Dim sum lovers, you now have more locations to satisfy your craving. The immensely popular Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant Tim Ho Wan, which has had snaking queues from day one since it opened at Plaza Singapore, has opened its second outlet in Toa Payoh. The eminent brand from Hong Kong
is also openinghas also opened a third and fourth restaurants at Bedok Mall and Westgate.
With the opening of the Toa Payoh outlet, Chef Mak Kwai Pui adds six new dishes to the menu. These are monthly specials that will change every few months, meaning patrons can look forward to new and exciting surprises.
The new dishes will be exclusively available at the Toa Payoh outlet, which include steamed chicken feet with abalone sauce, fried noodle with BBQ pork and soy sauce, and deep fried dumpling with salted meat. The culinary standards of the dim sum can rival those of hotels, yet prices are maintained at an affordable range that will appeal to the masses.
Steamed dim sum include the quintessential prawn dumpling, which boasts succulent chunks of prawn in generous proportions, wrapped in an ethereally thin and translucent skin.
The steamed spinach dumpling with shrimp may not appeal to non-veggie lovers at first sight, but take one bite and you may change your mind.
As one-fourth of Tim Ho Wan’s Big 4 Heavenly Kings, the baked bun with BBQ pork is a perennial favourite. The light and crusty bun encases an enticing BBQ pork concoction that’s subtly sweet, savoury and simply divine.
Many have commented that their signature bun is slightly different from the original recipe in Hong Kong. Despite the slight tweaking of recipe to cater to local taste buds, it is fabricated by the same talented man, and is equally noteworthy.
With its highly irresistible fragrance and delightful textures of crisp and melt-in-the-mouth softness, the pan fried carrot cake – another of the Big 4 – is a must-have. We observe that it is present on almost every dining table. Need we say more?
The congee with lean pork, century egg & salted egg is thick and chock-full of ingredients in every mouthful. It is also priced reasonably, comparable to the prices at neighbouring food courts.
The wasabi salad prawn dumpling is a new addition to the menu, which we reckon will be a huge hit amongst the younger crowd. The plump dumpling gives an indication of how generous the kitchen is with the amount of prawn used.
The deep fried dumpling with salted meat is a tad foreign to our local palates. The crisp casing gives way to a thin layer of chewy dough underneath, which we suspect is made with glutinous rice flour.
Not all dishes are hits though. You may wish to skip the monthly special of fried noodle with BBQ pork and soy sauce for instance, as it turns out rather lacklustre. The noodle is on the salty side, heavily coated in soy sauce, but the flavours are one-dimensional despite the addition of shredded egg and sliced BBQ pork that did nothing to salvage this dish.
Chicken feet – it’s either you love it or fear it. If a serving of chicken feet is your dim sum staple, then you’ve got to order Tim Ho Wan’s steamed chicken feet with abalone sauce.
Also a monthly special, each piece of chicken foot is well penetrated with dark sauce, accompanied by steamed peanuts and abalone sauce. Each piece is notably meatier and fattier than those you can find at local markets.
The vermicelli roll with sweet and sesame sauce is also a new addition to the menu. While it may satisfy cravings for chee cheong fun, it is still incomparable to the vermicelli roll stuffed with pig’s liver, which is one of the Big 4.
The vermicelli rolls arrive drizzled with sweet and sesame sauces, while the soy sauce is poured only upon serving to prevent the rolls from turning soggy. The fragrance and creaminess of the sesame sauce is highly alluring.
You may order the tonic medlar & osmanthus cake to cleanse your palate after the heavy meal, or skip dessert altogether as the selection is nothing to shout about.
The mango pomelo sago is slightly tart and full of textures from the pulp of pomelo and pearls of sago.
The steamed egg cake – the last of Tim Ho Wan’s Big 4 Heavenly Kings – is soft and airy.
There are hits and misses, but if you order the quintessential dim sum items and Tim Ho Wan’s Big 4 Heavenly Kings, you can’t go wrong.
– Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #01-29A, Singapore 238839 | Tel: +65 6332 9298
– ERA Centre Toa Payoh, 450 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #02-02, Singapore 319394
– Bedok Mall, 311 New Upper Changi Road #B1-51/52, Singapore 467360
– Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive #01-13/14, Singapore 608532