Chinatown in Singapore holds a different vibe and facet to the rest of Singapore. Narrow alleyways criss-cross at various junctions leaving no end to the eclectic stretch of stalls, restaurants and coffee shops. Occasionally someone disappears round the corner as he makes his way up to the second floor of the shophouses.
One of the restaurants iconic to Singapore’s Chinatown is Yum Cha, which sits in the corner of Smith Street and Trengganu Street. Located at the upper floor of one of the shophouses, diners can slip into a more relaxed and comforting dining area, away from the hustle and bustle of the vendors below. Resembling a Chinese tea house, the interior assumed a modicum of design with marbled table, wooden chairs and traditional windows that serve as moveable partitions. Conversations across tables become a continuous buzz in the background. Waiters waltz in and out with plates and teapots in hands. Service is non-intrusive yet attentive, at least.
Everyone comes to Yum Cha for dim sum. Yum Cha has opened in that exact location in Chinatown since 2000. Besides regulars, you also see families, friends or colleagues bringing in others for meals. With Mother’s Day around the corner, there is no lack of choices from the menu. Between the period of 2nd to 13th May 2018, Yum Cha will be introducing new dim sum items, Mother’s Day specials and a seven-course Mother’s Day Set Menu.
|7-course Mother’s Day Set Menu
4 pax – $200
5 pax – $250
Trio Special Dim Sum
|Mother’s Day Dim Sum Special||玫瑰花馒头 Steamed Rose Floret Bun (3 pcs / $5.80)
水晶海鲜饺 Steamed Spinach and Seafood Dumpling (3 pcs / $5.80)
芋泥炸金鱼 Taro Gold Fish Dumpling (3 pcs / $5.80)
|New Dim Sum items||炸咸水饺 Fried Pork Dumpling (3 pcs / $4.00)
肉松葱油饼 Chinese Scallion Pancake ($3.80)
Dim sum at Yum Cha never fails to amaze me with their creative buns and dumplings both fried and steamed. One of the most photogenic masterpieces is the 芋泥炸金鱼 Taro Gold Fish Dumpling. These are adorably shaped with green peas ‘eyes’ and almond ‘ears’. The ‘tail’ comes from a huge prawn moulded within yam paste which forms its voluminous ‘body’, then fried till the surface is a crispy golden.
Forget flowers, the 玫瑰花馒头 Steamed Rose Floret Bun would make your mum happy with it’s colourful appearance and meaningful messages. With purple representing faithfulness and appreciation, yellow for remembrance and happiness, and pink for gratitude, these will surely work to prime your mum’s appetite before she indulges.
The 矿烧北京鸭雪梨 Peking Duck is a gustatory pleasure to the menu. Bite into the crispy thin skin and feel the caress of the soft fats on your tongue. If not, go traditional and have the skin wrapped with spring onions in pancakes.
While some restaurants’ shark fin soups are more restrained, Yum Cha works on a potent 盅仔翅 Shark’s Fin Soup brimming with ingredients, especially the shredded crab meats. The taste is well-balanced, neither too salty nor heavy on the tongue, while delivering a whack of mouthful wholesomeness.
The 鲍鱼蔬菜 Sliced Abalone with Vegetables, on the other hand, is buried underneath a gravy that could do with less salt. Abalones, which are the highlights of the dish, are decent and well-cooked without the frustrating chewiness.
The seafood journey doesn’t just end here. The following two courses include the 姜葱鱼片 Sliced Fish with Ginger & Spring Onion which boasts succulent fleshy white meats filled with the fragrance of the chopped onions, and X.O 酱海鲜炒饭 X.O Seafood Fried Rice mixed in with a little spice for that extra ooomph.
Dessert is the 杏仁茶汤圆 Almond Cream and Glutinous Rice Ball, making a classic appearance to round off the seven-course meal.
In conjunction to Mother’s Day, Yum Cha has also introduced new specials. Look forward to 炸咸水饺 Fried Pork Dumpling and the crowd-favourite 肉松葱油饼 Chinese Scallion Pancake with a crust that resembled flakey pastry.
Make it a bountiful meal with add-ons from the ala carte menu such as the 姜蓉松花蛋 Ginger Century Egg and 蒜泥白肉 Fragrant Pork Sliced w Crushed Garlic too.
I can’t remember my last visit to Yum Cha – probably quite long ago. Their cute dim sum has always appealed to me and I am glad that a recent visit has been warranted to enjoy their festive set and other creations representative of Yum Cha.
20 Trengganu Street (Off Temple Street)
#02-01, Singapore 058479
Tel: +65 6372 1717
Weekdays: 10.30am – 10.30pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: 9am – 10.30pm
20 Trengganu Street (Along Smith Street)
#01-01G, Singapore 058479
Tel: +65 6372 1717
Mon to Sun: 10.00am – 9.00pm
Tel: +65 6372 1717
#01-33, UE Bizhub East, Singapore 486017
Tel: +65 6789 1717
Mon to Sun: 10.30am – 3pm, 6pm -9pm
Public Holidays: 9.00am – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm
Closed from 3pm-6pm daily
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