Tag Archives: Dim Sum

Dim Sum @ Red Star

Pakcik and I went to Chinatown a couple of weeks ago. Pakcik was craving for xiao long bao so I suggested going to Red Star since both of us had never been there before.
With the help of GPS, we finally found the old restaurant in a very ulu neighbourhood. The very old and slow lift brought us to the retro looking restaurant on the 7th storey.

It was almost 2pm but we still had queue for another 15 minutes before getting a table from the grouchy auntie who is in charge of table assignment. I read from blogs that the dim sum would be pushed around the restaurant, but in reality, those dim sum carts never made it to our table. The kiasu customers rushed to the carts the moment they were pushed out of the kitchen, and within minutes, all the dim sum were “robbed”. =(
Pitying our empty stomachs, I had to join the kiasu gang and get my dim sum from the carts.

dim sum

Generally the dim sum are mediocre. In Chinatown, I think I would still prefer the Yum Cha restaurant. The average price of each dim sum is around $4++, except for the fried chicken with seafood paste which is $8. The waitress hard sell it to us and after tasting it, I understood why she had to do that. The dish was so overpriced and I would rather they do away with the “creativity” and just fry a normal chicken.

xiao long bao

Pakcik ordered the xiao long bao which he craved for. But we were so disappointed with it. Either the waitress gave us the wrong dim sum, or this xiao long bao really has no standard. There is no soup in the xlb and the filling inside was kinda tough and dry. Tasted like overcooked dumpling. =(

roasted duck

The only dish that I like and enjoy is the roasted duck ($12). I was lucky that I got a plate of it before it’s sold out. The skin is really crispy and the meat is very tender. Most of the fats underneath the skin has melted away during the roasting process, so I don’t have to deal with any fatty layer. The chilli sauce tastes great with the meat as well.

I think I will only recommend the roasted duck to people who wants to dine at Red Star.

Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum

I have tried the dim sum from Tim Ho Wan during my trip to Hong Kong 3 years ago. I remembered queuing for almost 45 mins to get to eat dim sum for breakfast. Both Pakcik and I agreed that the dim sum was pretty good and worth the queue. We ordered quite a number of items and the cost was only HKD 195. Here’s what we had that time in Hong Kong:

HK Tim Ho Wan

Since Tim Ho Wan opened an outlet in Plaza Singapura recently, and everyone is kinda going crazy over it, I decided to bring my mum and cousin there yesterday to sample the dim sum.

Knowing that the queue will be crazy, we were there just 5 minutes after the opening time. Guess what? The restaurant was already full.
Yep, at 10.05am on a Wednesday, the restaurant was full. The first thing that came to my mind was “Wow, there are so many people who don’t need to work!”
Anyway, to be fair to customers, they only allocate the table when all the people are present. So people can’t send their poor maid or friend to occupy the table in advance.

So here’s what we tried.

Tim ho wan char siew pau

Tim ho wan char siew pau 1

The baked bun with BBQ pork ($4.50++ for 3), aka Char Siew Pau. If you have tried Crystal Jade’s Char Siew Polo Pau, you will know how the bun texture is like. Basically, the bun is soft and flaky, making it hard to not drop crumbs all over. I like the bun even though deep down I know how much oil it contains.
As for the char siew filling, the pork is very tender but I find the sauce too sweet. Might have to wash it down with Chinese tea to neutralise the sweetness.

Tim ho wan carrot cake

The Pan Fried Carrot Cake ($4.50++ for 3) was a let down. The carrot cake, although pan fried, lacked the crispy surface and was way too soft. The texture was like steamed glue. Also, the carrot cake only taste of raw radish. We had to drown it with sweet chilli paste to finish 1.5 piece and abandoned the rest.

Tim ho wan chicken feet

Whenever I have dim sum, the must-eat item for me is chicken feet. The Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce ($4++) was acceptable. Nothing special, just eatable.

