Summer Palace Weekend Brunch Menu (1 Michelin star) – excellent food, impeccable service

Summer-Palace

One of the biggest challenges I have with Chinese restaurants is their minimum seating requirement. This can be up to 10 pax in older days but it has shrunk to a more reasonable 2-5 pax in recent years. I wanted to try the popular Weekend Brunch Menu at 1 Michelin Star Summer Palace, but it requires a minimum of 4 pax to order it. This means I must convince my sister and her family to join me! Good thing she was up for it.

Hand-Pulled-Noodle

I was 1 hour late to lunch coz I took the wrong bus. I must be the only person ever to take a bus to a Michelin starred restaurant. Haha. My sister drove here but I wanted to get something important done (i.e. sleep in) so I came separately. The Weekend Brunch Menu (SGD 56 per pax) started with a complimentary appetizer. This is a flat, hand-pulled noodle served with XO sauce and fish pieces. It was served at room temperature – acidic and bright. It whetted my appetite nicely.

Wasabi-Mayo-Prawns

Deep Fried Prawns with Wasabi Mayo. What a strong start to brunch! Everyone at the table gushed about these delicious prawns, even my dad. I had to scheme to get more than my fair share coz there were 6 pieces in total. I ended up popping 3 of these babies into my mouth. The wasabi adds a faint kick to the delicate, naturally sweet prawns and made me want more. There are bits of mango inside too – sweet, crispy, tender, savory, this dish hits every single taste bud and texture. 10/10.

Baked-Chicken-Tart-with-Baby-Abalone

Baked Chicken Tart with Baby Abalone. Omg! Just wow. Perfectly cooked baby abalone on top of buttery tarts. The crust is very crumbly and rich and the abalone was soft, tender and flavorful. We were all super impressed by this dim sum. Simply amazing. Too bad there was only 1 tart for each person. I could easily demolish the whole plate myself.

Pork-Dumplings-Dried-Scallops

Steamed Pork Dumplings with Dried Scallops. This is an upscale version of siu mai. It’s very nicely done. The dim sum at Summer Palace is elegantly constructed. It tastes refined, like your rich, well-traveled and beautiful aunt who doesn’t look a day over 30.

Deep-Fried-Prawn-Rolls-Mango

Deep-fried Prawn Rolls with Mango. I love the rolled and deep fried wrapper. It’s so crispy! There’s a side of sweetened Japanese mayo as a dip and everything comes together perfectly. It’s delicious and contemporary – like your cool, edgy brother who married a hot Brazilian and now has beautiful, blended babies. I love how the quartet of dim sum offerings has 2 steamed and 2 baked/fried offerings so you have textural variety.

Prawn-Dumplings-Bird-Nest

Steamed Prawn Dumplings with Bird’s Nest. This is very refined! As cultured as your young sister with long, straight, black hair who dresses in qi pao and plays the er hu. The sweetness of the prawns go well with the bird’s nest, which adds a pleasant texture to your chew.

Mushrooms-Zhen-Jiang-Vinegar

Sautéed Mixed Mushrooms in Zhen Jiang Vinegar. I’m told this is a famous black vinegar from China. It’s the base for this dish of assorted mushrooms. This is as delicate as your second cousin who never leaves home without an umbrella to shield her fair, white skin from the sun. It stands head and shoulders above the disappointing version by Crystal Jade Golden Palace.

Fish-Maw-Double-Boiled-Soup

Soup of the Day was Fish Maw and Chicken Double Boiled Soup. The fish maw was the highest quality I’ve ever tasted! This ain’t the cheap swim bladders your grandma uses for her daily soup. It’s a huge portion that’s slippery and full of collagen. I liked the intricate balance of Chinese herbs in the soup too. Very good.

Signature-Roast-Meat-Platter

Chef’s Signature Roast Meat Platter. Suckling Pig. Roasted Duck. Honey BBQ Pork. Jellyfish. I liked the crispy skin of the suckling pig but the roasted duck was too oily for me. Maybe I was beyond full at his point so I didn’t appreciate the rich flavors. I can see why the jellyfish it there – the acidic marinate and clean texture helps cut through the fattiness. I did enjoy the Honey BBQ Pork though. It’s done very skillfully.

