paradise pavilion, town

immensely enjoyable and very good dimsum at the horribly confusing marina bay link mall. I’ve jumpstarted this post and pushed it all the way to the front of the queue because it was, for one, a fantastic lunch – and the best dimsum meal I’ve had in a while – and second, this was a family luncheon for new year’s eve.

this is almost definitely going to be a long post, but in short, the food was great – classics done very well, and just enough twists here and there to show off the skill of the kitchen.

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yumcha, serangoon

yumcha (1) yumcha (2)

decent chinese in the serangoon country club. I mean to start as I intend to go on, and I think dimsum is a good introduction to life back home. inexpensive and decent dimsum is something london lacks, especially in the cheap department, and is also something I missed incredibly (but of course london has great dimsum, like at yauatcha).

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yauatcha, london


relatively expensive decent dimsum in soho. this is my second time at yauatcha in my 3 years here, and the food was as good as ever, though service was a let down. (our waiter was offensive, aggressive and completely unpleasant but the food was alright and so I didn’t raise the point, but it definitely was not a michelin-deserving experience.

the dimsum falls under the ‘fusion-ish’ umbrella – but is executed very well. the food is tasty and sufficiently tasty though not completely authentic, and I think this is possibly what not-completely-unknowing westerners would assume dimsum is. I did enjoy myself though.

out of what we ordered, the jasmine pork ribs are the best – reminiscent of barbecued pork ribs with its sticky glaze and tender meat, they were meaty and very good. the prawn-beancurd cheung fun was also very good, and I remembered it from my first visit here. the coconut charlotte was AMAZING. amazing with the accompanying mango sorbet, and it was light and refreshing – but rich enough so my sweet tooth was satisfied.

what wasn’t good were the rice-paper-prawn-mango roll, which was a slightly greasy oil-tasting crispy outer covering a gooey mayo-ey filling. I wouldn’t order this again.

go upstairs to admire the cakes and macaroons before you leave – I’ve been told the macaroons are good. come here for a lunch with friends, where it’s a lot more casual and less business-ish stifling than hakkasan.

Yauatcha on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

princess garden at mayfair, london


average dimsum near bond street, but prompt and professional service warrants a return, especially for occasion-eating.

this is the first of my lunar new year meals, and dimsum is always a good start to things. I came here instead of pearl liang which to me is standard decent london dimsum for a change, and no regrets here.

we had an assortment of standard dimsum, all rather typical and not quite outstanding. it was good enough to facilitate a good meal between friends, but on its own wouldn’t warrant a special return though I certainly wouldn’t say no to repeat visits.

this is in large part to the service. we were also celebrating a birthday, and the waiters very graciously brought our cake (brought from home) on a silver cake platter to the table with a lighted candle, as well as provided us with plates, clean forks, cake servers and a knife without hurrying us about it. we also requested, and were given, plastic boxes to bring the remaining cake back. I wouldn’t classify the service as particularly attentive, but they are prompt when you let them know what you need, and what else could you ask for?

good for entertaining, food that facilitates talking and prompt service, all in a posh-ish environ (rather expected given its classy locale).

Princess Garden on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

chaohao restaurant, guangzhou


also known as 潮濠酒家. located at 4F, Telecommunications Plaza, Zhongshan
Road II, or 广州市中山二路18号电信广场3 / 4楼.

I’ve saved the best for last, and this is it. chaohao has a very high standard, which remains consistent (we came here based on my family’s past visit two years ago, and apparently it remains as good as ever). service is friendly and knowledgeable, prompt and attentive – you really couldn’t wish for more. they even tell off patrons who decide to light up in the non-smoking (this doesn’t really count for much in china) hall, which made my dining experience all the better.

our lunchtime visit meant we had the chance to try the dimsum – their custard buns are a must-try; if you have never had the joy of a salted-egg-yolk custard bun, then you have never truly had dimsum. dumplings are as good as you’d expect in a restaurant like this one – substantial fillings and good wrappers.

we had two meals here, and everything we had was good. like a good chinese restaurant many of the best dishes aren’t on the menu and can I suggest you ask for the oyster porridge – essentially baby oysters boiled with rice until the porridge comes to you with a slightly green tinge from them. I don’t even like oysters but I could definitely appreciate the depth of taste. the fried prawn fritters (I don’t really remember the name but the photo is there above and on the menu) were also very good. they were a little oily, but they were lovely balls of prawn surrounded by squid paste and coated with large breadcrumbs.

the restaurant is large, almost to the extent that it scares you while you wait that they might not be able to cope with the numbers. you realise soon upon seating though that they do have a system in place, no matter how chaotic it all seems – our teapots were always filled, and we were never left waiting long for a dish.

reservations recommended for a good meal.