Tim ho wan har gau

We had 2 baskets of Prawn Dumplings ($5.50++ for 1 basket of 4). Kinda regretted ordering 2 baskets after tasting 1 piece. It wasn’t as fantastic as I expected. I find it lack of seasoning, and couldn’t really taste the prawn’s sweetness. Cousin and mum didn’t like it and I had to finish 5 pieces on my own. =__=”

Tim ho wan lor mai kai

Tim ho wan lor mai kai 1

This is the Glutinous Rice Dumpling ($5++). I find this pretty good. Well seasoned chicken and tasty Chinese sausage. If the rice were so soft, it would be even better. Elderly with weak teeth will not have problem eating this.

We also had the Pork Dumpling with Shrimp ($5++ for 1 basket of 4), aka Siew Mai. I forgot to take picture of that because it was delicious and was gone within minutes. The siew mai has a good mixture of pork and shrimp, plus a piece of very fragrant Chinese mushroom.

Tim ho wan porridge

The Congee with Lean Pork, Century Egg and Salted Egg ($4.20++) was mediocre. I didn’t even realise that there was salted egg in it. Plus, I didn’t really like the lean pork cube in the congee. It tasted like rehydrated dried pork.

Tim ho wan shrimp rice roll

Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp ($5.50++). Mediocre too. They need to improve on the sauce because the one I had in Hong Kong was yummy and the sauce was really rich.

Tim ho wan veg rice roll

Vegetarian Black Pepper Vermicelli Roll ($5++). I can’t comment on this because only Mum ate it. All I could say is, she was struggling to finish it.

That’s all we had for the breakfast. Really disappointing because I had such high hopes for it. Cousin complained of wasting her calories. =(
Anyway, the total bill was slightly over $58.

Here’s my brief comparison between the Tim Ho Wan outlet in Hong Kong and Singapore:

1) Price: Kinda pricey for the quality served in Singapore.
2) Food: Hong Kong’s better.
3) Queuing time: Not much difference during peak hours.
4) Atmosphere: Singapore’s way better, because the outlet I went in Hong Kong was really small and old.
5) Comfort: Seating area is almost as squeezy as the one in Hong Kong.

Anyway, this is just based on my tastebuds and personal preference. Give it a try and decide for yourself.
Here’s the menu for reference:

Tim Ho Wan Menu

Tim Ho Wan Menu 2

Lunch at Mayim

My Saturday morning was spent at Bukit Batok Driving Centre. Totally wasted 2.5 hours of my life waiting at the centre just to get my PDL renewed, re-apply the membership and book the practical test date. ARGH!
What made my blood boil were the young staff, mainly the females and those with wayang looking make-ups, who were parading around the centre and taking their own sweet time to top up the bottled water instead of quickly clearing the crowd. My queue number was horrendously 25 people away and the staff still have time to share internal jokes and walk around doing nothing. If you can’t hire efficient staff, then for goodness sake, make it an on-line system!! It’s year 2013 already!

Ok… enough of my ranting…

Due to my stressful morning, I decided that I need to eat something good/different for lunch. Since I hadn’t been to Mayim before, it’s a good excuse for me to drag Pakcik there.

Pickles

Since it was already 2+pm, there wasn’t any queue outside the restaurant. We were promptly shown to our table and served with pickles ($1++) and warm water . The cabbage in bean paste and chilli sauce was rather appetizing.

XLB

I ordered the Xiao Long Bao ($0.80++ each, minimun 3 pieces).

XLB 1

The xlb came on a small aluminium cup. I think it’s a good idea because the juice will be contained in case the xlb skin breaks (although good xlb skin shouldn’t break).

XLB 2

Yep~ The skin does break easily. Luckily the soup ended up in the cup otherwise I would be so sad.
The xlb was pretty normal.

Mixed Roast Noodles

Pakcik had the mixed roast noodles ($8.80++ for dry version). It came with Hong Kong noodles, which is the type normally used for wanton mee.
I only tried the char siew and it was pretty good! The meat was tender and not fatty at all. Pakcik said that the noodles was tasty and he finished the whole plate within before my la mian was served.

Roast Duck La Mian

Had the roasted duck la mian ($8.30++ for soup version). The la mian was very springy and cooked just right! Totally love the la mian! I think it’s better than Crystal Jade’s.
As for the roasted duck, it’s pretty good but kinda too fatty.

Thank goodness I had an enjoyable lunch to make me forget about my morning’s torture.