Steamed-Soon-Hock-Superior-Soy

Steamed Soon Hock in Superior Light Soya Sauce. Excellent! I love the fish in Chinese restaurants and this was a whole marble goby in delicious, sweet and coriander-scented soy sauce. The waitress portioned this nicely for everyone, with an additional portion of the head as extra. I devoured my portion and the head, even though I was stuffed.

Poached-Vegetables-Superior-Stock

Poached Vegetables with Superior Stock. The food here is of such high quality even their vegetables are delicious! The plain flavors were a welcome addition after the previous oily course. I like how well they thought through the sequencing of the courses and dishes. Despite being simple, it was tasty.

Fried-Rice-Prawns-Honey-Pork

Fried Rice with Prawns and Honey Pork. We were all filled to the brim at this point so we only had a small tasting portion. Each individual grain of rice was visible and there’s lots of goodies like prawns and BBQ pork inside. It’s a bit too oily for me. My niece and nephew enjoyed it though so we packed this home for them.

Chilled-Lemongrass-Aloe-Vera

Chilled Lemongrass with Aloe Vera in Lime Juice. A sweet end to a heavy brunch! There’s a lot of different textures in this bowl and the complexity of flavors is surprising. It’s not just sugar syrup but goji berries and other Chinese herbs in the dessert. We all enjoyed the refreshing end to the meal.

Summer-Palace-Us

All of us had nothing but good things to say about Summer Palace. Service was attentive and friendly. The food was excellent. My brother-in-law paid for the meal so I didn’t know the exact figure, but I peeked and it was slightly over SGD 300. The kids had some dim sum before I arrived, as well as drinks, and we all had Chinese tea. My sister said Din Tai Fung can be more expensive sometimes so it’s really great value. I personally think SGD 56/pax for this amount of high quality cooking is a steal so if you can scrounge together a party of 4, I highly recommend Summer Palace’s Weekend Brunch. No wonder every single table was occupied. We all left happy and full.

Saturday brunch @ Foo Hing Dim Sum, Puchong

Foo-Hing-Puchong

The last time I went to Foo Hing was over 6 months ago. I was writing an article for Malay Mail about dim sum and they were one of the places I covered. You can’t sample a lot of different items when you’re eating alone, so when May organized a casual dim sum brunch, I thought I’ll take this opportunity to find out more about what’s good here. I know they’re famous for their Portuguese egg tarts, and justifiable so, but I’m less familiar with their savory offerings.

Foo-Hing-Dim-Sum

I tend to order the same thing every time since I know what I like. These will inevitably be some variation of har gao (prawn dumplings) coz I love the stuff. But after watching an episode of Samurai Gourmet, I realized that I’ve been too safe and adventurous while ordering food. Their chai tow kueh (fried carrot cake) with chai bo (pickled turnip) is decent. I was tasked with finishing this and I didn’t mind at all.

Fried-Egg-CCF

I also discovered a very beautiful thing – this is chee cheong fun with egg. It doesn’t sound like much and it looks quite pedestrian but it’s delicious! They fry an egg with lots of oil so it bubbles up Chinese-style, and roll it in the CCF. You get the familiar comfort of a fried egg with the slippery texture of the thin rice wraps. It’s surprisingly good. This came highly recommended from May and I’m glad I had it. It’s something I wouldn’t have discovered by myself. Simple, yet delectable.

Dim-Sum-Foo-Hing

This was Ah Bok’s selection. It’s Chinese short pastry filled with BBQ pork and topped with pork floss. I also enjoyed this tremendously. I like sweet notes in my meat and this has it in spades. The texture of the pastry is also quite pleasant.

Deep-Fried-Prawn

I went with a few variations of deep fried prawn dim sum. There’s a tubular version with thin wonton wrap and a thicker, doughier one. They both taste similar, but the textures are different. Mouth feel is very important in dim sum.

