Seth Lui's Food Blog: 126 Dim Sum
The thai-style fried crab bee hoon is really, really, really good. Full of garlic flavours that infuse into the noodles and crab so well.
A few other good items as well which you'll want to check out in my blog link above. Oh whatever you do, don't order the liu sha bao. It is a lie.
We came at about 4.30am starving from our mj session, but to our horror, many of the items we wanted we sold out. what made it worse was the attitude and the service of the staff. she rudely scuffed at us telling us what we already ordered was also sold out. when we insisted to leave, she said the food were already in the fryer and we could not go. Seriously, if any one in the east wants some good dim sum, just drive a little further and head to Swee choon! Worth the drive and so much yummier! someone should really do something about this.
'Wan dou sek' or printed on their shirt as 126, it is a very family-styled Char Chan Teng that serves dim sum. With a rather deceiving display shelf at the front of the store, I almost thought that it was just a pseudo Crystal Jade Bakery shop for people to eat on the go.
For more pictures, please visit us here.
Stepping into its actual premises, I was surprised to see how spacious inside (for a store that size) to be able to house about 15 tables easily. Luckily we were there during off peak hour, about 1pm and there were plenty of seats for us to choose from. Very similar to Swee Choon in terms of the service staff and ambience, though having alot more variety than Swee Choon.
Seeing the popular reviews on HGW, I thought this would be a must-try for trips to Geylang area. For just two persons, we ordered 7 dishes, a tad too much that we felt extremely full after.
Fried Prawn Dumplings (明虾饺) - one of their signature dishes recommended by the staff. Very crispy skin, packed with lots of solid filling inside. Could really taste prawns in it, though not very fresh prawns used. The skin that was used to wrap the dumpling and fried in was of the right thickness and gave an appropriate amount of chewiness to the dumpling. It was slightly over-fried which made it seem very greasy. Good thing is that it still tasted good even after being left there for some time, only difference between one that's freshly cooked and one that's left on the table for a while is perhaps the temperature!
Fried Fries with Prawn (薯条炸虾) - A very unique dish and the best one out of all those that we've tried. With prawn wrapped with potato strips, it gave a very different texture and taste to it. The fine potato strips were fried till golden brown on the outside, tasting like potato chips and once you sink your teeth into the entire piece, you could taste the soft tender prawn and sweetness of the potato strips bursting in your mouth! It was a great mix of flavours and well, for a potato lover like me, I absolutely loved it especially when you can see the real potato strips used!
Chee Cheong Fun - We ordered two of these, one prawn and another char siew. It wasn't impressive and perhaps one of the weirdest I've tried. With a paste-like sauce that tasted very savory, it masked the taste of the prawns and char siew, rendering the different fillings as just something for you to chew on. The sauce was unique and perhaps an acquired taste, seemed very similar to shrimp paste and it certainly didn't go well with me as I felt that it was too strong a flavour. The 'Fun' was also too thick though it gave the chewy texture hence the whole dish became very filling.
Xiao Long Bao - It didn't look exactly impressive at first and I was even complaining how there wasn't any soup within the XLB itself. Next thing I know, while tossing the whole thing into my mouth to get the full flavour of it, a part of the skin decided to come apart and I jolted with the shot of piping hot soup gushing down my throat in a split second! Such a love-hate relationship with XLBs, you gotta pop it in while it's hot to enjoy the shiok-ness of it, yet always scalding your tongue/throat with the soup. I was delightedly surprised by the tasty soup contained within this deceptive looking dumpling. It doesn't have the strong smell of pork and the soup was awesome (perhaps scarcity made it more cherished!) The skin was also of the right thickness and was chewy enough.
Har Gao - It wasn't an impressive rendition, a seemingly simple dish yet hard to perfect. The filling didn't have very fresh prawns and were full of impurities to make up the size I guess. The skin wasn't too bad, though it didn't gel well with the prawns and it became quite a chore eating it
Egg Tarts - Oh did I ever mention, egg tarts sold in such packaging while eating at the place itself is totally unacceptable! It came cold and soggy, and it doesn't deserved to be called an egg tart at all. There wasn't a slight hint of egg taste to it and the crust tasted more like bread instead. It was totally disappointing and well, regretted ordering it as an add-on to our order as it left us more dissatisfied after that!
