Photo: Jin Shan Lou
For a dim sum buffet selection with premium ingredients
Walk through the oriental wooden doorway into this restaurant that has been designed to mimic a Chinese courtyard. Like its surroundings, Cherry Garden’s weekend dim sum buffet ($68++ per person) selection is mostly traditional, with a few new touches like the deep-fried escargot puff pastry ($5.80). What Cherry Garden excels at doing, is using fresh and premium ingredients to make the standard dim sum even more outstanding. The glazed kurobuta char siew bao (pork buns, three for $5.80) is probably the best char siew bao we’ve had, ever. We hear the waiting list for this restaurant can go up to a few weeks – best book now.
Book a table here | Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Level 5 | Dim sum serving hours: Sat & Sun 11am-1pm, 1.30pm-3.30pm
For a quality dim sum buffet in a colonial setting
Simple and sophisticated, this Chinese restaurant with colonial decor is great for fine-dining without being too formal. The popular dim sum buffet is available for weekend lunches only, and reservations are a must. The variety includes 22 dim sum items and a list of appetisers, mains, soups, noodle and congee dishes, and dessert. Some signature dim sum bites to order are the siew mai (steamed pork dumplings) topped with abalone, the pork-and-chives-stuffed guo tie (leaf-shaped dumplings) and the deep-fried cheese dumplings. However, the top draw here are the crumbly and decadent oven-baked egg tarts.
Book a table here | Address: 1 Fullerton Square, Ground Floor, Fullerton Hotel | Buffet hours: Sat & Sun first seating 11am-12.45pm; second seating 1pm-3pm | Price: $38++ per adult, $19++ per child. During the Chinese New Year month, the buffet is priced at $48++ per adult and $38++ per child, and includes a serving of yusheng per table.
Dim sum dining in Marina Bay Sands
Jin Shan Lou is great for people-watching – smack in the middle of Marina Bay Sands' hotel lobby, you can tuck into hearty Cantonese, Hunan and Sichuan fare while watching the world go by (plenty of tourist traffic here). The kitchen is helmed by award-winning chef Huang Ching Biao, whose dim sum menu includes winners such as the roasted pork cubes, deep-fried yam and Shanghai dumplings. These can be had in five- to six-course lunch sets, priced from $58. Opt to dine in one of the enclosed lantern rooms for a minimum spending of $600.
Book a table here | Address: 1 Bayfront Avenue, #L1-05 Marina Bay Sands | Opening hours: Daily lunch 11.30am-3pm; high tea 3pm-5pm
For elegant business lunches
Tucked away on the mezzanine level of the Grand Park City Hall is Park Palace. It serves authentic Cantonese fare in an elegant setting. The dim sum menu is available for lunch only and features staples such as har gow (steamed prawn dumplings, $2 per piece) and siew mai (steamed pork dumplings, $2 per piece), among others. The flavour-packed dim sum are light enough for quick business lunches, without compromising on taste. For a truly decadent treat (and perhaps to please your clients), try the Imperial suckling pig, roasted to golden-brown with lemongrass and herbs ($258). Make sure you order this a day in advance.
Book a table here | Address: 10 Coleman Street, Mezzanine Floor, Grand Park City Hall | Opening hours: Daily 11.30am-2.30pm
For dim sum bestsellers under one roof
Tung Lok Signatures at The Central in Clarke Quay features a "the best under one roof" menu and serves signature dishes from the various Tung Lok restaurants. The lunch-only dim sum menu has all the usual suspects, as well as a few must-tries. Indulge in the deep-fried lobster roll with black fungus and bacon ($4.80 for three) and the deep-fried crab meat rolls in spicy sauce ($4.80 for three). End on a sweet note with one (or many) of the popular mini egg tarts ($4.20 for three).
Book a table here | Address: 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #02-88 Central | Opening hours: Lunch 11.30am-3pm