June 14, 2016
Imperial Treasure has opened yet another dim sum joint, now in Paragon.
Treasures by Imperial Treasure 一点心 Yi Dian Xin aims to be the paragon of fast casual dim sum dining without compromising the quality of their beloved dim sum. Gunning for the ‘dim-sum-so-good-and-rare-its-like-gold’ kind of vibes.
Aptly titled treasures, this outlet has a bounty of delicious dim sum crafted with effort, skills, quality ingredients and… a little bit of heart. (For non-mandarin speaking folks, 一 点心 yi dian xin can be loosely translated into ‘one dim sum’ or ‘a little bit of heart’)
In this outlet, Imperial Treasure completely abstained from the usual Chinese decor – which was always prominent in their other outlets. Here, the place is kept very bright with lots of lights and whites, only using other glimmering resplendent colours like bronze, gold and silver as accents.
Overall, shiny, modern and casual. And of course with a new concept, you would expect Imperial Treasure to have something completely new in store so we are here to taste dishes from the new additions to the old signatures.
Marinated Duck Tongue in Si Chuan Style ($9)
My first thought was wow this looks like some jaw structure of a prehistoric creature or a weird shellfish but nope, it is Marinated Duck tongue. Which tasted surprisingly good, sorry not sorry.
Before you let your mind get the better of you, think of it as abalone because that was its texture. And honestly it doesn’t sound that bad….? There are worse things like duck liver, chicken hearts etc sooo why the hell not yeah?
As mentioned, the duck tongue’s texture was close to that of an abalone’s or perhaps mushroom or jellyfish. The meat soaked up sufficient marinate so it was juicy inside, with that unmissable si chuan flavour.
Crispy Roast Pork ($10)
At treasures yi dian xin, you can still get imperial treasure’s Hong Kong style roasts. So all you carnivores, chill, they got you.
This Shio Bak is Shiok Ba (so damn satisfying pork belly) for those who like their 3-layered pork less fatty. While I understand the whole focus of pork belly is the luscious layer of fats that gives the deliquescing texture, this shio bak allows for the full indulgent flavour with lesser bit of guilt.
Don’t mistake it for not being tender, not to mention the meaty salty juices spilling out upon biting. The glorious bubbly crispy pork skin is probably the favourite part for most of us. And this one right here, does not disappoint.
It’s crisp, lard-y and salty. Maybe a bit too salty for my liking but it was annoyingly addictive – one can’t help but love it.
Homemade Roast Duck ($12)
Glossy and fragrant, the duck was roasted to an enticing red. Soft, succulent and juicy meat that oozes liquid fats and marinade. Not bad but there are so many other places cooking up delicious roasted ducks; Treasures’ falls short on the standards set by their competition.
Steamed Diced Mushroom Dumplings ($4.80 for 3pcs)
Here’s one for the mushroom lovers.
These steamed diced mushroom dumplings aren’t exclusive to Treasure Yi Dian Xin but they were introduced to us due to its entirely vegetarian attribute, which is rare in their dim sum menu, and sheer deliciousness.
These dumplings should come with an ‘extremely delicate and squishy’ warning because their skin is truly thin and delicate. The said skin is the same as shui jin bao’s hence the thinness and transparency.
Upon breaking through, the distinct toasty aroma of sauteed mushrooms wafts into your nose. The filling promises a richness of both sweet and savoury flavours from 3 types of mushrooms – Lingzhi gu, Mo gu, dong gu,- sauteed together with honey beans.
Stuffed Prawn in Crispy Wrap with Wasabi in Mayonnaise dip ($4.80)
Part of the standard dim sum fare is fried wanton and its variations. Cripsy wanton skin with a fresh fat succulent prawn inside, though I couldn’t really make out the distinct wasabi flavour.
Simple and familiar snack we adore.
Steamed Crispy Rice Roll with Shrimp ($7)
This was probably my favourite dish of everything I got the opportunity to try at Treasures Yi Dian Xin. Personally a fan of the savoury kind of chee cheong fun, so this was like meeting a soulmate.
Beneath every rice roll is a fat juicy prawn encased in rice flour that’s so crispy it crunches with every bite, breaking into tiny pieces. Using rice flour was a fantastic choice as this ensures ultimate crispness without any sort of flavour in the batter conflicting with the traditional taste of chee cheong fun/ vermicelli rolls / rice rolls.
