Everyone knows one of the highlights of travelling to Hong Kong is the food. But not everyone can fork out the plane fare just to fly over to the land of dim sum to satisfy some cravings.
The first wave of the Hong Kong invasion came in 2016. It seemed that year that a Hong Kong eatery was opening at every corner.
This year, round two of the invasion seems to be happening.
popular cha chan teng Tsui Wah will open its first outlet in South-east Asia. The latter is slated to open later this year, at Clarke Quay.
Mak’s Noodles started in Guangzhou, China in 1920, before it moved to Hong Kong during World War II, and is famous for its petite bowl of noodles and dumplings.
In spite of the higher prices, crowds swarmed its first outlet in The Centrepoint when it opened in 2015. Two more outlets came right after (at Westgate and VivoCity).
The wanton burst for the eatery though, because they are back to just one outlet at The Centrepoint.
Address: 176 Orchard Rd, #01-63/64, Singapore 238843
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In 2016, UK broadsheet The Telegraph proclaimed Coffee Academics to be “the world’s best coffee shop”. A big accolade, considering it only opened in 2012 at Causeway Bay.
2016 was also the year the cafe expanded into Singapore at Scotts Square, before opening its second outlet at Raffles City.
Address: Scotts Square, #02-01/02, 228209
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Address: #B1-12, Raffles City, 179103
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. Sunday
When Kam’s Roast Goose opened its first overseas outlet in Singapore in 2016, it was without its signature item – the goose. The restaurant just could not find a goose that it found suitable from Hungary or the United States (the only two countries allowed to import goose into Singapore).
That prompted a name change and it is now Kam’s Roast in Singapore, with its popular char siew taking the spotlight instead.
Address: #01-04/05/06/07, Pacific Plaza, 228210
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays; 10.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends and public holidays
Popular Hong Kong cha chan teng Honolulu Cafe has been around since the 1940s, and came to Singapore in 2016. Enough people want to eat it that it opened a second branch at Westgate a year later.
While it is famous for its egg tarts, I enjoyed the other items as much: The Curry Fish Ball and Instant Noodle with Ham and Egg are fabulous.
Address: #01-33F/G The Centrepoint, 238843
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Address: #02-06 Westgate Mall, 608532
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tai Cheong Bakery is widely regarded as superior when it comes to egg tarts, but its homely fare draws the crowd too. There may be fewer people in the queue these days (when it opened its first cha chan teng at Holland Village, waiting time was at least 90 minutes and no one batted an eyelid), but the food remains as comforting.
I’m a big fan of its Three-Egg Macaroni Soup with Luncheon Meat and Scrambled Eggs Toast Stack.
Address: 31 Lor Liput, 277742
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends
Address: 391B Orchard Rd, Singapore 238874
Telephone: 8223 1954
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The brand which started the Hong Kong wave. This one-Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant made its way to Singapore in 2013. Today, there are ten outlets in Singapore, including a new outlet at Jewel Changi Airport.
Its popularity has dimmed over the years – remember the once-insane snaking queues outside each outlet? – and some of the comparisons of the dim sum items between the original and the Singapore version have been unkind, but it has become part of the local F&B landscape.
Address: Ten outlets in Singapore. Go to www.timhowan.com for more information.
One big feature of Cantonese cuisine is congee. This restaurant boasts a variety of several congee and Cantonese delights which you should definitely try – including Handmade Meatballs Congee, Claypot Frogleg, chee cheong fun and more.
Address: 1 Scotts Rd, #01 – 12, Singapore 228208
Telephone: 6737 2422
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekends
We can’t miss out Hong Kong’s most famous cha chaan teng Tsui Wah when we’re talking about Hong Kong delights! People flock to the country just to eat at this eatery, and opened its first-ever Singapore outlet in June 2018. Modelled after the outlets in Hong Kong, the restaurant offers the most authentic Cantonese delights using the freshest produce.
Make sure you try a Hong Kong favourite: a thick tomato-based stew loaded with beef chunks, onions, carrots and cabbage, or their signature Pork Chop Bun.
Address: 3 River Valley Road Block A, #01-03, 179020
Telephone: 6250 9270
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Sundays to Thursdays, and 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays
This story first appeared on The Straits Times, March 13, 2018. / Updated by Melodi Ghui, June 2019
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