Soy-Skin-Dim-Sum

This soggy mess of pork with soy bean curd wrap is also quite good. Again, something I wouldn’t have chosen myself but I’m glad I tried.

Portuguese-Egg-Tarts

Naturally, we finished with their yummy Portuguese egg tarts. I really like them but as I mentioned in the Malay Mail article, my favorite Portuguese egg tarts are the ones KFC had circa 2010. Haha. You won’t believe me but they’re the fucking bomb! Perfect pastry crust. Please don’t lynch me. 😄

Guilinggao

Foo Hing also have a range of tong sui desserts. I went with gui ling gao. I haven’t had this in a long time and I enjoy the bittersweet flavours. Pretty good. I read that most gui ling gao is not actually made with turtle due to the high cost of said ingredient.

Foo-Hing-Us

Dim sum at Foo Hing for the 5 of us worked out to around RM 30 each. I usually run up a similar bill by myself and I get to eat less variety. Dim sum is best enjoyed with other people so you can eat a range of different types. I also tapau 2 egg tarts home and tried their bakery style bun with BBQ pork filling (decent). We went for milk tea after and all the food and drink managed to fuel quite an intense workout session later. All in all, a nice Saturday morning.

Jin Xuan Dim Sum in Puchong at the crack of dawn

jin xuan puchong

I had a rather delicious start to the morning by having dim sum at around 7 am this morning. This is quite an unusual hour for me to be up on a Sunday morning. There is a very good reason for that though.

lake edge us

I didn’t sleep.

lainey birthday

I have been up since I went to Lainey‘s birthday party since 8:30 pm on Saturday and spent 12 hours talking and nursing various alcoholic drinks (beer, cider, single malt, champagne, vodka) and shooting the breeze on a bewildering array of topics (to the casual listener) with Fresh, Gareth and Kim till dawn broke.

jin xuan dimsum

It’s been a long time since I did that. Heh. It was a lot of fun though and before crashing we headed to Jin Xuan in Puchong for dim sum.

deep fried har kow

Deep fried har kow
I usually don’t like deep fried dim sum but the har kaw (prawn dumplings) here are done quite well. No excessive crackly skin and it’s superb with a dash of mayonnaise. The ones with fu chuk (the soy bean byproduct) wrapped around prawns is good too – a nice variant of har kow.

pai kuat

Spare ribs (pai kuat)
This is really good as well. I like the ones that’s swimming in a pool of delicious marinate too:

marinated pai kuat

It’s a bit hard to get at the meat, but when you do, it’s perfection.

salted shrimp scallops

Salted shrimp scallops
This one is pretty good as well. I’m a huge fan of shrimp in general so anything with it can’t really go wrong. It has bits of scallops, salted egg, and other stuff inside too.

flowing custard bun

Golden flowing bun
I don’t know how this translates in Cantonese. It’s supposed to be the piece de resistance in Jin Xuan and is a custard bun with bits of salted egg (?) that flows like lava when you break it open.

jin xuan custard bun

The savory taste of salted egg is surprisingly good in the sweet custard bun. It’s supposed to be really runny and despite multiple exchanges initiated by Gareth to get the perfect golden flowing bun – all of them was just a tad overcooked this morning.

jin xuan us

However, if I didn’t know better I would have though it was excellent. I’m definitely going back again for the golden flowing bun. I bet it’ll be orgasmic if they get it right. However, we didn’t get charged for it due to the poor quality control so I guess it’s free dessert. Heh.

I totally crashed and slept for 9 hours when I got home. I had a total blast though. It’s a good thing tomorrow’s a public holiday. Have a great time everyone! :)

Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum Specialists in Hong Kong

Tim Hou Wan

Tim Ho Wan is reportedly the best dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and even the concierge at our hotel recommended the place when we asked where we can eat dim sum.

Tim Hou Wan queue

I was already dead set on eating here before I even got to HK. I finally convinced the ex to head down to Mongkok to check out Tim Hou Wan Dim Sum on our very last day there. This is the outlet which received One Michelin Star!

Tim Hou Wan kowloon

You see, the problem was that the concierge told us that it’s the best dim sum in Hong Kong but you might have to wait up to 3 hours. I have heard about the legendary waiting time but also about the equally impressive food so I really wanted to go.

