mousse on Silver Thread Vermicelli Roll is one of the items that left the strongest impressions for me — already being an item that I would most likely to try at another dim sum establishments that serves them. I like how their rice rolls are so silken and smooth; not overly thick, and disintegrates so effortlessly as one sends a piece into the mouth — the golden fried batter of the shrimp being so light and crispy, yet not particularly greasy as it encases bouncy shrimp paste that comes with a good bite within. The shrimp also bursts of a natural sweetness; a testament to the freshness of the shrimp used here — all of that going in harmony with the soy sauce beneath that provides a largely savoury, yet lightly sweet note that compliments the rice roll and the other elements so ever perfectly.

Song Garden is quite a hidden find for those in the know — a spot that is pretty value-for-money considering how big their dim sum portions are. The dishes featuring shrimp/prawns are rather large — not exactly bite-sized but that’s not going to be something to complain about; their Steamed Prawn Dumplings are perhaps the largest I have ever seen. Thankful to be brought here by colleagues on an occasion; would most certainly return to give more items a try with my folks the next time!

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Was heavily craving for some good dim sum and that’s how I ended up gathering a few friends and met them up at Jalan Besar — not for Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant, but to Dim Sum Haus; also one of my favourite places to hit given its quality and the price point.

There are some things that we just could not do without when visiting Dim Sum Haus — their signature Baked Salted Egg Custard Bun, the classic Steamed Shrimp Dumpling “Har Kau” and the Steamed Pork Ribs with Yam in Black Bean Sauce are all items that should not be missed on any trip made to Dim Sum Haus. One might call the Black Sesame Lava Bun a little tacky considering how it comes with lewd prints of Crayon Shin Chan (or would you call it cute hmmmm ...), but look past all that quirkiness and the Black Sesame Lava Bun is actually a welcomed addition that was only added on the menu after my last visit a couple of years ago. Taking the first bite into the bun, the bun comes soft and fluffy with slight hint of flour-y fragrance usually associated with pau and mantou alike; we enjoyed how the bun was not overly thick, and came generously filled with black sesame filling within that eagerly bursts out of the bun just like the typical salted egg lava bun — the filling carrying a hint of roasty, earthy sweetness that is almost akin to having a black sesame-flavoured glutinous rice ball (a.k.a. Tang Yuan), especially given the filling’s slightly gritty texture, flavour and the fluffiness of the bun. I am no fan of fancy galaxy/unicorn cakes and pointless salted egg infusions that’s all for the ‘gram, but the Black Sesame Lava Bun here carries some substance along with it.

Have heard that Dim Sum Haus is expanding into a new space at 19 Upper Weld Road very soon, which is just a few minutes walk away from its current location at 57 Jalan Besar that will still be in operation with the opening of its new outlet; been pretty much a fan of what they have to offer considering how they have consistently delivered over the years, and is still pretty much a dim sum spot that comes to mind whenever that craving hits — very few places have carried that sort of consistency, which I am glad that they still do. Looking forward to give their new space a visit when they do open, but here’s wishing them all the best in time to come!

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Have always passed by Hong Kong Dim Sum Shop at Fortune Centre during my weekday lunches when I work in office, but never actually given them a go despite being in that area for quite a while. Chanced upon their new outlet the other day along Liang Seah Street, situated just right before Beach Road and taking over the former premises of Cao Vietnamese Cuisine and thought that it was probably time to give them a try.

Perhaps one of the quirkiest name for a BBQ Pork Bun, the Rosey Wine Yummy BBQ Pork Bun is that sort of name which may suggest that they seem to have gotten a little carried away whilst coming up for the name of the dish. That being said, we felt that the Rosey Wine Yummy BBQ Pork Bun does live up to its name rather well — the bun was light and fluffy, but it’s the filling that is the catch; the savouriness of the oyster sauce used in the sauce comes with a slight sweetness which was pretty well-balanced. The bits of meat may be more finely chopped here; their variant being one which will appeal more to those who love their BBQ Pork Buns to carry more sauce — something which we were pretty fine with and quite liked their rendition for.

Having tried a variety of dim sum during our visit, we could say that there are both hits and misses here. Prices of certain items can be a little bit of a steep side, such as the Steamed Prawn Dumpling “Har Kau” at $6.20, though they do offer four pieces in a single serving rather than the usual three at other establishments — that’s something worth considering. That being said we did enjoy other items such as the Pan Fried Chives Dumpling and Deep-Fried Golden Custard Ball; their Authentic Stocking Milk Tea also being pretty thick and silky smooth, while the Longan Luo Han Guo Herbal Tea is pretty old-school and does remind me of my mum’s rendition quite a fair bit with a herbal finish as opposed to the sweetness that some other variants carry. A spot I would not mind visiting again, though probably going to be more selective on the items I am ordering the next time I am here.

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Opened fairly recently at Essen at The Pinnacle; a hipster food court which is located at The Pinnacle @ Duxton, Little Tea House 小茶楼 is a Dim Sum specialty stall such had opened its doors occupying the spot where now-defunct Grill Lab was situated.

