Every Singaporean knows of Dim Sum, flavourful snacks originating from Hong Kong.
Traditionally eaten during tea-time, a Dim Sum meal typically consists of multiple types of dumplings, steamed buns, and rice noodle rolls. Portions are often small and made for sharing, so patrons usually order many dishes from the menu.
While some of the more famous Dim Sum eateries and franchises charge an exorbitant fee for their popular dishes, the best Dim Sum dishes around isn’t necessarily the most expensive.
Here are 5 great places to find cheap and fantastic Dim Sum dishes, one for each famous dish.
1.Liu Sha Bao: Yi Dian Xin
Located within a 5 minute walk from Kovan MRT, this simple-looking coffee shop houses one of the most affordable Liu Sha Bao (salted custard egg yolk bun) in Singapore.
The Liu Sha Bao can be considered one of the most common guilty pleasures among Singaporeans. The feeling of oozing salted egg yolk lava rolling around your tongue makes you crave for more. This dish is one of the dishes in Dim Sum eateries that will fill your whole mouth with flavour, and you wouldn’t want to wait before picking up the next one.
Liu Sha Bao at Yi Dian Xin go for $3.80 for 3 pieces.
Besides the Liu Sha Bao, Yi Dian Xin also offers the usual fare of steamed and fried Dim Sum dishes, all going for less than $4.
The eatery also does not charge additional GST and service charge for its patrons, saving you another big portion of your wallet.
Address: 1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534750
Nearest MRT: Kovan
7am to 6pm daily.
Closed on alternate Tuesdays.
2.Xiao Long Bao: Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Nested in the busy Chinatown Complex Food Centre is a busy stall hawking the Dim Sum dish bursting with savoury meat and aromatic soup: Xiao Long Bao.
The iconic soup dumplings recently became infamous throughout the world when TimeOut London posted a video showing Xiao Long Bao being savagely broken.
Traditionally, Xiao Long Bao are meant to be placed on a tablespoon. Then, the patron would bite into the dumpling to allow the soup to ooze out the aromatic flavour.
Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao offers affordable Xiao Long Bao (10 for $6) filled with juicy meat and sweet soup. Wrapped with smooth, ultra-thin skin wrapping, the Xiao Long Bao can be paired with the provided black vinegar and pickled ginger for your sinful enjoyment.
Expect to wait at this hawker stall, as the Xiao Long Bao are freshly steamed before serving.
Besides Xiao Long Bao, the stall also serves other noodle dishes like the Wonton Soup in Hot and Spicy Sauce.
Address: #02-135 Chinatown Complex Food Centre, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335
Nearest MRT: Chinatown
11.30am to 9pm daily.
Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Telephone number: +65 9743 5287
3.Chee Cheong Fun: Pin Wei Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun
Old-school, Hong Kong style Chee Cheong Fun is a rare find in Singapore. Most Chee Cheong Fun dishes often include sweet sauce and chili to complement the stringy rice flour roll and succulent pork meat, but the one at Pin Wei goes back to basics: the pure rice flour roll with light soya sauce ($2).
Customers can choose additional toppings for a small increase in price. Char siew Chee Cheong Fun goes for $2.50, and the one with fresh prawns, traditionally known as Har Cheong fun, goes for $3.50.
The stall is also located in the town area, which makes it much more accessible for working adults to fulfill a quick Chee Cheong fun lunch craving.
Address: Pek Kio Market And Food Court Centre #01-25, 41A Cambridge Road Singapore 211041
Nearest MRT: Farrer Park
Operating hours: 6.30am to 1.30pm daily
4.Har Gow: Victor’s Kitchen
While famed for their own Liu Sha Bao, one of the other stars at Victor’s Kitchen is Victor’s King Prawn Dumpling ($5), their own version of the Har Gow (prawn dumpling).
Traditionally, Har Gow presents itself as translucent rice flour skins encompassing a light shrimp filling. Each dumpling is usually the size of a large lollipop. Victor’s Kitchen’s special King Prawn Dumpling is more than double of the usual size, bursting at its seam with prawn stuffing.
Pair this king-worthy treat with the Queen Size Siew Mai ($4.50), an enlarged version of the popular steamed meat dumpling. Having both thrones of Dim Sum in one sitting can only be considered sinful.
Address: #01-49 Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street, 189652
Nearest MRT: Rochor/Bugis
Operating hours: 10.30am to 8pm daily
Telephone number: +65 9838 2851
5.Char Siew Bao: Tanjong Rhu Bao and Confectionary
70-cent bites of joy are served in this famed bakery near the National Stadium. The very small Bao (steamed bun), stuffed with pork fat and hoisin sauce, is the pride and joy of the bakery. The savoury little explosions are ready to entangle you in its little web of flavour.
Besides the cute take-away Char Siew Bao, the restaurant is also famous for its Fan Choy, glutinous rice topped with the same red pork you find in the little bun.
Address: Blk 7, Jalan Batu #01-113, Singapore 431007
Nearest MRT: Stadium
Operating hours: 12.30pm to 8pm daily
Telephone number: +65 6348 3817
Bonus!! 6. Late-night Dim Sum: Wan Tou Sek
It is so hard to discuss Dim Sum without bringing Wan Tou Sek, which is the number 126 in Cantonese, into the conversation.
This Dim Sum joint is open 24/7, which makes it one of the best places to fulfill a midnight Dim Sum craving.
The Hong Kong eatery wannabe serves more than just the usual Dim Sum fare. It also serves congee, and its most famous dish, the Thai-style Crab Bee Hoon ($15).
Located a few bus stops from Kallang MRT station, the place is quaint, and often packed. There is limited spacing for seated sometimes, and you might have to squeeze in order to enjoy their Dim Sum.
But trust this long-time fan, it’s all worth it.
Address: 126 Sims Ave, Singapore 387449
Nearest MRT: Kallang
Operating hours: 24 hours daily, closed on Tuesday
Telephone number: +65 6746 4757