Tim Hou Wan order

Tim Ho Wan has a lot of branches now but the original is in Mongkok. It is run by an ex Lung King Heen (a prestigious 3 Michelin star restaurant in Four Seasons Hotel) chef and the reason why it’s so popular with the locals is coz it’s cheap and delicious.

Tim Hou Wan HK

We waited for over an hour before we managed to get in – the menu is very limited and you choose what you want before you enter the restaurant. There’s a perpetual long queue in front of the dim sum shop. I think Tim Hou Wan has had some altercations with its neighbors coz everyone was told to keep within the confines and not stand in front of the shops beside it.

Tim Hou Wan dim sum

Anyway, we were finally seated in the extremely small and cramped dim sum restaurant. I love the ambiance though – it’s just people enjoying dim sum and you don’t feel pressured to leave (which I half expected).

har kow

Har Kow (Steamed Fresh Shrimp Dumplings) – HKD 22
I loved it! I always like har kow, it’s an order I judge each dim sum place by and Tim Ho Wan did not disappoint. The prawns are huge and juicy and the wrap is delicate and thin. It’s perfection!

chicken feet

Steamed Chicken Feet With Black Bean Sauce – HKD 14
I like how the chicken feet came out just right. Dim sum is cooked fresh in Tim Ho Wan and the black bean sauce complements the chicken feet nicely. It has a spicy note from the chillies too! Delicious.

pork knuckle

Braised Pig Knuckle in Sauce – HKD 15
Hmm…this was a major letdown. There’s more bone than meat or skin/fat and I’ve had much better braised pig knuckle in Malaysia. I would avoid this. It’s very meh.

pig liver chee cheong fan

Vermicelli Roll Stuffed with Pig’s Liver – HKD 16
OMG! This is like an orgasm in your mouth! It’s chee cheong fun, except it’s stuffed with pig liver.

pork liver chee cheong fun

Here’s what it looks like. Don’t be fooled by the simple presentation – the vermicelli roll wrapping is translucently thin and the pig liver is extremely creamy with a very rich mouth-feel. Highly recommended!

dim sum rice

Steamed Rice with Beef and Pan-fried Egg – HKD 17
This was a mistake. I wanted to have the lou mai kai but my ex accidentally ticked this one instead coz she thought it was lou mai kai in Cantonese.

rice beef egg

It was alright, but we didn’t come here to eat a rice dish.

lou mai kai

The actual lou mai kai (sticky glutenous rice) looks like this – unfortunately it’s our neighbors and we didn’t know them well enough to ask for a bite. ;)

famous bbq pork bun

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork – HKD 14
This is what Tim Hou Wan is famous for. It’s their signature dish – almost everyone I saw ordered at least one basket of this. There are three buns in a basket and it’s not enough!

crispy baked char siew pau

The bun is has a layer of crispy goodness and the rest is exquisitely soft and fluffy. I don’t know how they managed to achieve that texture complexity but it works very well. It’s basically a baked char siew pau but it’s so delicious that I was tempted to order more. The BBQ pork filling is sweet and savory, tender, done to perfection. I could eat this all year! You *have* to order this.

Tonic Medlar and Petal Cake

Tonic Medlar and Petal Cake – HKD 10
I don’t know what this is. The translation doesn’t even make sense but Jeanie told me that it’ll be delicious…and damn was she right!

goji berries chrysanthemum flowers dessert

It’s made with goji berries and Osmanthus flowers. Those are the only two things I could identify, but there’s a host of herbal goodies inside the jelly. You can taste the flowers and berries when you bite into the jelly – they’re whole and intact! It’s like drinking (eating?) tong shui that has been solidified into Jello. This chilled jelly is wonderful – a perfect ending to a near perfect meal.

dim sum hk

Tim Hou Wan Dim Sum Specialists might be a tad overrated but it’s still great dim sum at unbeatable prices. It only cost us HKD 112 (about RM 46) for two, inclusive of tea. The baked char siew bun is absolutely fabulous!

