Driven by marketing hype and foreign talent, Chinese restaurants, especially, has been giving our local food establishments a very bad name. With the exception of maybe Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure, I tend to avoid most restaurants these days.
The reason I am griping about our sorry state of Chinese fine dining, is despite all this negativity, I was pleasantly surprised to find that deep within a HDB estate, there is actually a place that serves an amazing array of delicious dim sum at a very affordable price.
This place is Lai Kee Pau, which happens to be in the same coffeeshop at the muah chee I raved about a couple of weeks back.
There is always a perpetual queue here, and as told to me by my foodie buddy, they have also other branches elsewhere.
The key thing is that the owners here make all their dim sum in-house, and it is always fresh and yet, they have managed to keep the prices low.
The siew mai here almost tops Uncle Kun's version at Toa Payoh. For now, I will have to call it a tie. Here, they were smaller, but the skin was perfectly done, and the true test was that it did not stick to the bottom of the plate.
The pork meat was beautifully seasoned and the textures were absolutely love, and just enough of a fat content to bind everything together. For my money, it bested even the best siew mai found in fine dining restaurants.
|Lor Mai Gai|
The glutinous rice here may have looked somewhat ordinary, but it was certainly a cut above the average ones you find in most dim sum places. The rice itself was sufficiently sticky and tender, and the fillings were again well seasoned to bring a nice balance of flavors.
This one, however, still lost out to Uncle Kun's amazingly well made glutinous rice, but for its price, this was an incredible value for money lor mai gai.
|Steamed Chicken with Black Bean|
I usually find this dim sum dish in most places to be over cooked and hard, but here, it was surprisingly tender and the meat almost melted in my mouth without much resistance.
The black bean garnish was simple yet highly appropriate and it did not feel heavy handed at all. For such a simple dim sum plate, the subtleness of its flavors really came through very well.
|Dua Pow/Big Bun|
You can find this sort of gigantic buns in other places like Jalan Besar, but I am betting you will not find it any cheaper than here. More importantly, this was a very well made bun from top to bottom.
The skin was not too thick and yet had a nice bite. The fillings were generous with large chunks of meat and again, the seasoning was just about perfect without going overboard. It was one lovely bun.
|Wide Assortment of Dim Sum|
Besides the ones that I have mentioned, there is really a wide variety of other wonderful dim sum dishes at a fantastic low price.
Although the location in Bedok is not that easy to find, it is definitely worth the trip here to savor beautiful dim sum that are equally beautifully priced.
The next time you have a craving for dim sum, give the expensive restaurants a miss and head out here instead. Less hype and more value.
Lai Kee Pau
Block 69 Bedok South Ave 3