Yum Cha (Chinatown) Restaurant 飲茶酒楼

We were supposed to have Szechuan food but Ben said he’s allergic to chilli and spices so we went to Yum Cha Chinatown around the corner where we had Dongbei cuisine the other week. I have eaten at Yum Cha before but it failed to impress me this time round. Was it because I have had my fill of dim sum lately or was it just today? That said, eating dim sum or having yum cha meal always creates a buzz! I think it’s the ambience. Dim Sum places are usually noisy, informal and unpretentious – my kinda place 😉 The lunch crowd was amazing being a public holiday today but I had no qualms hogging the place with my food photography. Sorry, but I queued too.

Yum Cha Chinatown, Singapore.

Yum Cha Chinatown, Singapore.

Being Labour Day (May Day), the place is crowded to the max with a long queue behind me.

Being Labour Day (May Day), the place was crowded to the max with a long queue behind me. This restaurant has a seating capacity of 300 people if I’m not wrong – not verified, just guessing.

Egg crepe wrappers with...

Egg crepe wrappers with…

you've got it - Peking Duck!

you’ve got it – Peking Duck!

Push carts, wooden chairs and round marbled tables bring back good old nostalgia of Chinese tradition.

Push carts, wooden chairs and round marbled tables brought me back to good old nostalgia of Chinese tradition.

Chinese Chives in Crystal Skin.

Chinese Chives in Crystal Skin.

Phoenix Feet but really they're Chicken Feet.

Phoenix Feet but really they’re Chicken Feet.

Chi Sao - ate all the Chicken Feet and I had none :(

Chi Sao – ate all the Chicken Feet and I had none 😦

Steamed Pork Ribs with Yam.

Steamed Pork Ribs with Yam.

Rainie Su Ching.

Rainie Su Ching taking a bite of the Steamed Pork Ribs with Yam.

Scallop and Prawn dim sum.

Scallop and Prawn dim sum.

Over steaming would have ruin the texture of the scallop but they did it well here.

Over-steaming would have ruin the texture of the scallop but they did it well here.

The dim sum spread was not able to capture Kean's attention.

The dim sum spread was not able to capture Kean’s attention.

Pork and Prawn dim sum.

Pork and Prawn dim sum. The ratio of filling to skin was perfect.

Pork dim sum.

Pork filled dim sum.

Thick skinned.

Thick skinned to provide texture and carbo.

Lotus Paste Buns with Pandan flavouring and Salted Egg Yolk.

Lotus Paste Buns with Pandan flavouring and Salted Egg Yolk.

流沙包 Liu Sha Bao (Runny Custard Bun) but it is not running.

流沙包 Liu Sha Bao (Runny Custard Bun) but it is not running.

it is not running! A disappointment. I thought it will be oozing out when I broke bread.

A disappointment. I thought it will be oozing out. Click on link below to see how the filling should be in my other post.

Ben was just as disappointed as me to see the Liu Sar Bao turned out this way.

Ben was just as disappointed as me to see the Liu Sar Bao turned out this way.

A different take on Charsiew Bao which is normally steamed.

A different take on Charsiew Bao which is normally steamed.

The buns are soft and the charsiew filling not overly sweet as most Charsiew Bao are. Good choice.

The buns were cottony soft and the charsiew filling not overly sweet as most Charsiew Bao are. Good choice.

Glutinous Chicken Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaves. A tad overcooked so that rice became too mushed up.

Glutinous Chicken Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaves. A tad overcooked so that rice became too mushed up.

Pork Ribs (Pai Kuat Wong) - crisp outside and tender inside. The sauce had just the right amount of sour and sweet taste.

Pork Ribs (Pai Kuat Wong) – crisp outside and tender inside. The sauce had just the right amount of sour and sweet taste.

Xiao Long Bao has become a norm when it comes to dim sum.

Xiao Long Bao has become a norm when it comes to dim sum.

Sharksfin Xiao Long Bao – regular XLB with a few strands of sharksfin and the price shot up!

