Last Updated: August 22, 2020
Dim sum has always been a traditional comfort food in Singapore, owing to many early migrants bringing this wonderful cuisine to our little island from Hong Kong. Through the decades, dim sum culture in Singapore has also evolved to include different styles like Shanghainese and Sichuan dishes, as well as our own local touch.
Singaporeans love dim sum, so I felt a need to research, taste and develop a comprehensive guide to the best dim sum in Singapore—everyone’s always looking for good dim sum, anyway. It was also the perfect excuse to stuff myself senseless with Liu Sha Bao (流沙包).
Many restaurants only serve dim sum in the morning till mid afternoon, then switch to a different dinner menu. Look out for the dim sum hours available so you don’t miss it!
Highlighting the best value-for-money dim sum, these are the dim sum restaurants I feel were extremely worth the money I paid. This category doesn’t mean these restaurants are cheap, but that they give maximum tummy happiness for every dollar spent.
Helmed by Hong Kong Masterchef Lap Fai—crowned Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year 2012 at the World Gourmet Series Awards—and established in 1992, Hua Ting Restaurant 华厅餐厅 is an excellent choice for mid to high range dim sum.
Among all my tastings, I would have to say Hua Ting has the best overall dim sum—every single dish I tried here was delectably impressive. Typically packed, you have to make reservations at the restaurant two days beforehand.
The Signature Baked Mango Chicken Tartlet (S$6.60/3 pcs) and double-boiled Cantonese soups are delicious favourites. The Salted Egg Custard Bun (S$4.20), or liu sha bao 流沙包, is thick and creamy with a hint of salty graininess and with smooth skin.
Ask for their homemade chunky XO chilli sauce to go with your dim sum as well, you won’t regret it.
Expected Damage: S$35 per pax
Hua Ting Restaurant 华厅餐厅: 442 Orchard Road, Level 2, Orchard Hotel, Singapore 238879 | Tel: +65 6739 6666 | Dim Sum Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm (Mon to Fri), 11am – 2.30pm (Sat & Sun) | Website
Possibly the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant you’ll be able to find, Tim Ho Wan 添好运 came to Singapore in 2013.
This Hong Kong dim sum restaurant serves up top-grade dim sum at very reasonable prices, albeit with a limited menu. When Tim Ho Wan just started in Singapore, the queue was insane.
These days, with 11 outlets in Singapore and 46 outlets worldwide, it’s not as hard to get a seat and chow down on some dim sum. The recipes are the same as what’s used in their Hong Kong restaurants, so you can be assured of the authenticity.
Expected Damage: S$20 per pax
The very first Peach Garden 桃苑 opened in Novena Garden in 2002 as a place for connoisseurs of Cantonese cuisine to gather. Since then, their success has led to multiple outlets opening around Singapore.
Peach Garden is modern chic and uses a mix of Asian cuisines, including Thai style. A very apt place for business and family dinners, Peach Garden is clean and appealing for the masses. The fried Liu Sha Bao, roasted pork belly and XO chilli carrot cake are must-try items.
There’s also a very affordable high-tea dim sum buffet (S$23.80++/adults, S$16.80++/children) on weekends, 3pm to 5pm—which is extremely value-for-money. The service here is also attentive and very conscientious.
Expected Damage: S$23.80++ per adult, S$16.80++ per children
Even though I said no-frills, some of these roadside hawker places have started charging for small items like appetizers and napkins, so do take note. However, the average price per person will definitely still be less than S$20.
One of Singapore’s oldest and most successful roadside dim sum place, although Swee Choon 瑞春has raised prices, the dim sum is still very affordable.
The beautiful thing about Swee Choon is that it only opens at night, which makes it a popular spot for young, midnight supper goers. Post-clubbing supper, anyone? (Maybe not during this COVID-19 pandemic.)
Most of the dim sum is above average, while the fried Swee Choon Mee Suah Kueh (S$2.40) is quite interesting. Do take note of the appetiser and napkin charges.
Expected Damage: S$14 per pax
126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi 搵到食 (or 126 Wan Dou Sek in Cantonese, which means “found something to eat”) is a place I’ve visited for years. The dishes are all really affordable, with one of the largest range of fried dim sum I’ve seen. And the best part? This place is open for 24 hours every day.
The setting here at 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi is like a 1980s Hong Kong stall. Try their freshly-baked Egg Tarts (S$3.50 for three)—these off-menu goodies come with airy, light custard with a hint of char, and a crispy crust.
Expected Damage: S$14 per pax
The most expensive out of the hawker dim sum places, Victor’s Kitchen used to be in the category of ‘value-for-money’ but has since raised prices after getting popular.
They compensate for this by giving larger-sized dim sum, as well as adding a bit of twist to classic dishes—like the Steamed Carrot Cake With XO Sauce. Lunch and dinner times get really packed, so either make a booking or come during off-peak hours.
They have two outlets, one in Chinatown Point and one in Sunshine Plaza, so you can see which one is more convenient for you to satisfy your dim sum cravings.
