Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mouth Restaurant @ Chinatown Point

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!).

Mouth Restaurant
133, New Bridge Road,
#02-01, Chinatown Point,
Singapore 059413
Tel: (+65) 65344233
Website: http://www.mouth.com.sg/

29 comments:

Timothy said...

Heard Ying spoke of you today so I decided to check out yr site. Nice ... will be dropping by again soon. Keep up dude.

Imbi & Itchy said...

your question does linger in me as well. that said, i was not impressed with some of the well known dimsum i've tried in hongkong even .. though all the criteria's were there; fresh ingredient with generous filling, thin skin etc .. well, guess when the right one comes along, we would know huh .. hehehe, sounds like finding soulmate leh

Alexander said...

Wow! that is something I miss out when I went back to Singapore.
Yummy!

You have nice photos.

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Rasa Malaysia said...

Man, your post just basically convinced me to go DIM SUM tomorrow morning...miss Har Gow.

JOjo said...

Hmm...I think good dim sum is a blend of everything.
But i'm not so into dim sum cos too much pork~ Lol...
But i don't mind eating lots of shrimp *wink*

Tummythoz said...

Yummy stuff! Early at 10.30am? Hmmm.

♥ ♡ Alvin ♡ ♥ said...

Aiyoo the Chu Cheong Fun looks so silken so smooth~~~

Usually, i like this styled hongkong chu cheong fun for my breakfast! Yummy!

boo_licious said...

I remember eating here a few yrs back. Amazed it is still around. I find dim sum places so so, never will there be one that wows but most times, they have one good item.

boo_licious said...

I remember eating here a few yrs back. Amazed it is still around. I find dim sum places so so, never will there be one that wows but most times, they have one good item.

wenching & esiong said...

Wow, what a breakfast that you had! Century Egg Congee is always my favourite. Mouth restaurant sounds like an interesting name! Hehe!

KampungboyCitygal said...

my heart will go oouchhh if i ever had dim sum over here..its so expensive (..after conversion)..we paid only RM 9 for hoong kee u rmb? haha

Nic (KHKL) said...

timothy: thanks for dropping by! Now I know who’s the owner of 3-meals…been reading your blog too! Thought you stopped blogging after the “yi poh” post..hehe…

lianne: yeah, hong kong’s dim sum is great (miss the steamed beefballs) but some are overrated, I think…I agree with you! Food, like soulmate etc, is a matter of the heart. Gosh, I think we are getting very abstract here…perhaps cos we share the same horoscope! Haha!

alexander: thanks for the compliment. There are a few teahouses in Chinatown. Another one’s called “yum-cha” at temple street, I think. Haven’t been there before but do check it out when you are back in town!

rasa malaysia: oh…har gows are lovely, aren’t they? Especially if the prawns are succulent, with a touch of elasticity. Do enjoy your dim sum and please blog about it cos I’ll be waiting to see your lovely pics!

jojo: yupe, dim sum is full of harmful ingredients like MSG and lard…but these are the things that make it tastes sooo good..haha! chu cheong fun with shrimps is also a good alternative for you, I guess :)

tummythoz: the place opens at 10.00 am. So, I consider 10.30 am early lar, hehe! I was surprised too, when I found out the timing cos teahouses usually opens as early as 6.00 am…like ipoh’s foh san…

alvin: chu cheong fun + sweet/savoury soya sauce + dried shrimp chili paste! Wah! Who can resist that kind of temptation, right? Haha! I prefer the ccf with ingredients inside like sengkuang and dried shrimps…dunno what style is that, though..hehe

boo_licious: mouth is actually one of the oldest teahouses in Singapore. Perhaps that’s their selling point. I agree that dim sum places are so so. It’s not easy to distinguish a fantastic one from the rest. I’m gonna try marco polo at raja chulan soon.. :)

wenching & esiong: this place is called 地茂馆 in Chinese….but dunno what’s the relationship with “mouth” though..haha! yeah, century egg congee has a very subtle flavour..will taste even better with minced pork.

citygal: yeah, what a difference, right? And there’s no sang chau lor mai fan at mouth! Hehe…well, for a restaurant like mouth, I guess the price is ok. I think there are some hoong kee style restaurants in Singapore…I just need to find it, hehe…

Celine said...