Tim Hou Wan Hong Kong

However, be prepared to wait to get into Tim Hou Wan in Mongkok – it’s usually about an hour, so it’s not too bad. Also, the tables are really small so if you order a lot of non-stackable items, you’ll have to eat them really fast, lest you invade another table’s space. :)

Signature 8 flavor Dynasty Xiao Long Bao with foie gras and black truffle!

flavored xiao long pao

Okay, this is one of the most interesting and unique things I’ve heard in a long time. There’s an 8 flavor xiao long bao course at Paradise Dynasty which includes premium fillings like black truffle and foie gras.

paradise dynasty

I couldn’t wait to try it when I first heard about the concept. I headed down to ION Orchard in Singapore yesterday with Lainey to meet up with Michelle and Ben just for this.

8 flavor xiao long pao

Paradise Dynasty claims to have the world’s first 8 flavored xiao long bao and you have to eat it in order. The restaurant is famous for it – the open kitchen is filled with cooks preparing it and a lot of patrons order this specialty.

signature dynasty xiao long bao

The 8 different fillings are:
1. Original
2. Garlic
3. Ginseng
4. Foie Gras
5. Black Truffle
6. Cheesy
7. Crab Roe
8. Szechuan

dynasty xiao long pao singapore

…and you have to eat it in order to have the optimal experience. :D

tea

The set costs SGD 13.90 and it’s well worth the price. I found the Garlic and Ginseng xiao long pao very flavorful, with the juices bursting from the skin as you bite into it. The Foie Gras and Black Truffle ones are suitably decadent and I loved the Crab Roe filling too.

black truffle

However, I felt that the Cheesy xiao long pao should have been #7 as the overpowering taste of cheese can be a bit…well, overwhelming. The Szechuan deserves its final spot as the filling is extremely spicy (even for my desensitized taste buds).

lainey hb michelle ben

It certainly is an epicurean adventure that you MUST try if you’re ever in Singapore. Thanks for brunch Ben and Michelle! :)

—————

Feeling hungry but don’t want to go all the way to Singapore for some awesome food? Check out this MilkADeal offer:

charcoal king

RM15 instead of RM31 for Charcoal King Set Meal at Charcoal King Clay Pot Chicken Rice Restaurant, Kuchai Lama. Non Halal [52% OFF]

It’s a great deal at RM 15 – there’s even soup, drinks and side dishes in addition to the authentic claypot chicken rice and it feeds 2! It’s an unlimited purchase and redemption offer that just debuted today and heaps of people have already gotten their hands on it. Where else can you get prices like this for good food in the Klang Valley? :)

Epic weekend: An impromptu trip to Ipoh, dodgy hotels, losing my wallet and my car bumper

brussels

The Friday night out

It all started on Friday night at Brussels Beer Cafe. It was during this inspiring round of drinks that the impromptu trip hatched. I was supposed to meet Bonnie there and truth to be told I don’t even remember how I got to know her and inquiring minds want to know. I also had half a mind to FFK the drinks on Friday thing coz I was really sick but I’m glad I didn’t coz it turned out to be one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. :)

We were having drinks in Jaya One when I finally got around to around to asking her how we know each other. It turns out that we don’t. She reads my blog, added me on Facebook and it was a random and casual “Okay, let’s have drinks sometime” that led to this particular day. Bonnie turns out to be 22 (!!!) and she’s a student at Monash. She also acts part time in local productions.

Anyway, it seems that we have something in common so we were just talking and suddenly I thought about going on a road trip. It was 12 am at the time and the plan was to head down to Ipoh for the dim sum.

house

I’ll follow her car back, pick her up, and then head down to Ipoh and stay the night at a hotel before waking up for breakfast.

Losing my wallet

The first thing that went wrong was losing my wallet. I think what happened is that I took it out and used my credit card to pump gas. I remember leaving the wallet on the boot of the car and taking the receipt but I did not remember taking the wallet back into the car. I suspect my wallet was still on the boot when I drove off. FML.

I had about 1-2k inside but what’s worse is the MyKad, driver’s license (!!!) and credit cards which I have to replace.

