7 Good Ol’ Hawker Dim Sum (Under $3 on Average)
We don’t always have to break the bank for some good handmade Dim Sum, do we? Sometimes, all we wanna do is chill with our family and friends over some good old hawker dim sum, and we’ve finally hunted down several pocket-friendly handmade dim sum stalls to let you know if they’re worth trying. However, adjust your expectations, as we won’t be taking you on a journey through any hotels or restaurants.
Kowloon Hong Kong Dim Sum (3 dishes for $12)
Originally located at Macpherson many years ago, this Dim Sum stall has now moved to Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, which is the branch most of their fans are familiar with. We travelled to their second branch in Kovan to try out some of their specialities. We would highly recommend their Salted Egg Custard Buns ($3.80 for 3) – creamy, luscious egg yolk exploding from the soft fluffy buns. I like my custards not too sweet, so this was definitely one of the better ones I have had. Their Deep Fried Prawn Dumplings ($3.20 for 3) is another item to look out for. Breaking apart the crispy skin reveals little succulent prawns. Whilst the filling of the Pan Fried Guo Tie ($6 for 5) was decent, the dumplings were lacking in the meat juices that we were looking forward to. Furthermore, the dumpling skin was too thick in our opinion. One thing we really appreciated was that the items are freshly cooked upon order, so be prepared to wait for about 5-10 minutes. We will definitely be back for some Kowloon Hong Kong Dim Sum if we’re in the vicinity.
Kowloon Hong Kong Dim Sum
Address: 210 Hougang Street 21, #01-261, Singapore 530210
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-9pm.
Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum (3 dishes for $9.10)
Yi Dian Xin is a regular hotspot for affordable Dim Sum, especially among residents living in the North East. They currently have only one branch at Upper Serangoon Road, but fret not if you are their distant neighbour. They will soon be expanding their business to Sembawang Hills Estate to offer their dim sum to a wider audience. The Yi Dian Xin Prawn Dumplings ($3.50 for 3) were decent but the translucent skin could have been thinner. In addition, the Rice Rolls with Char Siew ($3) were pretty decent as the rice rolls were soft and thin. However, the amount of sauce given was disappointing, causing some of the rice rolls to be slightly dry. Yi Dian Xin has ditched the usual pan-fried carrot cake, and is serving a Steamed Carrot Cake ($2.60) instead. The carrot cake was soft, moist and went well with the sauce. Out of the 3, we definitely enjoyed the Steamed Carrot Cake the most, but we can’t say the same for the other dishes.
Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum
Address: 1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534750
Opening Hours: Daily 7am-5pm. Closed on Tues.
126 Wen Dao Shi (3 dishes = $13.16)
126 Wan Dou Sek isn’t foreign to most of us, with this eatery being a favourite among supper goers who are looking for comfort food in the wee hours. Although it is situated in a more inaccessible location, it doesn’t deter the crowd from summing up their nights here. Plus, the air-conditioned eatery allows customers to dine in comfort. The King Sized Siew Mai ($4.80 for 4) was juicy and succulent, and inside awaits a fresh crunchy prawn. As the name suggests, it was slightly bigger than normal as well. A special mention goes to Deep Fried Char Siew Bao ($4.50 for 4), which was the winner at the table. Encased within a crispy golden brown exterior is a rich and savoury filling of pork. It was served piping hot, and thus, we enjoyed these mini balls even more. The Minced Meat Porridge was mediocre, and probably not worth your stomach space. We also added a little soy sauce to the dish, as it was on the bland side. 126 Wan Dou Sek has one of the largest list of items for you to choose from, and the pictures in the menu deem to be very helpful for first-timers.
