Category: Chinese

Imperial Treasure’s Liu Sha Bao

By , November 26, 2013

Imperial Treasure’s group of restaurants always have a certain quality to their dim sum, and do you know the restaurant at Paragon branch is the one which is ranked Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant? (Only Chinese restaurant from Singapore on that list too.) The buns are almost perfectly shaped, with the taste striking an appropriate balance between sweet and sugar. Unlike some other buns which can get too oily or rich, you would find it easy to pop more than one.

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
#05-42/45 Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd. Singapore 238859 (Orchard MRT), Tel: +65 6732 7838
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am-2:45pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-2:45pm (Sat), 10:30am-2:45pm (Sun); Dinner 6-10:30pm Daily

Read: 5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant’s Liu Sha Bao

By , November 25, 2013

This is a choice between Swee Choon’s and Victor’s Kitchen. I finally picked Swee Choon (although I know many will differ in opinion) because Swee Choon ($3 for 3) has a better consistency and a more pleasant eating environment (even though both fall under the same type.) Swee Choon’s interpretation is slightly sweeter, while Victor’s has the stronger salted egg yolk savour. While some of Swee Choon’s dim sum are not as consistent as we have liked, its Golden Lava buns have always been outstanding for a shop with modest beginnings, with one of my friends exclaiming it is “life-changing”.

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
187/188/191 Jalan Besar Singapore 20882 Tel: +65 6225 7788
Opening Hours: 6pm-6am (Wed-Mon), Closed Tues

Read: 5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore

Taste Paradise 味之楼’s Liu Sha Bao

By , November 22, 2013

All Canton Paradise, Paradise Pavilion and Kungfu Paradise serve Liu Sha Bao of the same recipe, but it is Taste Paradise’s version ($5.50 for 3) that is a slight cut above the rest. The reason? Paradise’s Group best dim sum shifu are found at Ion’s Taste Paradise, hand-making these custard buns fresh, steaming them for an exact 5 minutes. The texture is creamy smooth and colour vibrant yellow. The best word used to describe these treasures? Delicate.

Taste Paradise 味之楼
ION Orchard #04-07 (Orchard MRT) Tel: +65 6509 9660
Opening Hours: 11:30-3:00pm, 6:00-11:00pm (Mon-Fri), 11:00-11:00pm (Sat-Sun)

Read: 5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore

Bosses Restaurant 黑社会’s Liu Sha Bao

By , November 21, 2013

Bosses only serve 2 dim sum items during dinner time – the Liu Sha Bao and Xiao Long Bao. Both are exceptional, I mean, when you compare to their other dishes. The restaurant with its modern black walls is relatively quieter than all the other restaurants at Vivocity which see queues during the weekends. The Signature Custard Lava Bun ($4.20) is worth my trip here, arriving steaming hot, and the orangey yellow skin remains supple fluffy even after a while. The filling flows, flows and flow – very generous, and somewhat more to the watery side.

Bosses Restaurant 黑社会
#02-156/157 Vivocity, 1 Harbourfront Walk (Harbourfront MRT), Tel: +65 6376940
Opening Hours: 11:00am-9:30pm Daily

Read: 5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore

Mouth Restaurant’s Liu Sha Bao

By , November 20, 2013

Mouth Restaurant may not be the number one dim sum restaurant to many, and its branch at Plaza Singapura can be so quiet that it feels cold an un=atmospheric just dining there. Maybe I am bias. But Mouth Restaurant’s custard bun ($5.60 for 3) is one of the few presented with baked crust, with skin slightly crumply yet still soft. (Think Tim Ho Wan Singapore buns with custard fillings) The inside is not the usual milky creamy, but buttery where the salted egg yolk texture is distinctly grainy. The flow is thick and slow, like bright yellow lava of the volcano flowing down that may set your heart racing with anticipation.