Sharksfin Xiao Long Bao – regular XLB with a few strands of sharksfin and the price shot up!

Dim Sum (點心) refers to the wide range of small dishes, whereas Yum Cha (飲茶) refers to the entire meal. Dim Sum cannot really disappoint anyone as there are many varieties to choose from and by the same principle, not all items will please. Different restaurants have different signature dim sum items and you just have to commit that to your memory what and where to order when you dine out.

It is customary and most gracious to be the first to pour tea for others before filling one’s own tea cup. The receiving party should tap the table with two (seldom one as it is quite rude actually) fingers of the same hand, an action known as ‘finger kowtow’. This gesture is an expression of honour and gratitude to the party who filled their cups.

According to legend, finger kowtowing is a tale of imperial obeisance tracing back to Qing Dynasty when Emperor Qianlong used to travel incognito. While visiting South China, he went into a teahouse to try the local cuisine. In order to maintain his anonymity, he took his turn at pouring tea. His stunned subjects wanted to kowtow for the great honour but were in a dilemma as to do so would have revealed his identity. Finally, one of them tapped three fingers on the table, one finger representing the bowed head and the other two representing prostrated arms. The clever emperor understood immediately and hence on, this has been the practice for tea etiquette. We use two fingers as normal people do not need to prostrate our arms to each other 😉

P.S. My apologies for not being able to furnish proper names of the food items as push cart trolleys allowed us to order by sight. The tick sheet was marked by the servers when dim sums were presented and the receipt only listed the food as steamed/fried, dim sum steamed/fried or open item.

Dim sum tick sheet marked by the servers. Bring this card to the cashier to foot bill. I should have taken a picture of this but we had forgotten to bring this to the cashier in the first place and the restaurant manger scurried behind to hand us this at the counter.

Dim Sum tick sheet marked by the servers. Bring this card to the cashier to foot bill. I should have taken a picture of this after our meal but we had forgotten to bring this to the cashier in the first place and the restaurant manger scurried behind to hand us this at the counter. How dumb of me!

Happy eating 🙂

See my other Dim Sum posts:
Yum Cha Is Chinese Brunch
Chinese Tapas, Anyone?
Liu Sar Pau – the filling should be runny as shown in Liu Sar Pau post but the yellow buns featured here are the authentic version. Liu Sar Bao’s filling consists of salted egg yolk and binding ingredient.

Our bill came to S$79.90 - $16 per pax. Great!

$16 per pax. Great!

Our bill totalled S$79.90

Our bill totalled S$79.90

Yum Cha Chinatown
Address: 20 Trengganu St,
Singapore 058479.
Phone:+65 6372 1717
Hours: Friday hours 11:00 am–11:00 pm
Transit: Chinatown

Comments
15 Responses to “Yum Cha (Chinatown) Restaurant 飲茶酒楼”
  1. jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com says:

    Absolutely delicious.Jalal

  2. Some good places here too 🙂

  3. lignumdraco says:

    Love dim sum. The food and atmosphere. I like to be seated near the kitchen so you get the trolleys early when the food is hot and the trolleys are full.

    • Sam Han says:

      The food is hot these days as the trolleys have hot water bath in them but you’re right about them being full 😉 I sat at windows for the daylight for my food photos, lol… otherwise, like you, i sit where the food is. happy stomach makes me smile 😀

  4. Kevin says:

    Gee. You all look pretty serious with foodblogging with the portable light!!

    • Sam Han says:

      These are my photography group friends and they were going for some landscape shoots that evening. They have tripods and lights on them everywhere they go haha. As the light comes in from one side (window) casting heavy shadows on the other, one of them whipped out the mini tripod and light to help so I could have better pictures 🙂 Aren’t they great friends?

  5. Sofia says:

    If I ever get to see you in Singapore, we must do dim sum!!! Thank you for telling us about the tea pouring and finger tapping, very interesting.

  6. What a spread! Making me so hungry!

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