Dim sum never goes out of favour. Tuck into exquisite morsels with your family at these five new dim sum restaurants, with menus that range from tried-and-tested classics to the cute and quirky.
1. Kai Garden
After an illustrious career with the Paradise Group, Hong Kong-born chef Fung Chi Keung – whose clientele is reputed to include celebrities like Chow Yun-Fat and Zhang Ziyi- is finally striking it out on his with the opening of Kai Garden at Marina Square.
The restaurant is packed every lunch hour in spite of its upmarket price tags, which easily double some of its competitors’. But after sampling the food, we could see why the crowd is so rapt. Chef Fung has spun an innovative menu that is rooted on familiar favourites yet revitalised with a dash of the whimsical.
Try the Scallop Dumplings, luxe with a chunky piece of abalone atop, or the Deep-fried Golden Mushrooms and Cod Fish Roll, crisp on the outside and delicate on the inside. Other signatures include the Wok-fried Cheong Fun in XO Sauce, Seafood Fried Rice With Tobikko Fish Roe, and Double Boiled Lobster Soup With Dumpling.
#03-128A/b Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594
2. Paradise Teochew Restaurant
The light-filled ambience at this restaurant in the Chinese Swimming Club has a certain relaxed charm, a change from the usual frantic buzz at other Paradise restaurants.
Instead of roasts, the meat platter here takes the form of braised Teochew specialties. The selection includes various duck parts, from sliced duck meat to tongue to web and wings, as well as sliced pork knuckles, pig’s intestine and octopus.
There are also some too-cute-to-eat dim sum creations: Steamed Custard Buns in the shape of piglets, and Dumbo-like Deep Fried Abalone Dumplings.
#03-01 Chinese Swimming Club, 21 Amber Rd, Singapore 439870
3. Joyden Treasures
The third addition to the F&B portfolio of a 30-year-old family-owned business, Joyden Treasures was opened with the vision of turning the spotlight back on heritage dishes.
The concise dim sum menu hones in on the classics, turning out time-honoured choices like Har Gao, Steamed Yam Cake, and Pork Ribs With Salted Black Beans.
#02-42 Leisure Park Kallang, 5 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397693
The floor-to-ceiling windows, the sweeping vista of Boat Quay, the expansive high ceilings all live up to the restaurant’s grand name: Empress, a reflection of its Empress Place street address.
The menu is contemporary Cantonese, drawing a mixed crowd of locals and expats. That also means that the weekend dim sum is turned into a champagne brunch affair.
The Dim Sum, though, is a bunch of hits and misses. Go for the Steamed Seafood and Spinach Dumplings, Deep-Fried Garlic and Prawn Spring Rolls, and the Steamed Egg Custard Bun, but you might want to give their Har Gau and Preserved Egg and Pork Porridge a miss.
Steamed seafood and spinach dumplings
#01-03 Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
If you did a double take, wondering if you’ve stepped into the wrong restaurant, we don’t blame you. The trippy, kaleidoscopic interior is a major departure from our usual expectations of a Chinese restaurant.
The Mitzo Weekend Brunch ($68/person, additional $50/person for free-flow alcohol) turns the concept of yum cha-and-tea on its head, with “tea” taking the form of tea-infused concoctions at the DIY cocktail station. The buffet menu runs more than 40 items long, fantastic for ravenous appetites.
If you don’t try anything else, go for the Mitzo special barbecued pork – succulent char siew cloaked in a caramelised crust that crackles readily into sweet, crystalline shards.
Level 4, Grand Park Hotel, 270 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238857
By Mia Chenyze, SimplyHer, 1 May 2016