Expected Damage: S$17 per pax
Victor’s Kitchen @ Sunshine Plaza: 91 Bencoolen Street, Sunshine Plaza, #01-21, Singapore 189652 | Tel: +65 9838 2851 | Opening Hours: 10.30am – 8pm (Sun to Thu), 10.30am – 9pm (Fri & Sat)
Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum 一点心 is, no doubt, the epitome of no-frills, fuss-free and cheap hawker dim sum. Located along the popular midnight supper spot of Upper Serangoon, it is easy to miss this little corner shop with massive crowds for Teochew mui right beside them.
Chef Foong hails from the Tung Lok restaurant group originally, but has decided to start his own little stall in Upper Serangoon.
Try the Signature Salted Egg Custard Bun (S$3.80) and Steamed Prawn Dumpling (S$3.50/3 pcs) which are extremely worth their price for the quality.
Expected Damage: S$11 per pax
Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum 一点心: 1012 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534752 | Tel: +65 9168 5587 | Opening Hours: 7am – 3pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue | Facebook
Fu Yuan Handmade Dim Sum (吉隆坡富园手工点心.包) is a relatively covert dim sum place in Clementi West—who says the West of Singapore doesn’t have good food? It’s also in the same coffee shop as the famous Ah Hoe Mee Pok.
The stall owner hails from Malaysia, and has travelled to Hong Kong many years ago to master the art of making pau. He began his dim sum business back in Kuala Lumpur more than 30 years ago. It wasn’t until around 2016 that he decided to move it to Singapore.
Some must-try paus here include Fu Yuan’s signature Liu Sha Pau 流沙包 (S$1 each), the signature Ji Wo Pau 鸡窝包 (S$4 each) and Braised Meat Pau 扣肉包 (S$1.60 each). These are all handcrafted, with a secret technique that makes them irresistible.
So if you stay in the West, this is another option to satisfy your dim sum cravings.
Expected Damage: S$5 per pax
Fu Yuan Handmade Dim Sum (吉隆坡富园手工点心.包): 710 Clementi West Street 2, Singapore 120710 | Opening Hours: 5am – 6pm (Daily)
This dim sum stall should be on your list of supper places—S$1.30 Dim Sum in Ang Mo Kio is open for 24 hours a day.
As the name suggests, they sell every dish at S$1.30, which makes it incredibly affordable. Even the baskets of dim sum and congee bowls costs only S$1.30. You’ll want to pick off-peak hours, because the lunch crowd tends to get pretty huge.
Try the Century Egg Pork Porridge (S$1.30) if you’re in search of comfort food. Thick, creamy and served in a substantial portion, it’s simple yet satisfying.
More modern pau variants include the Custard Pao (S$1.30/2 pcs) and Coffee Pao (S$1.30/2 pcs).
Expected Damage: S$1.30 per item
S$1.30 Dim Sum: 555 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Ang Mo Kio New Town, Singapore 560555 | Opening Hours: 24 hours | Facebook
Sometimes, the best dim sum comes from the stalls tucked away in our hawker centres. With Kun Shu Food Stall (根叔美食世家), you can get good-quality Hong Kong dim sum at affordable prices.
Kun Shu Food Stall is named after its owner Chef Lam Kun, affectionately known as Uncle Kun. Originating from Hong Kong, Uncle Kun has been in the F&B business since he was 13 years old.
He arrived in Singapore in 1978 and worked in Shangri-La Hotel’s Shang Palace, and was also the head chef and consultant of Mouth Restaurant for 15 years before retiring. Restless at home, he then decided to open his own stall at Toa Payoh Vista Market in 2003.
You have to try their most iconic and well-known dish, the Oblong Lor Mai Kai 长形糯米鸡 (S$4.30). This one-of-a-kind dish was created by Uncle Kun, and can only be found here in the whole of Singapore. He includes a generous amount of pricey ingredients in this unique lor mai kai, including chicken, salted egg, Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, dried scallop and mushroom.
The dishes at Kun Shu Food Stall are almost on par with the ones from Cantonese restaurants, so pay a visit if you’re in the area.
Expected Damage: S$2.80 – S$7 per pax
Kun Shu Food Stall (根叔美食世家): 74 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Toa Payoh Vista Market, #01-03, Singapore 310074 | Opening Hours: 6am – 1pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
Slightly pricier than hawker dim sum but well worth the price, Sum Dim Sum in Jalan Besar lets you enjoy your dim sum in air-conditioned comfort.
When at a dim sum place, go for the char siew buns. Sum Dim Sum’s Signature Crispy Pork Bun (S$6/3 pcs) comes encased in a pandan shell—take a shot for the ‘gram before devouring it.
Another Instagram-worthy dish is the XL Prawn Dumplings (S$6/3 pcs), in a striking Tiffany blue hue. Made with butterfly pea flower, this dumpling was as delicious as it’s pretty.
Sum Dim Sum opens until 1.30am, so it’s a decent choice for supper too.
Expected Damage: S$20 per pax
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Ah, the atas (upscale), expensive stuff. These hotel restaurants require deep pockets or are usually for that special occasion. Good food with excellent ambience and service, you’ll get what you pay for.