I only realized it when I got to Ipoh coz when it came to the toll, Bonnie paid for it but I was puzzled as to where my wallet was – it was supposed to be on the dashboard. However, after a prolonged search when we arrived there, it was nowhere to be found. My car can be a black hole sometimes, but it’s still a confined space so after looking into every nook and cranny, the most plausible explaination is that I left it on the boot and drove off.

Naturally, without any money, Bonnie had to withdraw from an ATM and we went in search of a hotel.

drive

She also took over the driving.

Dodgy hotels

room

I think we went to 5-6 hotels but all of them were full. It was insane! There’s apparently some kind of military function going on there and it was about 5 am when we finally drove up to this dodgy looking place called Shanghai Hotel.

bath

They had one room left and it was RM 40. I guess some would call it rustic and charming and maybe even full of character but it’s the kind of place where you’re afraid you’ll get syphilis, gonorrhea AND herpes just from sleeping on the sheets. >.<

This is what the hotel room looks like.

Anyway, my pillow had this really weird smell to it so I shared Bonnie’s pillow and we slept, fulling intending to wake up at 8 am in the morning.

dodgy

It was 11 am when I woke up.

Foh San dim sum

foh san

This is what we were down in Ipoh for. Bonnie swears by the lam mei pau. It’s a bun that’s filled with fatty pork and it’s absolutely fabulous. It was well worth the drive down.

foh san dim sum

We also had some other stuff – my usual har kao (prawn dumplings) and a memorable dim sum made with juicy succulent prawns and salted egg yolk.

lam mei

However, the lam mei pau was every bit as good as Bonnie said it was. We were afraid we’ve missed it but apparently even though the dim sim place tells you it’s no longer available, you can get it by going to the take away counter and ordering it.

ipoh white coffee

Try it, and thank Bonnie (or rather, her mom) if it works. We even got a box to tapau back home.

Caption: Why drink canned Ipoh white coffee in Ipoh?

Anyway, since I didn’t have a license and Bonnie was rushing for her class, she drove down instead. It was an interesting experience to have someone else drive you car at 160 km/h and swerving through lanes to avoid traffic. It’s like a roller-coaster, without the safety features. ;)

bonnie

Oh, and I also lost my rear bumper somewhere during the drive to Ipoh.

shanghai

It’s not an epic weekend unless you’ve lost a car bumper, your wallet and all the identification in it, slept in a dodgy hotel and sped back to KL…and the weekend is still not over. Bonnie crashed at my place last night and helped me out with something I had to get done during the weekend.

I know it sounds like a tragic weekend, but it’s really an awesome one. Seriously, it’s not a havoc weekend unless you’ve lost something and now I’m driving with no driver’s license, MyKad and with a missing bumper.

bumper

Cop magnet much? This illegal PRC immigrant says yes. I’ve been diligently avoiding roadblocks so let’s hope I can keep up with that until Monday.

I had a great weekend. How’s yours? ;)

Mitsu Tea House

mitsu tea house

Clare has left for Kuching just now and bought me breakfast at Mitsu Tea House in lieu of sexual services rendered during her stay here. ;) I’m kidding of course, I was just little more than her personal driver during the week she was in Sibu.

mitsu tea house outside

Mitsu Tea House is just about the only place you can get decent dim sum in Sibu. There is an al fresco seating area at the bottom…

mitsu tea house inside

…and an air-conditioned enclosure at the first floor. Mitsu Tea House was totally packed this morning – it seems like it attracts the Sunday morning crowd in droves!

mitsu tea house waitress

We finally managed to snag a table after a short wait and a waitress took our order. You can tell I woke up at an ungodly hour from my ruffled hair. I usually don’t do Sunday morning breakfasts. ;)

mitsu tea house cart

Mitsu Tea House has the ubiquitous dim sum carts doing the rounds but you can order a la carte from their menu as well.

mitsu tea house setting

Mitsu is one of the more successful eating establishments in Sibu with Mitsu Shabu Shabu offering Japanese cuisine and Mitsu Tea House with its impressive dim sum portfolio.

