Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yum Cha @ Chinatown

I wish this post is read in the first few hours after you awake from a good nightsleep.
Refreshed and chilled from yesterday's heavy downpour.

To indulge in a little dim sum adventure.
Of nothing avant garde.
But a simple, centuries-old hearty breakfast.

Come on, join me in my yum cha reminiscence.

A warm Glutinous Rice In Lotus Leaf (S$3.50) to start off the meal. The soft, almost melting texture of the rice was pleasant. Ingredients for the filling, which included dried shrimps, chestnut and pork provided a lovely contrasting texture as well as flavours to the soft, bland rice. The lotus leave used was fresh, hence the milder scent as compared to the dried ones.

A staple, the Siew Mai With Fish Roe (S$3.00) was firm, with fresh shrimp and pork filling. Rather ordinary, albeit the use of fish roe instead of the dyed sago seeds. Then again, how do we define an extraordinary Siew Mai?

Moist and tad sweet the filling was, for the Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (S$2.00). Served warm, the skin was fluffy and thin, just enough to infuse with the filling's marinate at the first bite. A dish to please a many, but not me who feeds on the dark, savoury kind of filling.

An utter disappointment, the Fresh Prawn Rice Flour Roll (S$4.00) was. Like an enlarged piece of kway teow used in noodle dishes, it was definitely too firm for a dim sum. While the prawns were fresh and succulent, the sauce was nothing but a blindly savoury combination of oil and soya sauce. Where's a touch of sweetness when one needs it?

Not unlike the Lotus Leaf version, the Fried Glutinous Rice (S$4.00) was soft and moist. With aromatic ingredients such as shitake mushrooms slices, pork and dried shrimps, this dish was simply flavourful. Savouriness was well-controlled, with a touch of sweetness to boost.

You can imagine my childlike excitement when I discovered a dish called Steamed Mini Goose Liver Xiao Long Bao (S$4.00). The skin was rather thick. The sweet juice was abundant and oozed as I cracked the skin. The meat/liver filling was soft and somehow milky. It fell short of my own expectation as there was no hint of the aromatic liver taste. Then again, how much pate can one get at S$4.00? I'm counting my blessing for the lovely texture.

The Baked Mini Egg Tarts (S$2.00) was good. The pastry was crispy and dry while the custard/egg filling was sweet and smooth. Typical, yes. But a typically good egg tart is hard to come by these days, isn't it?

Not a dessert that I would order, the Pamelo Sago In Mango Juice (S$4.00) was a visual feast that came with a bitter taste, perhaps due to the pamelo sacs. A rather synthetic-tasting mango juice too, I thought.

The Crispy Red Bean Paste With Banana (S$3.00) ended the sightly bumpy excursion. Though not with a bang, the dessert was commendable for its slightly unconventional take on the pancake skin which was breaded and fried instead of the generic pastry. The paste was quite refined and tad sweet.

I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did.

As I wished you'll read this in the morning, here's wishing you a productive day ahead.
And bring an umbrella to work.

Yum Cha Restaurant Pte Ltd
20, Trengganu Street (off Temple Street)
#02-01 (Chinatown)
Singapore 058479
Tel: (+65) 6372 1717
Website: www.yumcha.com.sg


Hazza said...

I always have time for Dim Sum. Like McDonalds, you always know what you are ordering wherever in the world you are and most of the time, they are as welcome as rain in an African drought.

team bsg said...

dim sum sounds chinese and is exactly chinese and can match( can ?) that poor cold colorful raw sushi gm 4 gm ( except that dim sum is an even more ancient art than that 700 year old sushi now adopting Sony/Americano quality). Say you shud find the time to savor both at the same time ( hot and cold ) to give us the ultimate
sino-jap high, a sort of homecoming ever since the Han separation 2300 years ago

kennymah said...

You've just persuaded me to wake up early this Sat morning and get me some Dim Sum breakfast... brave the crowds and all for a lil piece of heaven.

(Or several lil pieces, for that matter. But you know what I mean.)

Tummythoz said...

Steamy dimsum in such weather would be oh so cosy.
Umbrella? Golloshes, raincoat or in some parts of KL, snorkelling gear works best.

Precious Pea said...

Dim Sum is as satisfying as having nasi lemak and kopi-o kau for breakfast! Hehehe!

Looks good, luckily i had some good dim sum in Hong Kong, otherwise I would have abandon my working desk and head to Hong Kee now.

Xiu Long Bao said...

Luckily i brought my umbrella.
I'm officially zombified...till this weekend :)

That pomelo sago is my worst nightmare after the strawberry cheesecake from Sweet Indulgence. Yucks.

Ling's Passion said...

I love Dim Sum for weekend breakfast. It reminds me of my growing up years having breakfast with my family on Sundays.

