Where to get sum when you want dimsum

We love dimsum and so does the rest of Singapore. While restaurants here don't always offer the authentic Hong Kong style experience, complete with traditional carts loaded up with delicious "Asian tapas" that you can flag down as they pass you by, Singapore does have a good variety of restaurants for your dimsum fix. From casual dining places like 126 to ubiquitous dimsum buffets at upscale hotel restaurants, there really is something for everyone.
 

126 Dim Sum




It gets no prizes for atmosphere, but late-night revelers swear by this Hong Kong-style dimsum restaurant for its delish midnight munchies like pork belly buns, locally-inspired mantou with chilli crab sauce. No frills-fare at a value-for-money price point is what 126 is. Located in Geylang, land of late-night eateries, among glaring neon lights and plastic chairs, it's a solid option. 126 Sims Ave., 6746-4757.
 

Cherry Garden




Easily one of the best and most popular classic Chinese restaurants in town, this elegant fine dining establishment serves Cantonese cuisine presented with an artistic touch. Noteworthy dishes from their weekend dimsum buffet lunches include the steamed custard buns with yam and juicy xiao long baos. 5/F Marina Square Mandarin Oriental Singapore 5 Raffles Ave., 6885-3550.
 

Clifford Pier




Within a chic colonial setting, Clifford Pier at The Fullerton Bay Hotel offers its Heritage Dim Sum Brunch. Setting the atmosphere and backdrop are live hawker stalls and traditional metal push trolleys, a nod to the robust Asian street food heritage. Go crazy on classic favorites like steamed siew mai with tobiko roe, steamed pork ribs in fermented black bean sauce, and steamed custard buns served piping hot to your table. The cherry on top is the views of the glamorous Marina Bay waterfront. 80 Collyer Quay, 6333-8388.
 

East Ocean



One distinguished stalwart of dimsum is East Ocean that has been in operation since 1992. Fully embracing the traditional Teochew-style Cantonese cuisine, they consistently serve up honest-to-goodness dimsum. At East Ocean, it is salted egg yolk buns, char siew sou, roasted polo char siew buns and dainty egg tarts galore. Oh, also try their signature claypot crab glass noodles, that is slightly umami and packed with flavor. 391 Orchard Rd, 6235-9088.
 

Empress


Located in the iconic Asian Civilisations Museum, Empress is a sharp, casual restaurant, a great option for when you want to dine out but also keep it casual. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out into Boat Quay and moulded ceilings with tasteful dark wooden panels micmic a colonial charm. You can choose to dine at the alfresco by the Singapore River and Empress’s dedicated menu also includes ample vegetarian and vegan options available at both dinner and lunch, including a pumpkin broth, fried chee cheong fun, sweet and sour vegetarian “char siew”, alongside indulgent classics like steamed X.O. chicken feet, black bean sauce spare ribs, and everyone’s favorite steamed molten custard bun. You also get to drink your fill if you opt for the free-flow champagne dimsum brunch. 1 Empress Pl, 6776-0777.


Hai Tien Lo




It’s an all-you-can-eat affair during the buffet on weekends so stuff your face with the delightful handcrafted dimsum. Along with the various Cantonese favourites like the steamed barbecue pork buns, stir-fried carrot cake in XO chilli sauce and the deep-fried whitebait with oat flakes, the buffet menu now features exquisite additions like the double-boiled mini “Buddha jumps over the wall” with black truffles and king prawn poached in supreme stock. 3/F Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Blvd., 6826-8240. 


Hua Ting


If you’ve heard of Hua Ting you would have heard of its legendary Baked Mango Chicken Tartlet that manages to be both buttery and light while oozing with zesty goodness. This is another stalwart of Cantonese dining which has won multiple awards for its food. After a revamp last year, the restaurant now caters to intimate gatherings with its semi-private dining areas where diners can feast on the deep fried scallop pastry and the steamed salted egg custard bun. Sip on a curated selection of premium teas including the 2007 Imperial Pu-Erh. 442 Orchard Rd, 6739-6666.