mitsu tea house tea

We ordered Chrysanthemum + Green Tea (RM 4 per pot), a mixture of two different tea leaves (and flowers). It came in a store branded teapot and cups, much like the eating receptacles over here.

mitsu tea house dragon bun

Steamed Pork Meat and Abalone Sauce Buns. This is pretty good stuff…it’s a little like “little dragon buns” where the sauce is sealed in the bun pouch itself…

mitsu tea house oyster

…and can be eaten as you eat oysters. Slurp it down. ;)

mitsu tea house rice

Lo mai gai (sticky glutenous rice) is another dim sum staple but Mitsu Tea House’s version disappoints. It was under flavored and lacking in carnivorous content.

mitsu tea house prawn

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (har kau) was very good though. It has two shrimps in each dumpling and tasted exquisite!

mitsu tea house pastry

We also had Baked Cream Custard Pastry from their Dim Sum Pastries menu and it was alright….tasted like a Portuguese Egg Tart.

mitsu tea house noodles

Mitsu Tea House also serves noodles and we saw a lot of other tables ordering this. The waitress told us the Dry Fried Noodles with Beef was one of their specialties and we finished off the brunch with this carbohydrate laden dish.

mitsu tea house us

Mitsu Tea House has just about the best dim sum you’re going to get in Sibu. It’s the only specialized dim sum place in town but be forewarned – the crowd can be oppressive. There wasn’t an empty table to be seen in the entire establishment!

mitsu tea house divination

Hmm…there’s something about tea leaf divination… ;)

Dim Sum @ Han Palace, Grand Palace Hotel

han palace

Han Palace has a Dim Sum promotion from 8 am to 2 pm Thursday to Sunday. It’s apparently quite popular and I thought it was a dim sum buffet, but it’s not – it’s a la carte dim sum dishes for weekend mornings.

grand palace hotel

Han Palace is on the second floor of Grand Palace Hotel, Miri. I went there with Faye for some food before heading to the beach after just four hours of sleep compounded to a hefty sleep debt incurred during all the clubbing in Miri.

han palace interior

Han Palace is a Chinese restaurant, with an interior decor resembling…well, just about every other Chinese restaurants out there. I don’t know, y’all look alike to me. ;)

dim sum setting

The tables are set with the standard napkin and Chinese cutlery – soup spoon and chopsticks, with a plate, saucer and Chinese tea cup. It doubles as a Chinese restaurant at night and the setting is what you would expect in similar joints, except Han Palace is doing a dim sum promotion brunch.

tie guan yin

Tea is served the moment you are seated, with a waitress pouring out a hot cup with the blend of your choice for you. You can gaze at the tea leaves and attempt to predict your future by the way the tea leaves settle in the cup. There’s even a name for it – Tasseography. The divinations I gleaned from reading the tea leaves told me that this is a blend of Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) Tea and it would cost RM 4.10 ++ for the pot.

steamed dim sum

The dim sum is carted out from the kitchen regularly with fresh offerings straight from the dim sum chef. The push cart is heated and the waiter goes around to every table with the dim sum options for you to pick and choose. There is a card on the table that is marked accordingly with each dim sum dish that you take from the cart. It’s a good system that works.

fried dim sum

There is also fried dim sum offerings in addition to the traditional steamed dim sum. This is presented on a separate cart by a different waitress so there’s two dim sum carts going around at any time – one with the steamed dim sum offerings and one with the fried dim sum options.

premium dim sum

There is also a third cart, presumably manned by the head waiter, which has the premium dim sum offerings on it. This cart only comes out occasionally and the waiter will also take orders for a particular dim sum that you have a hankering for. It kinda works like a sushi train – except this one is the Dim Sum Cart (TM).

han palace dim sum

We picked a couple of dim sum baskets to begin with. Han Palace serves two kinds of dim sum – Steamed Hong Kong Dim Sum and Fried Hong Kong Dim Sum. Each item on the cart costs RM 4.35 ++ each. The standardized pricing is achieved by increasing or decreasing the amount and size of the items in the dim sum baskets.