Pretty much the usual suspects were available in the somewhat limited menu here — could not miss going for the standard few items such as the Har Gaw, Fish Roe Siew Mai, Pan-Fried Carrot Cake etc., but one of the better items from the stall here would be their Prawn Rice Noodles; a tad misleading how they actually call their Chee Cheong Fun as Rice Noodles here instead of Rice Rolls, although the Chinese translation on the menu still states 肠粉 as it should have been. While the rice rolls were a little bit on the thick side, the rice rolls were still pretty smooth and slurpy; drenched in the immensely savoury HK-style soy sauce that I absolutely love. One characteristic about the Prawn Rice Noodles here is the usage of what seems to be shrimp paste over actual shrimp within; gives a more coherent bite and seemingly a more generous portion overall, whilst still carrying a familiar note of the sweetness of fresh seafood within.

Would say the food here have their hits and misses; pretty much like Dim Sum House at Yio Chu Kang Road which I have also tried fairly recently. Nonetheless, a decent option for dim sum within the hipster food court at an affordable price — especially great for those who are looking for somewhere that serves both dim sum and beer with a wide variety of options (think Vietnamese cuisine, western, burgers, Indian cuisine etc.) all under one roof.

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Came across Dim Sum House 点心站 situated at 1G Yio Chu Kang Road whilst being in the area; a relatively new casual eatery serving up dim sum and congee that had taken over the former premises of now-defunct Yi Hao Gui Lin Mi Fen 壹号桂林米粉 (some may also remember the space being the now-defunct Ding Ding Man).

Whilst most of the items were pretty decent, the Pan-Fried Carrot Cake with Waxed Meat was an item that stood out a little more than the rest in terms of flavour — quite liked how the carrot cake comes savoury especially with bits of waxed meat that helps to also provide some bite and a contrast of flavours, though the texture felt a little limp and soft considering how the carrot cake was not quite firm enough to hold itself in between the chopsticks; just simply disintegrating with the slightest squeeze.

A spot with its own hits & misses, though probably somewhere that residents in the area might head to as an option for affordable dim sum in the area.

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It seems that Jalan Besar is the new enclave for dim sum of the late, especially with the opening of Sum Dim Sum 心点心 which is located in between Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant and Dim Sum Haus, across the street from Berseh Food Centre. Serving up a variety of dim sum prepared via several cooking methods, congee, noodles and rice offerings amongst a few others, the Signature Crispy Pork Bun is one of the few must-orders here that is especially deserving of its signature status.

Looking almost akin to a similar item offered by a certain Michelin-starred restaurant that have opened multiple locations in Singapore, the Signature Crispy Pork Bun here comes with a slightly green hue. Seemingly infused with Pandan, the buns here come crusted on the exterior, and whiffs of an aromatic buttery fragrance with hint of Pandan. Sinking our teeth into the bun, the crust crumbles down neatly without being causing a mess on the table, while the insides reveal the Char Siew filling. Packed with a decent portion of meat, the Char Siew comes with a mix of fatty and lean meat for a balanced texture that is melt-in-the-mouth, yet carrying some bite; all that while the Char Siew sauce was a good sweet-savoury mix that is sufficiently thick in consistency and flavourful. Pretty impressed with what this new dim sum joint has to offer, with other items such as Hong Kong Signature Curry that features cuttlefish and pig skin — a considerably rare find in Singapore as well for those who are looking to try something new. A place I would certainly return back for more!

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Randomly got this from the handmade dim sum stall at a coffee shop in Potong Pasir. Quite impressed with how this one turned out to be; light, fluffy bun that isn’t too thick while the Char Siew comes chunky within — drenched in that mostly sweet, yet savoury sauce for a deep flavour. Very delicious!

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Unlike the Char Siew from the Roast Meat Platter which was a tad disappointing, the Steamed B.B.Q. Bun was actually pretty good — not only was the bun pretty fluffy, the Char Siew filling within comes in chunk bits that is smothered in a thick and sweet sauce that's laced with honey; pretty good I would say.

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Yet another offering that is unique to Lian Bang Fu Zhou Home-made Pau is the Golden Wo Zai Pau — the bun is an interesting fusion of steamed egg cake and char siew bun with the steamed egg cake encased within a pau bun lined with char siew filling. The result was an interesting combination of sweet and savoury; something out of the usual char siew bun for the sweetness is provided by the steamed egg cake.

The Char Siew Bun itself was decent; more savoury than sweet being meaty with tiny chunks of meat within. The bun might be a little on the thick side, but does carry quite a bit of fluff — not the best but decent enough.

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Went to Bukit Batok after seeing photos of the special paus available at Lian Bang Fu Zhou Home-Made Pau, which includes this Royal Chicken Bao that comes with char siew, mushroom, onions smothered in a lightly savory yet thick sauce within, stacked atop a layer of glutinous rice. Every bite comes with a light hint of sweetness from the char siew amidst the savouriness from the sauce, while the bun despite being a little on the thicker side is also pretty fluffy. The entire combination isn't quite like the usual Lo Mai Gai offering despite sounding similar, largely due to how saucy the entire filling is but it's certainly not the conventional pau one would expect from a dim sum shop.

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My friends found this to be rather decent but it felt a tad disappointing to me. Could have been expecting a little too much for its $1.30 price tag, but it comes with a miserable portion of prawn (I didn't get any) which was already a big no-no for me. While the soy sauce did give it that savoury flavour that I yearn for, I felt that the Chee Cheong Fun itself felt like it was missing that ricey flavour — the entire item felt like it was just so lacking in terms of dimension of flavours. Probably would work well for those who are less picky though.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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