Jade




For the past decade, Jade restaurant at Fullerton has consistently offered a solid menu of Singaporean Cantonese-style dimsum alongside a sophisticated ambience with its signature modern Chinoiserie interiors. After a thoughtful revamp, the current gourmet menu proffers an excellent set of fusion dimsum that is both classic and contemporary, with innovation as the watchword. Exciting creations by masterchef Leong include Wagyu Beef Puffs, Lobster Porridge and Pistachio Muah Chee, green tea custard buns.  80 Collyer Quay, 6333-8388.
 

Min Jiang




Min Jiang should be your go-to place for when you have promised guests a real Chinese dining experience. For the one at Goodwood Park Hotel, interiors stick to the streamlined colonial aesthetic. Whilst classics are delightful, the menu also include a more unique mushroom bun, with lotus seed paste and pine nuts as well as the deep fried yam puff with scallop. The branch at One-North serves up dimsum ala carte on weekends. 22 Scotts Rd, 6730-1704.
 

Mitzo




In place of the traditional red-cushioned chairs with gold trimmings, dine in a casual lounge-like setting at Mitzo—but you’ll be in good hands of Chef Nicky, who was the cornerstone of Michelin-starred Hakkasan in New York City. Using only quality ingredients, Mitzo has truly reinvented the Chinese dining experience. Chef Nicky’s gourmet menu features dainty, exquisite dimsum, that seem more like art pieces. Be sure to check out the royal shrimp dumpling topped with black caviar, wild mushroom truffle bun, cheese escargot puff and lemongrass baked honey pork ribs. 270 Orchard Rd, 6603-8855.
 

Sum Yi Tai




A visit to Sum Yi Tai (Cantonese for third wife) with its neon signage and red hues is a journey back in time. Sum Yi Tai offers it own take on nostalgia, housed in a precious conservation shophouse with three different concepts spanning over three storeys decked out in chandeliers and silk wallpapers. There’s the tapas bar, a lounge and of course, the indispensable rooftop bar. For more an experiential visit, try the Beef Hor Fun set ablaze with wok hei, all your favorite roasts meats and the Portugese Style Pork ribs. At Sum Yi Tai, bar bites include their signature XO carrot cake, crystal dumplings, fried wanton and the likes. 25 Boon Tat St, 6221-3665.
 

Swee Choon




The inexpensive, cheerful (and rather spacious) joint carries both Hong Kong- and Shanghai-style dimsum, with an extensive menu of siew mai, har kow and the famous Swee Choon big pau. On the Shanghainese front, there’s chive pork dumplings and xiao long bao. It’s always mobbed, but their surprisingly organized queuing system makes it all quite manageable. We love getting a table in the concrete backyard. 191 Jalan Besar, 6225-7788.
 

Tim Ho Wan




Housed in a relaxed 100-seat space is the first overseas outpost of this famed eatery, care of chef Mak Kwai Pui. Highlights not to be missed include pan-fried carrot cake, vermicelli roll with pig’s liver and Mak’s signature baked buns with BBQ pork—a delicious crispy-topped boluo (pineapple) bun stuffed with char siew. For those with a sweet tooth, the fluffy steamed egg cake and tonic medlar and osmanthus jelly should do the trick. #01-29A Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Rd., 6251-2000.
 

Yan Ting


It's no wonder that the dining hall at Yan Ting, replete with stained glass panels, impeccably attentive staff, draping chandeliers and plush booths (perfect for canoodling), is as luxurious it gets. The same note of decadence is carried through in its menu which fetaures double-boiled fish maw soup, boston lobster wok-based with XO sauce, shrimp and pork dumplings with black truffles. Purists will be pleased to see the traditional braised pig trotter in vinegar on the menu. 1/F The St Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd., 6506-6887.