phoenix claw

This is the Steamed Phoenix Claw in Minced Garlic. Phoenix Claw is a euphemism for chicken feet. The Chinese eat a lot of the parts of the chicken that is shunned by other cultures. One other example is the Bishop Nose, which is the preferred euphemism for chicken’s ass.

chicken cube

This is the Chicken Cube with Dried Oysters and Prawns. It’s done Thai style, with sliced chilli on top. It tastes great but the portion is a little bit too small, probably due to the premium ingredients.

custard bun

This is the Baked Mini Egg Custard Roll Spanish Style that the waitress recommended. It was surprisingly good – the custard is warm and practically drools out of the roll the moment you bite into it. Delicious!

shanghai bun

This is the Shanghai Siew Long Pau. It’s a staple of dim sum where the meat is steamed inside the paper thin pau (requires careful handling) until the essence (juices) comes out in a form of soup inside the bun. You’re supposed to take a small bite and suck the soup out before consuming the rest of the bun in one bite.

seafood roll

This is the Fried Seafood Spring Roll and is served with a side of mayonnaise. It’s cut up into manageable pieces with a pair of scissors by the waitress before being served. This is not a strictly traditional dim sum dish but most dim sum offerings have local fusion influences anyway.

dim sum sleep

I was practically falling asleep at the table due to the considerable sleep debt I was running up during my trip to Miri. No, that isn’t an expression of ecstatic anticipation of a particularly delicious morsel of dim sum on my palate. It’s the manifestation of a post-lunch coma.

dim sum gucci

I figured I’ll be better off wearing Faye’s new RM 1,400 Gucci sunglasses to hide my less-than-presentable eyes from the combination of sleep deprivation and substance consumption. ;)

glutinous chicken rice

I did wake up when the dim sum cart with lo mai gai (Glutinous Chicken Rice) came over to our table though. This is another dim sum staple that is very popular.

lo mai gai

Han Palace does a great lo mai gai but the best I’ve ever had was this microwave version that I got from the supermarket when I was probably 12 or so and have never found the product on the shelves since.

dim sum us

Han Palace has a wide range of freshly made dim sum during weekend mornings. The price range is affordable too, considering the hotel setting and it’s a nice place for some air-conditioned comfort while enjoying a friends/family gathering.

Fu Yu Kopi Shop

fu yu kopi shop

This is Fu Yu Kopi Shop at Sekama. It has a larger variety of dim sum and is famed for its fried prawn kolo mee.

fy balcony

The place has a wooden balcony type extension, that’s the best
seating arrangements for a breakfast…it’s nice, you can see the
bustling morning activity around you.

fy 99 ds

This is 99 Dim Sum, one of the stalls in Fu Yu Kopi Shop. The
proprietor is a friendly woman who has a large repertoire of dim sum
dishes…

fy 99 offerings

…as you can see here. The dim sums here are mostly one off i.e.
one of a kind, so when that dish is gone, it’s gone for the day.

fy dim sum

I think we ordered five dishes but she forgot about one of
them…either that, or the one that we chose was out. There’s also
chili sauce provided, which goes well with some dim sums.

fy chicken bits

This is chicken bits in Thai chili sauce. It’s very nice and flavorful, with the chicken meat flavor infused through broiling.

fy siu mai ds

Here’s a variant of siu mai which doesn’t contain pork, but a
conglomeration of other ingredients. It has mystery meat and other
fillers.

fy fish ds

This is a fish based dim sum wrapped in seaweed strips. It’s basically a large fish oblong.

fy stuffed ds

I thought this was har kau, but it’s not. It’s a mostly vegetable
based dim sum…in fact, I didn’t think I tasted any meat in there.

fy prawn kolo

Here’s the dish this place is famous for – prawn fried kolo mee. It
has two prawn fried batter pieces on top, but otherwise, it’s a normal
kolo mee. The fried prawn mini fillets were good though.

It’s a good place to have breakfast, with the al fresco (this term
should be banned in Malaysian food reviews, since most of our dining
establishments are al fresco by nature) balcony and the hustle and
bustle of the Sekama district.

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