Helmed by Masterchef Lap Fai who was crowned Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year 2012 at the World Gourmet Series Awards, Hua Ting is a deeply rooted classic Chinese restaurant.
The hotel Hua Ting is located in, Orchard hotel, is a little out of the way and kind of always in the shadow of the bigger 5-star hotels. Doesn’t help that there’s a Thai/Taiwan Disco right downstairs either.
But believe me, Hua Ting Restaurant is the 800 pound Gorilla among all the hotel dim sum restaurants in Singapore. Using authentic Hong Kong Chefs, Hua Ting comes up with new special dishes every month and tries to cater as much as possible to each customer’s requests. There are even secret items on the menu you can order if you’re a regular, but I’m not supposed to mention that 😡
From left: Hua Ting Signature Baked Chicken and Mango Tart ($4.50), Chef’s Special Vegetarian Dumpling ($5.70 for 3), Deep-fried Pastry Scallop with onion and garlic ($6 for 3).
The baked chicken and mango tart is wildly popular among fans of Hua Ting, but I found the filling a tad sweet for me. The baked pastry was light and buttery.
The Chef’s special Vegetarian dumpling, which is just something random he did that day depending on the seasonality of vegetables, as absolutely mind-blowing. Very fragrant taste of Chinese wine and mushrooms mixed with vegetables. I never thought the day would come when I would actually recommend a Vegetarian dish. This was that good.
The scallop dumpling was also lightly crisp and fluffy with a non-greasy finish. They do very good fried pastries at Hua Ting.
Deep Fried Toast stuffed with Prawn paste ($5.40). Another fine example of fried excellence, this toast gave a light yet distinct taste of prawn paste which really brought the whole dish together.
Steamed Shark’s Fin Dumpling with Crab ($5.40). A very atas dish that has primarily sweet flavours from the crab meat and the silky smooth dumpling skin.
Steamed Custard bun with Salted Egg Yolk ($4.20). And who can forget the liu sha bao. I feel sad making a custard bun bleed for the sake of photos, but I do what must be done. This is definitely one of the best liu sha bao I’ve had; well-balanced custard, with a salted egg grainy texture yet not overly creamy or buttery. Size was just right too.
Double-boiled Yunan Shimeiji mushrooms with Chicken Soup ($18). A simple, yet extremely delicious soup made with such basic ingredients. The chicken became really soft from being slow boiled. Cantonese soups are executed flawlessly here.
Pan fried Prime Beef Bun ($5.40). The bao skin has a clean sweet palate, but could have used more beef filling to balance out.
Steamed Fish head in Thai Tom Yam sauce ($4.80). This is a steamed fish head done in Cantonese style, but flavored with Tom yam sauce. Could have used more Tom Yam paste to fire it up, but this dish tends more to the sweeter side which some might like. Very tender fish head meat, and as with fish heads, you get more bone than flesh.
Pan-fried fillet of Kurobuta pork ($15). Herb infused, tender pork fillet that is pan fried with garlic. Very complimentary flavors all around.
Steamed fillet of Sea Perch with Chinese wine ‘nu er hong’ ($18). A soft and light fish that’s done in a Signature Chinese cuisine style, the sauce is fragrant with wine that adds that sweet aroma to the freshness of the Sea Perch.
Stewed Noodles with Sliced Roasted Duck in Superior Soya Sauce ($20). The headhunted Beijing noodle chef hand-makes these wanton noodles, which are a bit on the firmer/raw side. This really depends on personal preference for noodle firmness now, and some might call this a very QQ (bouncy) texture.
The roasted duck meat was juicy and supple too.
Chilled Mango Sago and Pomelo Dessert. Has grass jelly inside too! Perfect ending to a perfect lunch. Smooth mango puree with varying textures from the multiple ingredients inside.
In my opinion, after doing extensive research and tasting most of the dim sum restaurants in Singapore, Hua Ting has had the best standards in dim sum. Everything I had was really delicious, and I can’t say there was any dish I would not order. This makes deciding my order that much harder.
Try Hua Ting’s XO chilli sauce as well, which is the winner in a blind taste-test held sometime ago. Sold in bottles for takeaway too.
It gets really crowded here during meal times and they are typically fully seated, so do make reservations.
I give Hua Ting Restaurant 3 thumbs up. Highly recommended Chinese restaurant.
Related Guide: Best Dim Sums in Singapore History
Expected Damage: $35-$65/pax