Overall, I would say that it's not a place worth raving over. Good if you're not exactly particular and have got cravings for dim sum while around the area. One thing I would recommend would be the Fried Fries Prawn, they were probably better with novelty items rather than the standard fare, so perhaps other dishes might be better! Slightly overpriced, we paid about $14 each, which in my opinion, wasn't exactly worth it for such quality. The ingredients used could be fresher and well, the ambience didn't exactly correspond with the price paid.
And so the story goes.. After the pretty average food experience at Yong He with his friends, Makan Boy suggested to patronise 揾到食. This is not the first time I have been here and it's definitely quite a popular spot for supper for many people.
My friends were already quite full by this time so we decided to order just a bit to try out. The Kong Ba Bao 扣肉包 ($3.20) were really good. It was not your average Kong Ba Bao where the bun itself is much thicker not to mention the shape is different. In this case, the bun or rather skin (?) is very thin and barely covers the meat. The meat is different too and carries a bit of herbal taste. But it's still quite good although I think the normal Kong Ba Bao is good enough for me.
Siew Mai ($2.50) is another standard dim sum we have to try at any dim sum place. Sadly, their dim sum didn't really impress us at all.
Now, comes the star of the night: Char Siew Chee Cheong Fun ($3.50)! One bite of it and I can already feel that this was really something special. I looked at my friends and I knew what was on their minds even though they speak a word. It amazingly silky! Smooth as well! Again, it was not like the usual chee cheong fun. The sauce is quite different but this is one of the best chee cheong fun I had!
This is a really great place for people to hang out for supper. I would definitely come back again just for the chee cheong fun. The last time I came here, I remembered that their porridge is quite good too. There's a lot of other stuff on their menu so I might try those next time. Something really quite queer I noticed was that they actually sell crab meat (those processed crab meat that we all love) and called it 红白. I can't help but wonder if anyone would actually order thsi. And lo and behold, I did actually saw someone ordered it not on this visit but on my previous visit. Oh well, maybe there was something heavenly about their particular crab meat that I'm missing out. Perhaps..
For the whole review with pics do click here!
We were in the vicinity recently and pleasantly surprised to find this eatery just a short walk away. As it's our first visit, we decided to stick to the usual dim sum fare.
The day was rather hot and to kick-start our meal, we ordered two drinks, 柠檬甘蔗汁 (sugar cane with lemon $2) and 龙眼海底椰 (sea coconut with longan $2). The former was alright but the latter was a tad sweet so it's better to let the ice cubes melt to somewhat dilute the drink before consuming.
After a short wait, our items came in quick succession. We found the 烧卖 (siew mai $2.50), 虾饺 (har gao $3.20) and 杂菇肠粉 (mushroom cheong fun $3.50) to be rather nondescript though sufficiently tasty with fresh ingredients.
However, both 香港叉烧包 (char siew bao $3.20) and 芋角 (yam puff $3.50) were a total letdown. The buns contained very little filling and the pork was a bit dry without enough sauce. I was looking forward to try the yam puff but they turned out miserably small and totally not the type I expected. Though wonderfully crispy, the minced pork filling was almost non-existent.
Luckily, we ordered 扣肉包 (kong ba bao $3) as the last item. This managed to leave a deeper impression on us compared with the rest. We were told that there would be a wait of 15 minutes but at least it's worth it. The pork belly was a wee bit fatty but it's tender, juicy and well-flavored.
Our meal didn't turn out especially memorable but still, this no-frills eatery served its purpose well for reasonably priced dim sum. Hopefully we would discover some praise-worthy dishes from the rather extensive menu in future.
Note: Prices are nett and towel costs $0.20 each.
For photos, please visit Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow.
My friends ask how I could have never heard of Wen Dao Shi. Well, the axiom goes...don't eat where you shit. I don't eat where I do my gangsta business. Me Ah Beng you know! Seriously, Geylang is scary. Once, the moment I stepped out of a cab, a man jumped out at me, holding a dead black cat by the scruff of the neck. The dead cat's eyes were glassy and the entire body was limp. Very freaky. I wonder if he was going to cook it.