Mouth Restaurant
68 Orchard Road Plaza Singapura 238839 (Dhoby Gaut MRT)
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm (Mon-Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)

Read: 5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore

Dian Xiao Er – The House of Juicy Herbal Roast Duck

By , January 9, 2013

Beijing is famous for its sliced Peking Duck, and it is about time that Singapore promotes more of the flavourful Herbal Roast Duck, found at Dian Xiao Er. Actually, I do not know of anywhere here which makes these herbals ducks better than them.

I am a more of a chicken than a duck person. But when I have duck cravings, I know l can make my way to Marina Square which is one of its original branch. Or NEX which has a fascinating ang-pao red colour and décor, red ribbon lanterns and a red OTT wedding wall. No kidding –it’s quite interesting and you feel transported back to the period drama times of China.

Dian Xiao Er’s signature dish is the Ten Wonder Herbs Roast Duck ($13.60 for small, $25.30 for medium), where the herbs is said to revitalize energy and relief mental stress. I am not sure if it is indeed the herbs or duck, but I do feel happier after savouring a slice of its meat – tender and somewhat sweetish juicy. You know how duck meat at lousier stalls can be dry and tough, this is the opposite.

I much preferred its less known Angelica Herb Roast Duck ($12.90 for small, $24.30 for medium), where the flavours are stronger and less herbal. If you never never never ever had Dian Xiao Er’s duck before, you never know what you are missing out.

Imagine your usual favourite roast duck but with more juice that is sealed within the duck, said to be marinated overnight to allow the sauces to fully permeate within.

Full Post Dian Xiao Er – The House of Juicy Herbal Roast Duck

Dian Xiao Er Singapore
NEX Serangoon Central #02-09/10 (Serangoon MRT, Northeast line), Tel: +6634 4828
Other branches: Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, Changi Airport Terminal 3, Jurong Pt, Lot One, Marina Square, Vivocity, Tampines One

Peach Blossoms Marina Mandarin – Its The Seasons Of Crabs Again

By , December 4, 2012

Singaporeans love crabs. Look at the number of different crab dishes we indulge in, and the different seafood restaurants around. Well, crab lovers are in for a treat with over 20 different crab delights at Peach Blossoms this October.

Their Chinese Executive Chef Chan Shun Wong from Hong Kong has come up with two crustacean set menu, and ten à la carte crab delights. If not, you can just select from the array of Alaskan King, Sri Lankan, Cream, Meat and Flower, and ask to cook it just the way you want. Some of the favourites include Baked with Superior Broth, Stir-fried with Ginger and Spring Onion, or with Singapore-style Chilli Sauce.

My top recommendation is its Deep-fried crab ($12++ per person, or part of set menu). With a light crispy outer layer, the surprise is in its inside – juicy creamy crab meat with smooth fish roes. Some of the other versions I previously had can be dry, but Chef Chan’s creation is especially moist because milk is used to prepare the fillings.

Full Post Peach Blossoms Marina Mandarin – Its The Seasons Of Crabs Again

Peach Blossoms 鸿桃轩
6 Raffles Boulevard, Level 5 Marina Mandarin, Singapore 039594 (nearest MRT City Hall), Tel: +65 6845 1118
Opening Hours: Lunch 12pm to 2.30pm (Weekday), 11am to 2.30pm (Weekend)
Dinner: 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Daily)

Other Related Entries
Si Chuan Dou Hua (UOB Plaza)
Old Hong Kong Legend (Raffles City)
Royal China (Raffles Hotel)
Yan Ting (St Regis)
Putien (City Square Mall)

Min Jiang – The Hairy Crabs Season Is Finally Back

By , December 3, 2012

Dear hairy crabs, I have waited for you for a year to be back. There are some things that I would have to wait for 300 days before I can savour again. One of which are the hairy crabs. These Chinese mitten crabs, which are Shanghai’s prized delicacy, only come during the days of Autumn.

Over at Min Jiang at Goodwood Park and One North, these hair crab creations are available from now till 30 November, not too long a period before they disappear back to the Yang Cheng Lake.

Min Jiang offers two special six-course set menus at $98++ and $118++ per person, for a minimum of two diners. If you have not tried these palm-sized creatures before, and am wondering “Why so expensive”, the Chinese can spend hundred of yuan just to have them. There are crabs, and there are craps – people would spend more to get their money’s worth for good quality ones.

