Part deux of mum's visit to Singapore.
I am not quite a breakfast person.
Unless it's something worth waking up for, like Hokkien Mee.
Girls, at their age, wake up early (because they sleep early).
So, like it or not, I guess breakfast was compulsory that morning.
Should I bring them for Teo Chew Porridge? Or Che Zai Mian (Rickshaw Noodles)? Or Ah Kow's Bak Chor Mee at Hong Lim? I was torn. I called up Mr. D (one of my Singaporean food guides) and he suggested Mouth Restaurant for dim sum (Chinese-style tapas for breakfast). Great! I've always wanted to pay a visit since it's one of the oldest teahouses in Singapore. Just couldn't find the time, everytime.
It was surprisingly quiet on a public holiday morning, much to our delight. Perhaps we were early (10.30 am to be exact). 10 minutes after we placed our orders, the first dish arrived.
The Century Egg Congee (S$4.00) came in quite a huge portion. The bowl was deeper that it appeared to be. Served warm, there were plenty of ingredients in the congee including century egg slices and chicken shreds. Taste-wise, it was as generic as it could get. The scallion and crackers provided extra crunch and flavour.
I enjoyed the pipping hot Steamed Carrot Cake (S$3.30) for its softness. The inclusion of shredded radish in the cake gave an interesting texture while the dried shrimps and onions topping provided a touch of savouriness. The soya sauce was basically of no use as the dish itself was already flavourful enough. In fact, it could further dilute the cake if kept too long.
The shrimps in the Har Gao or shrimp dumplings (S$3.90 - 4 pieces) were tender and juicy. The starch skin was somehow thick. I noticed that this restaurant does not provide the sweet dipping, unlike the Malaysian teahouses. I prefer to do without any dipping to savour the original flavour of the shrimps.
Another dim sum staple was the Siu Mai or pork dumpling (S$3.90 - 4 pieces). The chopped pork (lard included) wrapped in a wanton-like skin was tender and dense. Being steamed, the pork flavour was preserved. This is the best way to judge the freshness of the cut. It was fresh, by the way. I also applaud the idea of not topping the dumpling with dyed sago seeds as it does not serve the purpose of providing a rich and savoury taste as exhibited by crab roe or salted egg yolk.
The Chu Cheong Fun or Char Siew (barbequed pork) Rice Noodle Roll (S$4.10) was a letdown. The flat noodle was too thick while the char siew tasted rather bland. As with any Chu Cheong Fun, the sauce is the key ingredient to add flavour to the otherwise bland dish. Mouth's version was rather salty without a hint of sweetness to it.
There are not many restaurants that serve Kun Tong Gao or Seafood Dumpling in Soup (S$4.90). With that said, I knew I had to try Mouth's version. The large dumpling was filled with mainly chopped shrimps. There was nothing interesting about the filling. The soup had a hint of seafood but was rather bland. Perhaps a soup boiled with other interestingly flavourful ingredients would have turned the dish around.
Last on the list was another staple, Char Siew Bao (S$2.80 - 3 pieces). The steamed buns were fluffy with a moist and sweet char siew filling. The taste was rather normal.
The bill came up to S$50.38 for 3 pax (inclusive of the uninitiated condiments and towels). Service was efficient.
How do we judge good dim sum? Is a typical taste a good thing? How do we know if it tastes generic? What sets great dim sum from the good ones? Is freshness the only criteria there is? These are some dim sum questions that I'm still contemplating on. With that said, I shall leave my conclusion of the Mouth experience in your hands.
Dim sum aside, I must say I enjoyed the time spent catching up with Mum and Aunt. After dim sum, the girls went for round 2 of shopping at OG (again!).
133, New Bridge Road,
#02-01, Chinatown Point,
Tel: (+65) 65344233