If you look around Geylang, you'd see that all the women either have a boyfriend by her side or are in groups or are whores. So a word of advice if you're a woman: don't go to Geylang alone. Bring an Ah Beng, like me, even though I am Gay Beng.
The drinks turned out to be in containers, like those used to packet noodles. Wow, worth the money!
Prawn chu cheong fun. I love how tightly packed and firm the fun was and the sauce was very unique. My sensitive tastebuds told me it is a mixture of peanut butter and oyster sauce...but I could be wrong. It took some getting used to because of its strangeness. In fact, the dim sum here was very strange. My friend said that the dim sum is HK-inspired but the dim sum I ate at HK was nothing like this. I also think it should be called shrimp fun, instead of prawn fun.
Yam cake. There was no sweet sauce in the entire restaurant; it only provides their special blend of chili sauce. Wow, I kinda like the backbone and imperiousness of the restaurant, NOT caving in to customers' needs, maintaining its own stand. The yam cake was very.... yam-my. The strong favor was sweet but I thought the yam could have been mashed more thoroughly because there were some bits of solid yam in the yam cake.
Char Siew Bao (bbq pork bun). Sweet filling as it should be, but the soft bun was too thick and the filling too little.
The trademark of a good dim sum place is by the standards of the har gao(prawn dumpling) and Siew mai because they are the commonest dim sum. It is hard to cook a complex dish but it is harder to cook an easy dish well. The siew mai didn't even have a shrimp on top and the har gao only had a little sad shrimp, not prawn. But the har gao was ok, because the skin was thin but firm, and didn't stick to the paper.
I like eating with friends because they always order things I would never order such as tennis balls and xian-ren-jiao. Xian-ren-jiao, I think, is the same everywhere but at least Wen Dao Shi served it piping hot. The tennis ball was something special, minced pork with ham (double pig, sorry pigs), and the combination created different textures: the crispy of the deep-fried breading, the smoothness of salty ham, and the mince-ness of sweet pork. Give the restaurant a Wimbledon!
Steamed sea cucumber with pork filling. Sea cucumber has to be one of my favorite meat, but this one wasn't soft enough, and the pork filling fell out of it. Skip this dish.
Golden mushroom wrapped in beef: Seriously how simple can this dish be...but wow, the taste was great. The crunchy golden mushroom and the soft beef with the sweet sauce. Win.
Japanese mushroom with minced meat under: Eeee...this one is not Chinese mushroom meh? The meat was separated from the mushroom and the mushroom was too hard.
At this point, the two of us were already very full...but we ordered more!
Glutinous rice in lotus leaves: The fragrance of the lotus leaves had completely infused into the rice, bringing out the sweetness of the rice.
Guo Tie (fried dumpling): Don't be deceived by the looks. They were actually very decent tasting. The minced pork inside was marinated for a long time, so one can taste the saltiness of the marinate and the sweetness of the pork.
Zhao Pai Tofu (famous tofu?): DISH OF THE DAY. This was a surprise because I hate tofu. I resisted ordering this dish. I hate anything bland and tasteless, like don't even waste my energy chewing. But there were just such a burst of favors here. The slightly sourness of the shredded mango in the mayo, the sweetness of fruit, the creamy richness of the mayo, the crispy fried covering (with a hint of egg), and the softness of the tofu. I thought even the tofu itself had taste.
Usually, people spend $8-$18 per pax here, but we spent $30 each! I enjoyed the eating experience. The decor of the shop is such that the front is obstructed by the counter, so if there is a fire, everyone will die inside. As a result of the obstructed entrance, the air circulation is bad, the place is stuffy (think of breeding ground for SARS). The lighting from the florescent lamps is gray and dingy, showing all the pockmarks of the bad complexion (don't take photos here). The servers who dished up the dishes wore very dirty, grim-stained tee-shirts and the waitresses, although weren't rude, wouldn't win Miss Congeniality either. Like they were so tired of their dead-end jobs. (Why shouldn't they?) But all these add to the experience of being Geylang. Overall, the food had some hits and misses, depending on what you order, ranging from average to excellent, but for the cheap price of a 24-hour dim sum place, I shouldn't complain so much.