17 AFFORDABLE Dim Sum in Singapore- The ONLY Guide You Need
Hunting down affordable (max. $20/pax) dim sum in Singapore was an exciting experience. I went to SO MANY dim sum spots! I was disappointed by some but surprised by others. Trust me, this is the only guide you need if you’re craving for decent dim sum in Singapore that won’t break the bank!
- Tim Ho Wan
- Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
- 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi 揾到食
- Victor’s Kitchen
- Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum
- Dim Sum Haus
- Kuai San Dian Xin
- Lai Lee Kitchen
- Shi Wei Xian Hong Kong Dim Sum
- Mongkok Dim Sum
- Hong Kong Mong Kok Tim Sum
- Kowloon Hong Kong Dim Sum
- Ho Yun (Hong Kong) Tim Sum
- Legendary Hong Kong
- East Bistro
- Xiao Chen Handmade Bao Dian
- Johore Ye Zhi Mei Handmade Dim Sum
First up, Tim Ho Wan! I still remember having to queue for at least an hour when it first came to Singapore. I’m sure you are familiar with its classic Baked BBQ Pork Bun. Most of its steamed and fried dim sums are above average. I actually wished that Tim Ho Wan will bring back its fried prawn dumplings though. I wonder why they were discontinued because it was one of the better ones around.
Swee Choon is very popular with supper-goers. Some think its the best dim sum place ever, but others think that it is pricey and that there’s better dim sum out there. While I don’t think it’s the best, it’s definitely a place I’ll go to if I’m craving for dim sum after 10pm. Swee Choon also has unique dishes that can’t be found in most dim sum eateries. Examples include Spicy & Sour Soup La Mian, Smoked Duck Breast w/Black Pepper, Prawn & Banana Fritter and Drunken Chicken in Shao Xing Wine.
Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
Address: 183-191 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882
Phone: 6225 7788
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: 11am to 2:30pm, 6pm to 6am daily. 10am to 2:30pm, 6pm to 6am on Sundays and Public Holidays. Closed on Tuesdays.
Many know 126 as a supper spot. But if you can make it, go during dinner time to try its “dinner-only” menu. The White Pepper Crab Bee Hoon is one of the must-tries! I love the fried items, as well as porridge! The Geylang outlet used to serve porridge in an individual claypot, so it was super shiok to have my favourite duck porridge still bubbling throughout my meal. Ever since 126 opened a second outlet in Boon Keng, I started patronising the Boon Keng outlet because it is less crowded (just that it is not open for 24 hours). 126 has really interesting and funny names for some of its dishes, like 网球 which translates to “Tennis” in English, but it actually is fried meat nuggets. All in all, 126 is my favourite go-to dim sum place for fried dim sums. I highly recommend the Fried Scallop Roll and Fried Beancurd Roll.
The fluffy Flowing Custard Buns have a core of buttery sugary custard which is armed with a strong hint of salted egg yolk. I also like the H.K. Summer Ice Tea as it’s served the way milk tea is usually served in Hong Kong — chilled in an ice bath so that the drink is kept undiluted. Victor’s Kitchen will score higher points if the quality of its steamed dim sums were more consistent.
Address: There are two outlets islandwide, so refer to the website for more details.
Mobile: 9838 2851
Yi Dian Xin does most of its dim sums really well, despite it’s relatively low price. Just look at the Crystal Chives Dumplings. Crystal chives dumplings are not available in most dim sum places because of how difficult it is to make. But here at Yi Dian Xin, the almost-transparent skin was thick, yet soft and delicate, at the same time. You can’t deny that this masterpiece requires an expert to craft! Other items that I will recommend are Steamed BBQ Pork Pau, Signature Salted Egg Custard Pau, and Steamed Carrot Cake.
Dim Sum Haus is an air-conditioned eatery that offers each dim sum at less than $5. In addition, their menu is extensive! Must-tries include Steamed Shrimp Dumpling “Har Gao” and Steamed Charcoal Chicken & Shrimp Dumpling!
A die-die-must-try is the Steamed Crispy Rice Roll with Shrimp! The huge shrimps are first fried before being wrapped in thin rice rolls! The contrast between the smooth rice rolls and crispy prawns made this dish the star of Dim Sum Haus! As for HK-style roast meats, go for the char siew!
Located at Lakeside, most people will mistake this as the 2nd branch of the 24/7 “Kuai San Dian Xin” at Woodlands. It isn’t but it doesn’t really matter to me because everything is $1.30 here! The staff will heat up the steamed dishes upon order while the fried dim sums are kept crispy and warm. You can have AS MUCH dim sum as you want here at Kuai San Dian Xin and you won’t burn a hole in your pocket!
Kuai San Dian Xin
Address: 346A Kang Ching Road, #01-01, Singapore 611346
Opening Hours: 6am to 10pm daily.
Lai Kee has multiple stalls in Singapore, but its dim sum is not fantastic. However, if you’re looking for unique and special dim sum that can’t be found elsewhere, Lai Kee is the place to go! An example is the “Ji Guo” Pau which resembled a traditional Lor Mai Kai encased in a Pau. It even has an unagi sushi-like dim sum which is cool!
Lai Kee Kitchen
Address: There are multiple outlets islandwide. Unfortunately, it does not have any website/Facebook.
Mobile: 8128 9970
Have you heard of any dim sum place that operates only on weekends? Shi Wei Xian Hong Kong Dim Sum does just that! They make it seem like they are busy hand-making all the dim sums on weekdays so that they can cater to the huge demand every Saturday and Sunday. One thing you MUST order from Shi Wei Xian is the Fried Yam Puff and Ham Sui Gok (Fried glutinous rice dumpling with pork and shrimp filling). Both are really good and better than the ones from some restaurants even. Sometimes, they have “special dim sums” of the week such as Quail Egg Dumpling and Spinach Siew Mai, so remember to ask them about it when you’re there!