126 Wen Dao Shi
Address: 126 Sims Avenue, Singapore 387449
Opening Hours: 24 hours Daily
Lai Kee Dim Sum (4 dishes = $9.90)
Although Lai Kee has opened up several branches scattered around the island with its focus being in the west, we felt that their dim sum was lacking relative to its counterparts. The Chee Cheong Fun with Prawns ($2.50) consisted of some rice rolls, which were firm and thick to our dismay. Although the chilli provided was fragrant, we would have loved our rice rolls to be softer. Even though the Siew Mai ($2.20 for 3) contained a generously sized scallop hidden within, the scallop was lacking in flavour and sweetness. The Har Gau ($2.20 for 3) had skins that were too thick for our liking, and the prawns were quite disappointing as well. The “Ji Guo” Pau ($3) resembled a traditional Lor Mai Kai enclosed in a Pau, which was an interesting combination. However, it might turn out to be a bit of a mouthful for some, especially since the Pau was a little sticky. Among all the dishes we tried, there was nothing that truly impressed us.
Lai Kee Dim Sum
Address: 126 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310126
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 6.30am-9.30pm.
Shi Wei Xian Hong Kong Dim Sum (3 dishes for $8)
We almost thought this stall wasn’t open as the coffeeshop looked very dim and only had a handful of people. Taking a closer look, we heaved a sigh of relief as they were still serving Dim Sum on a Saturday afternoon even though most of their neighbours were closed. Shi Wei Xian has quite a concise list of Dim Sum. However, the staff told us they had a Prawn Paste Fish Maw in Egg White ($2.80 for 3) dish which was off the menu. It was simply as what the name describes; it was an interesting item and we enjoyed it the most out of the 3 dishes. The Scallop Dumplings ($3.20) looked really appetizing and dainty but the skin turned out dry. The scallop and filling of the dumpling were pretty average. The Prawn Paste in Beancurd Roll ($2 for 2, $3 for 3) came with mayonnaise on the side, and it tasted decent. The staff, who attended to us, was very friendly and she made our meal more enjoyable.
Shi Wei Xian Hong Kong Dim Sum
Address: Blk 119 Aljunied Crescent, #01-06, Singapore 380119
Opening Hours: Sat-Sun 7am-5pm.
Hwa Nam Restaurant (3 Dishes = $6)
As you enter this eatery, you will notice the rustic charms that bring back memories of the 80s. It is no wonder that many head here for their traditional Dim Sum, especially since all their Dim Sum are priced at $2. Hwa Nam’s Har Gau did not disappoint; the translucent skin was thin enough and the prawn filling was fresh and crunchy. Their Siew Mai had a generous meaty filling and is worth a try. Different from the typical Chee Cheong Fun fillings of char siew or prawns, the owners have decided to use minced pork instead. It was a unique pairing, and the sauce went well with the rice rolls. Alongside their baskets of Dim Sum, they also serve up some good Tze Char items, Duck Porridge and Char Siew Rice. You should definitely check out this old school eatery if you’re looking for some bites in Upper Thomson.
Hwa Nam Restaurant
Address: 244 Upper Thomson Road, #01-210, Singapore 574369
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-11.45pm.
Xiao Chen Homemade Bao Dian (3 Dishes = $5.80)
Xiao Chen Homemade Bao Dian sells most of their basket of Dim Sum for $1.90 – one of the cheapest, if not cheapest in Singapore! It was opened by a Malaysian cook just this year. The Pork Ribs weren’t too tough like some we’ve tried; although the flavours weren’t rich, it was quite flavourful. They also have an unusual item – Seaweed Siew Mai, and well, we still prefer the old school Siew Mai as we felt the pairing did not match perfectly. The Prawn Chee Cheong Fun was decent, but does not warrant a wow. Furthermore, Xiao Chen has quite a few creations, such as Century Egg Dumplings and Ham Siew Mai, which we don’t usually see . We’re not sure if they will turn out to be hits or simply misses, but do try them if you’re curious and let us know how they fare.
Xiao Chen Homemade Bao Dian
Address: Blk 68 Kallang Bahru, Singapore 330068
Opening Hours: 7am to 8pm, closed on alternate Wednesdays
So, have you tried some of these eateries yourself or will you be heading out next weekend to explore these hawker Dim Sum places? We believe that this guide to Cantonese comfort food will come in useful when you need to please your tummies and wallets. After all, good things in life don’t always have to come with a heavy price tag, right?
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to these eateries. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!