My favourite version prepared by Master Chef Chan Hwee Kee is the Steamed Hairy Crab with Glutinous Rice Served in Lotus Leaves ($68++ each). For me, steaming works best for hairy crabs where the tastes and juices remain locked in, and the meat remains fresh and sweet. Imagine when some of the flavours of the crab meat flows and get absorbed by the glutinous rice.

Look at the rich bright orange roe – easily my favourite part in the entire crab. Do not remind me of the cholesterol level though. Just allow it to linger in your tongue while you relish the thick thick roe, a taste almost quite unforgettable. (I would best describe it as a texture similar to a creamy form of salted ice yolk but 10 times more delicate.)

The manager in charge Wai See was also skillful in cutting up the crustacean so you can eat it almost mess free. When I asked how long she trained for, she said “Ten years”.

The Baked Hair Crab Wrapped in Lotus Leaves is also a popular choice, while I did think that the smell of the leaves overpowered the true natural flavours of the crab at times.

Full Post Min Jiang – The Hairy Crabs Season Is Finally Back

Min Jiang
Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221, Tel: +65 6730 1704
Or Min Jiang at One North, No 5 Rochester Park
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm (Lunch), 6pm – 10:30pm (Dinner)

Other Crab Entries
Peach Blossom (Marina Mandarin)
Putien (City Square Mall)
Mellben (Pasir Ris)

Royal China – Tiffany Blue Dim Sum Restaurant

By , February 5, 2009



When asked where the best dim sum place in Singapore is, my ex-colleague Laura immediately said “Royal China”.

I must confess I haven’t heard of this place before this, and quietly imagined it to be a push-trolley noisy and boisterous restaurant along the likes of Red Star and Yum Cha. I heart that type of dim sum restaurant charm, full of zip with Cantonese sprouting aunties. Nevermind the bad service.

When we were told to meet at Raffles Hotel, that signaled it was more than meets the eye. And little did we know that this dim sum place hailed from all the way from London, not even China or Hong Kong.

Continue reading 'Royal China – Tiffany Blue Dim Sum Restaurant'»

Pen Cai 盆菜– A Basin of Goodies

By , January 12, 2009

It is only in recent years that 盆菜 Pen Cai has become a ‘staple’ during the Chinese New Year period in Singapore. And it wasn’t even a traditional CNY dish to begin with!

It was said that Pen Cai (Poon Choi) was invented when Mongol troops invaded Song China. To feed the fleeing Emperor who escaped to Guangdong, the locals collected all their best food available. After cooking it, they put it in wooden washing basins as there wasn’t a bowl big enough for the army, coiling the term ‘pen cai’ (vegetables in a basin).

Most would attribute the popularity of the dish to the Hakkas, who contributed root vegetables like yam and tapioca to the dish.

As to what are the actual ingredients that go into it, there are really no hard and fast rules. Almost anything goes! The Cantonese are known to serve the basin with expensive seafood like abalone, scallops, dried oysters, mushrooms, duck, chicken meat and ham. Other versions could include ginseng, dried eel, fish maw, prawns and beancurd.

The main difficulty is not in cooking, but presenting. Every ingredient has to be layered and stacked up properly. Chicken and duck meat are usually placed on the top, implying that birds return to the nests. Though those who know would reach for the bottom where the gravy trickles over the ingredients.

Pen Cai is associated to events that unites the entire community. It is a symbol of cohesion, such that everybody who eats from the common pot are equals, therefore making it a popular dish during the New Year.

And the best thing is, you can eat it over a few days. Sometimes the more you simmer it, the tastier it becomes as the different ingredients blend together absorbing the rich flavours.

Chinese restaurants such as Crystal Jade, Wan Hao, Min Jiang, Lingzhi Vegetarian Restaurant and Zi Ran Seafood Restaurant serve reasonably good Pen Cai with a rough estimate of the price ranging between $200 and $300.

Tell me which is your favourite!

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