Shi Wei Xian Hong Kong Dim Sum
Address: 119 Aljunied Ave 2, #01-06, Singapore 380119
Mobile: 8111 4950, 8322 6923
Opening Hours: 7am to 5pm on Weekends only.
Mongkok Dim Sum has 3 outlets, but only the Geylang outlet is open 24/7. Its Pan-fried Carrot Cake is to die for! The fragrant carrot cake was lightly charred, and held a slight crisp, while the white radish within was perfectly soft! Consider its appetisers (Cucumber Salad with Century Egg) and Tze char dishes (Kong Pao Frogs) too! They have a really wide selection so you can have Mongkok Dim Sum any time of the day!
With only 6 items ($2.30 each) on its menu, Hong Kong Mong Kok Tim Sum must be doing something right to have been around for 16 years. Passionate about dim sum, Mr Chi Shu Kei makes all of the items in his humble stall by hand. Go for the Har Gau (usually sold out the fastest) and fluffy Char Siew Pao!
Hong Kong Mong Kok Tim Sum
Address: 335 Smith St, #02-097, Singapore 050335
Mobile: 9735 6312
Opening Hours: 11am to 5pm daily. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Kow Loon Hong Kong Dim Sum serves more than 50 different handmade Hong Kong and Shanghai Dim Sum. It takes up 2 stall units in the coffeeshop of Blk 151 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5. One stall handles orders and cashiering, while the other stall functions as the kitchen. Usually, Beancurd Skin Roll is either deep-fried or steamed, but here, it is deep-fried, and then steamed! It’s definitely worth a try. Also, don’t belittle the Century Egg and Pork Congee which is flavoursome.
Helmed by a Hong Konger, Ho Yun sends out humble dim sum which will bring you back to Hong Kong! Ho Yun offers dim sum rice bowls ($3.20 each), such as pork spare ribs with rice, in Hong Kong-style metal bowls. Fried items costs $0.90 each, and 4 pieces go for $3.50. One thing you must not miss is its flavourful Century Egg with Lean Pork Porridge. It was thick and had the right gooeyness. The crispy crackers made the whole dish even more irresistible! The Pork Spare Ribs in black bean sauce was above average too!
Ho Yun (Hong Kong) Tim Sum
Address: 419 Tampines Street 41, #01-80, Singapore 520419
Opening Hours: 07:30am to 07:30pm daily.
The menu has over 300 dishes and the kitchen is helmed by five accomplished Master Chefs, each with their own specialty in Hong Kong cuisine that spans across five themes – Roasted Meats, Noodles and Congee, Dim Sum and Bakery. A hot-seller is the Baked BBQ Pork Buns which are usually the first to be sold out! Sauteed Turnip Cake with XO Sauce is also worth a try. The Legendary Hong Kong house specialty of “Roasted London Duck” (明炉烧伦敦鸭) is undisputedly the best-seller amongst the roasted meats, For stir-fried dishes, go for the Braised Beef Brisket, Tendon & Tripe and Braised Assorted Vegetables with Preserved Taro Sauce in Clay Pot! Those two are legendary!
Legendary Hong Kong
Address: 63 Jurong West Central 3, #03-80 Jurong Point 2 Shopping Centre, Singapore 648331
Phone: 6794 1335
Opening Hours: Weekdays: 11am to 10pm. Weekends and Public Holidays: 10am to 10pm
Chef Tony Wong, who has over 2 decades of experience as the former head chef of Lei Garden Singapore, specialises in Hong Kong Tim Sum and Cantonese Dishes. The Chef’s Speciality “Pao Fan” was truly one-of-a-kind — also the dish which drove East Bistro to fame.
The “mushroom” char siew bao which looked like two oversized Shitake mushrooms were extremely soft and fluffy, unlike any other char siew bao you might find in Singapore. To cater to local tastebuds, they have classic tze char dishes such as Har Cheong Gai, Cereal Prawn and Red Garoupa Steamboat. Last but not least, I have to mention that I’m impressed by the warm hospitality provided!
Address: There are two outlets islandwide, so refer to its website and Facebook for more details.
Email Address: [email protected]
Most dim sum stalls that are situated in coffee shops serve items that is mass-produced in factories. But not Xiao Chen Handmade Bao Dian in Geylang Bahru. The stall has its items all handmade from scratch by a Malaysian cook daily. Most of the items are priced at $1.90 even though the boss uses only fresh meat (no frozen meat please) to make his dim sum.
Xiao Chen Handmade Bao Dian
Address: 68 Geylang Bahru, Singapore 330068
Opening Hours: 7am to 8pm, closed on alternate Wednesdays
During the 1990s, Johore Ye Zhi Mei Handmade Dim Sum rose to fame in Malaysia because of its jumbo-size pau. As huge as a soup bowl, the pau is filled with pork, chicken, hard-boiled egg, mushrooms and Chinese sausage. Slightly on the sweeter side, it is juicy and the skin is so soft even though the weight of this pau is 500g! Johore Ye Zhi Mei Handmade Dim Sum offers glutinous rice with chicken, steamed rice rolls and many other items too!
Johore Ye Zhi Mei Handmade Bao
Address: 208 Jln Besar, Singapore 208894
Phone: 6294 2210
Opening Hours: 24 hours. Closed on Mondays.
Gosh, it’s a long list, isn’t it? If you think I’ve missed out any stall that deserves a spot in this guide, let me know! Now that I’m done writing this list, I have the urge to return to some of these places to indulge in a dim sum feast!
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.
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