SINGAPORE - Some may argue that the best dim sum can be found only in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Even the outlets in Kuala Lumpur are better.
But it is actually not difficult to find good dim sum in Singapore too. And you don’t even have to pay a hefty price. Here are some nicely priced - but delicious - dim sum choices:
1. Ho Yun (Hong Kong) Tim Sum
Address: 419 Tampines Street 41, #01-80 419 F&B, Singapore 520419
Opening hours: 7.30am to 7.30pm
A few chefs told me about this dim sum stall. And although I couldn’t confirm this with the owner - he and the lady manning the stall were not in a chatty mood - but the story is that he was a noted dim sum chef with a big restaurant more than a decade ago before he decided to just set up stall in Tampines.
The menu is simple and priced for the location. Nothing costs more than $4.
A lot of it is delicious. The pork and century egg congee is smooth and savoury, the siew mai is fragrant and juicy, and the cheong fun has a almost-creamy skin.
2. The Dim Sum Place
Address: 791 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198759
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday 11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 11pm; Friday and Saturday, eve of public holidays 11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 5am
This halal dim sum place has become a hot favourite with the Muslim community. There are usually long queues and for the Ramadan season, book ahead or forget about trying to snag a table.
But while it is halal, the dim sum is both tasty and authentically flavoured: the siew mai is especially successful at replicating the texture and flavour of the real deal. Besides dim sum, there is also a range of excellent zichar and restaurant style offerings. ST Food editor Ong Sor Fern recommends the crispy rice in superior stock and aromatic garlic fried rice which also has a hint of truffle oil in it.
3. Legendary Hong Kong
Address: 63 Jurong West Central 3, Provisional Unit #03-80 Jurong Point 2 Shopping Center, Singapore 648331
Opening hours: Weekdays 11am to 10pm, weekends and public holidays 10am to 10pm
“Legendary” seems to be a lofty name to call yourself, but the dim sum here is legendary. I’ve heard of people travelling from one end of the island to another just for a meal here.
Many dishes are very good, but the custard crust bun is the most memorable. This comes with a variety of toppings, from a slab of butter to luncheon meat and a fried egg.
The heavenly glass of iced Hong Kong style tea and coffee mix - or yuan yang - completes the experience.
4. China Classic Restaurant
Address: 133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point, #01-41/42, Singapore 059413
Opening hours: Weekdays 11am to 10pm, weekends 10am to 10pm
While the decor at China Classic Restaurant may be called fauxpulent, the menu is more traditional.
The roasts are the highlight here but the dim sum menu is worth checking out. My favourite is the fried yam ball. The version here is crispy, full flavoured and moist, and most importantly - it is not overly oily.
Here are some great dim sum deals from well-known restaurants, which means they will probably always be packed, so make your reservations early.
5. Crystal Jade Kitchen
Crystal Jade Kitchen launched a Weekday High-Tea Dim Sum Buffet ($24.80), available at all Crystal Jade Kitchen outlets, except the one at Zhongshan Park.
The buffet has a selection of favourites, such as Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun, Pig Trotters in Vinegar Stew and Deep Fried Yam Puff with Minced Meat.
This is valid till the end of June.
6. Mitzo Restaurant & Bar
Address: Level 4 Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238857
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday 12pm to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 1am; Thursday and Friday 12pm to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 2am; Saturday 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 2am; Sunday 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 1am
Do not think that because Mitzo looks like a club, the food will not be good. The dim sum items are quite delicious actually.
The star is the barbecued pork, and you can order that together with the recently launched Dim Sum lunch set menu (from $28). The popular item is the escargot cheese puff, but also order the pan-fried pumpkin and yam cake, and the royal shrimp dumpling with black caviar.
Address: 1 Fullerton Square, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Singapore 049178
Opening hours: Weekdays 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm; weekends Noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm
After upsetting fans by ending the very popular weekend dim sum buffet, Jade makes amends with a set menu (minimum four to dine, $48 each).
The set will have all the faves - Steamed Abalone Siew Mai, Pan-fried Spiced Chilli Crab Meat Bun, Deep-fried Taro stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Truffles, Golden-fried Lobster Dumpling, Roasted Honey-glazed Iberico Pork - and you can also order from the a la carte menu.
Book a meal at Mitzo Restaurant & Bar with Chope.