Aiyoyo, so many posting on dim sum lately. Must go for some har gau, siu mai, ...

ling239 said...

the Steamed Carrot Cake looks very similar to the steamed yam cake with century egg at SOHO....
what is the black color thingy at the side of the carrot cake ?

~Christine~Leng said...

would definitely love to try the hot Steamed Carrot Cake :)
used to have the fried style all the time! ;P
not all dim sum house have the steamed portion rite?

Big Boys Oven said...

Looks so yummy delicious!

Xiu Long Bao said...

Dimsum is my fave food after sashimi. Looks like i can hav my craving for dimsum fixed in sg as well :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

celine: ya lor! suddenly got so many dim sum posts...hehe...very tempting, right? especially before breakfast...dont think already...go get some! lol!

ling239: haha! you got me there! i was also thinking abt it...it's definitely not part of the ingredients for the cake. perhaps it's a piece of shitake mushroom or burnt onion skin. ooppsss...

christine: true, true. most places serve only the fried version. i think ktz has it but that was years ago. i prefer the steamed version cos it's softer and less oily.

big boys oven: look only good...haha! some of the dim sum are good but some are really plain. too bad i was full that day..if not, i would have ordered my fave lor mai kai! :)

xiu long bao: sashimi??? i also daisuki desu! hehe...ok lar, lets go for sashimi next week...morning dim sum abit difficult but we can still go for night dimsum...yippee!!

team bsg said...

dim sum is like some kind of free for all gluttonsorgy zone where they shove those salivating many sexy color trays infront of your eyes ( and lips )then seduce you to rape( its like that)them then after the tempted feast they ask the spent you for many $$$
omg
one always ask regretfully later ...did i really did(eat)that(them) ?

ling239 said...

hahahaaa... hopefully ur Steamed Carrot Cake has not been travelling to unknown territory before it ended on ur table XD

Kelly Mahoney said...

Ha! I'm not quite a morning person, but I don't mind breakfast.

Jason said...

Aiyo... been ages since I had Dim Sum... :(

Christy said...

Steamed radish cake...seldom see that!!:)
Most of the time, even their steamed ones here are oily, ugh!

Nic (KHKL) said...

team bsg: omg! i finally realised it! i am a serial dim sum rapist! ok, perhaps i'm not cos i pay for what i rape...err, eat, i mean. but do i regret doing it? no. i even keep in touch with my dim sums. ;>

ling239: gosh, you are scaring me...hehe...i'm sure it's just the onion skin or something (i'm trying to to stay positive here)...aiyah, better go buy some poh chai yun later! argh... :>

kelly: yeah, i can stay awake all night but once i "switch off", i'm like dead. and if i have to wake up early, i'll look like a walking zombie, complete with panda eyes, haha!

jason: really ar? when you wanna have dim sum? hehe...i know how to go to hong kee already, thanks to xiu long bao...can go eat the sang chau lor mai fan already... ;>

christy: yeah, i agree. oily and watery at the same time. well, its also difficult to find in kl as well, i think...i find this better than yam cake cos its lighter on the stomach :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eh what happened..how come no updating 1?

Jun said...

hey nic did u get my email regarding dinner at chijmes this fri?

Nic (KHKL) said...

joe: hehe...quite busy with the new semester...next post in 2 hours time.. :)

jun: emailed you twice but got bounced back...seems like my IP blocks your domain or something like that...just smsed you :)

ladyironchef said...

Hello,

i been to mouth restaurant like a couple of years ago? lol!

But then their dim-sum isn't exactly what you consider cheap rite?

you been to Red Star? i dare say they are cheaper and have better dim-sum. lol

Nic (KHKL) said...

ladyironchef: hey, thanks for stopping by! yupe, it's not cheap here. thanks for the recommendation. will definitely make a trip down there.

i think this place was featured on tv before, right? hehe...