I would come back just to have this again.
Treasures Signature Noodles with Pig’s Shank, Beef Tendon, Wanton and Shrimp Dumplings ($10)
In mandarin this noodle is titled the four treasures noodles because of the four notable ingredients mentioned. To maintain that authentic Hong Kong Canton Noodle, these handmade noodles are imported from Hong Kong.
These handmade noodles are unlike the usual, they are more firm and rebounding. It feels like fine, chewy maggie noodles.
Boiled for 3.5 hours with pork ribs, old mother hen, prawns, mushrooms and beef ribs, this soup is guaranteed brimming with flavours so slurp-worthy. I thought the soup would be chalky and murky but it is clear, light and tasty – super Hong Kong style.
Century Egg and Sliced Fish Congee ($9)
What you’d expect of Hong Kong congee, there is a great balance of water content and starch factor, giving you that desired silkiness that glides around so effortlessly.
According to Imperial Treasure, even the more health-conscious eaters, healthcare professionals etc do enjoy and praise their congee for its tastiness and healthiness.
Baked Snow Crust BBQ Pork Bun ($3.60 for 2pc)
In my opinion, tastes better than Tim Ho Wan’s, which can get slightly overly sweet for my liking. The sugar topping is sweet but my favourite part was the char siew (roasted pork).
Dark, sweet and savoury – it was exploding with flavour and done so with impressive depth even though it was just…char siew. It definitely blew my mind.
Deep Fried Porcupine Buns with Red Bean Paste ($4 for 2pc)
I know, you must be questioning yourself on how to dissect these adorable little buns. Don’t hesitate, just stick a knife through it or bite the face off so they don’t stare at you while you savagely eat them.
Although red bean mantou is simple, the carving of the small little porcupines take steady hands and tenacity. The mantou layer is not thick, so you won’t be peeved about insufficient or stingy filling because about 70% is the red bean paste. Overall cute and tastes the part.
Steamed Salted-Egg Yolk Black Custard Bun ($3.60 for 2)
Probably what you’ve all been anticipating to be talked about, glorious salted egg yolk bun, more stylish than ever. With all the salted egg yolk custard buns / Liu Sha Baos or salted egg yolk breads becoming so ubiquitous, there is a clear standard to meet and beyond if one wants to be set apart from the others.
Imperial Treasure’s Treasure Yi Dian Xin’s answer to that is to make their buns look sleek and sophisticated – full on black with a stripe of gold, while not discounting on its flavour.
With a pillowy bun texture that balances softness and density, it was satisfying to bite into – being neither too soft or thick. Peeling the bun open, the salted-egg custard that oozes out is slightly sweet, with creamy and residual textures. Overall light yet distinct taste of salted-egg yolk, which may prove to be too subtle for people who prefer a stronger salted egg yolk flavour.
Here’s another photo just because. You’re welcome.
Steamed ‘Malay’ Sponge Cake ($3.80)
Probably the softest malay sponge cake (Ma Lai Go) the entire table has tasted till date. Super fluffy, springy and soft, my colleague said it was almost reaching a cloud-like texture. Apart from its desirable softness, its so adequately sweet without the overbearing smell of brown sugar that’ll render it sour.
Even though $3.80 for something that can be flattened into a stack of business cards you gave out and been actually used by someone, I would say it is really worth a try.
L to R: Mango Custard Mochi ($3.60 for 2), Coconut Jelly ($2.80 for 2)
Mango Mochi was exceedingly soft, albeit too much to retain that chewy springy texture a mochi requires but the Mango Custard filling was nicely cold and creamy, with small bits of mango for extra bite. Overall, an addictive bite size sin that can be popped incessantly. A good size for people who need desserts even though they are just absolutely stuffed.
The coconut jelly was like a creamier richer version of the coconut jelly found in agar agar. Pretty refreshing but not out-this-world.
Of these dishes, there are some that have captured my heart and I would return for them. Overall, the repertoire of food they offer, were executed well. Definitely a place to head to for your casual dim sum fix if you’re not down for some fancy times at the restaurants in town like in Ngee Ann City. Or when Imperial Treasures’ other outlets nearby are full (aka Nan Bei in Ngee Ann City).
Expected Damage: $25 – $45 per pax