Big Boys Oven said...

aiyoh I need to jet to Sg now! I want this and that! lol!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i would hav murdered u if i had read this early rainy morning..thank god i had dinner d..

goose liver xlb..thats ooh lala..reminds me of my foie gras gyoza..

Jun said...

goose liver xlb? hmm... sounds like something sporeans wud come up with haha...

mimi said...

the sago dessert got "fog" somemore...hehe

Nic (KHKL) said...

hazza, great view! i've never really associated dim sum with McD before. Guess you're right...it's always siew mai and har gau, eh? haha! oh, and lor mai kai too!

team bsg, i've got a nice idea coming up..*akan datang*...haha! and i like the homecoming idea. though a bit tough, i'm sure the effect will be super gastronomic! btw, are you referring to yo! sushi? hehe...

kenny, i'm glad i did! and hopefully the dim sum will inspire you to create yet another exciting post...

"heaven" awaits those who brave the crowds...and the ones who drag themselves out of bed for it..hehe

tummythoz, yeah, i was so inspired by the weather that i thought a dim sum post would be nice...and yeah, i know what you mean. i once walked all the way from Masjid Jamek to Puduraya while the water level was knee-high...*sigh*

precious pea, yupe, yupe...together with char kway teow and roti canai..hehehe...

sang chow lor mai fun! hehe...will be awaiting your culinary adventure in hong kong!

xiu long bao, darn! it didnt rain this evening hor..hahaha! wah, more than 6 hrs of zzz oso not enough meh?

hehe, i was laughing to myself thinking about that yucky pamelo sago. should have ordered the red bean instead.

ling's passion, yes, those were the days when dim sum was a weekly family affair and the children (me included) looked forward to the dessert cart..for the coconut pudding..haha

big boys oven, hehehehe...dun worry, you have at least 2 food guides to bring you around for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. remember to come with empty stomach, ok? hehehe...

joe, wah, so my forecast was correct lar..it did rain this morning in kl...scary..

yeah, i wouldnt mind paying more for a richer xl with goose liver..wah, foie gras gyoza..where ar?

jun, yeah, i was soooo excited when i saw it on the menu...only S$4 somemore! but i think other countries like hong kong already have this type of dim sum. dunno bout kl though.

mimi, hehe...yeah, i was surprised with the presentation...and thought the taste would be fantastic...but turned out really bad...the fog was more interesting...

ling239 said...

the siew mai looks soooo good...
and i do agree with u that nowadays good egg tarts are hard to find... *sigh

Jaime-La-Nourriture said...

omg ur friend glutinous rice looks soo good!

i dunnoe how does other Goose Liver Xiao Long Bao taste like but i quite like the yumcha one. hehe.

and the fried pancake with red bean paste is special! i shall try it next time! :)

~Christine~Leng said...

I want the glutinous rice in lotus leaf!
last week I went yum cha nearby and ordered this but they're sold out :(
now you're making me crave for more pakcik ;P

Nic (KHKL) said...

ling239, ya lor...i think tong kee's good...tried john king last week..some of the flavours are ok..will be posting it..hehe

jaime-la-nourriture, yupe, the glutinous rice was one of the highlights of that day...i wish the xlb was more aromatic.. :D

christine, hehe...i love the aroma of the lotus leaf. the more, the better...i guess now you are free to have more yum cha, right? hehe.. ;)

Jason said...

Nice restaurant name :)
But aren't they should use Mandarin instead of Cantonese pronounciation?

"He Cha" :p

LiquidShaDow said...

So the Steamed Mini Goose Liver Xiao Long Bao doesn't remotely resemble foie gras at all?

Alexander said...

Wow! I used to loved this place, and will visit it frequently. I wonder how is the quality of their food these days. Are they still holding on, or maybe even better? :)

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

Nic (KHKL) said...

jason, hehe...i guess they must be inspired by hong kong's tea culture and decided to use the cantonese term instead...my guess lar..hehe

liquidshadow, nope, not at all, dude. the good part being the smooth, milky texture that somehow resembled that of foie gras'. not the taste/scent though.

alexander, haha, you got me there, man. it was my first time at yum cha. overall, there were some gems like the lotus leaf rice. others were quite generic.

wenching & esiong said...

The Steamed Mini Goose Liver Xiao Long Bao sounds interesting, never heard or eaten anything like this. What a discovery! I'm craving for siew mai now!

ladyironchef said...

nice pictures, and good description! i just went to fortunate yum cha also.

Nic (KHKL) said...

wenching & esiong, yeah, the goose liver dumpling was kinda special. and i'm willing to pay more for one with more liver!hehe...

ladyironchef, thanks for the compliment. sigh, i still have not tried red star, the one you recommended. must find time! :D