Yan Ting Restaurant 宴庭 has probably the best dim sum brunch in Singapore—if you ignore that last act of taking money out of your wallet. Located in The St. Regis Singapore, the interior of this restaurant is amazingly modern yet still retains a distinctive Chinese fine-dining style.
However, to have dim sum at this prestigious restaurant comes with a hefty price tag of S$128++ per pax for the non-alcoholic weekend a la carte brunch buffet, which has dim sum as well as other Cantonese dishes. If you’re already splurging, go all out with S$178++ per pax for dim sum brunch including wines and beer, or S$198++ per pax to add on champagne as well.
Definitely not something you have every day. Opt for the morning seating, as it’s less crowded and dishes won’t run out as fast.
Expected Damage: S$128++ per pax (including tea), S$178++ (including tea, wines & beer), S$198++ (including tea, wines, beer & champagne)
Yan Ting Restaurant 宴庭: 29 Tanglin Road, The St. Regis Singapore, Level 1U, Singapore 247911 | Tel: +65 6506 6887 | Brunch Dim Sum Hours: 10.30am – 12.30pm & 1pm – 3pm (Sat, Sun & PH) | Facebook | Instagram | Website
The second most expensive weekend dim sum a la carte buffet, the dim sum brunch at Man Fu Yuan 满福苑 is available from S$58++ per person, with a minimum of two to dine.
Feeling fancy? You can enjoy unlimited Bolla Prosecco Spumante DOC Extra Dry to go with your dim sum, for an add-on price of S$38++.
Located within InterContinental Singapore at Middle Road, this Cantonese restaurant is decorated with butterfly lamps and peony flowers all around, exuding a nostalgic yet classy atmosphere.
Having a meal here means handcrafted premium dim sum—a surefire way to live the high life.
Go for the Crispy Prawn Bean Curd Roll With Wasabi Mayonnaise, and enjoy its wonderfully fried skin with a sharp punch of wasabi. And of course, you can’t go wrong with the Classic Hong Kong Char Siew Bun.
Expected Damage: S$58++ per adult (minimum 2 to dine), add-on S$38++ for free-flow prosecco, S$29++ per child (6 to 12 years old)
Man Fu Yuan 满福苑: 80 Middle Road, InterContinental Singapore, Second Floor, Singapore 188966 | Tel: +65 6338 7600 | Dim Sum Buffet Hours: 11.30am – 1pm & 1.30pm – 3pm (Sat, Sun & PH) | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Cherry Garden 櫻桃園 evokes the ambience of an ancient Chinese courtyard by having an actual antique wooden doorway you have to step through. Designed with feng shui in mind, this restaurant in The Mandarin Oriental is truly a journey into the Orient.
The dim sum selection here is mostly traditional but has a few exotic touches like the Organic Black Bean Pudding with Avocado and Sesame Ice Cream.
But what Cherry Garden excels in is using fresh and premium ingredients to make the standard dim sum even more outstanding. The Steamed Kurobuta Char Siew Pau is probably the best char siew pau I’ve had.
Can’t wait to try it? This weekend dim sum buffet will set you back S$68++ per adult, and S$40++ per child (between 7 to 12 years old).
Expected Damage: S$68++ per adult, S$40++ per child (between 7 to 12 years old)
Cherry Garden 櫻桃園: 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, The Mandarin Oriental, Level 5, Singapore 039797 | Tel: +65 6885 3500 | Dim Sum Buffet Hours: 11am – 1pm & 1.30pm – 3.30pm (Sat, Sun & PH) | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Another Cantonese restaurant serving up classic dishes with a contemporary twist, Hai Tien Lo 海天楼 is located within the conveniently-located Pan Pacific Singapore.
You can enjoy both a la carte dim sum and a dim sum buffet here—though my inner kiasu Singaporean simply implores you to opt for the Hai Tien Lo Weekend Brunch Buffet. Priced from S$68.80++ per adult and S$38.80 per child (6 to 12 years old), it’s pricey but worth it.
Each diner is entitled to the chef recommended Three Treasures—Braised Classic Whole Abalone and Beancurd, Deep-Fried Crispy Prawns with Raspberry Sauce, and a choice between Double-Boiled Mini Buddha Jumps Over The Wall or Braised Sea Treasures and Lobster. Don’t be surprised to find dishes with Teochew influence, like the Steamed Freshwater Fish with Chilli and Minced Garlic.
Step up your dim sum brunch game, and shell out S$98.80++ per pax for unlimited house wines, beers, juices and soft drinks, or go wild with S$128.80++ per pax and get free-flow champagne on top of the lot too.
Expected Damage: S$38.80++ per child (6 to 12 years old), S$68.80++ per adult, S$98.80++ per adult (unlimited house wines, beers, juices and soft drinks), S$128.80++ per adult (unlimited house-pour champagne, house wines, beers, juices and soft drinks)
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These are the more casual dining places where you can enjoy good dim sum in comfort. Prices may be higher than your hawker dim sum, but with much higher service standards and consistency. I’d recommend making reservations in advance for all these restaurants to avoid dimsum-ppointment.
Concentrating mainly on authenticity, Imperial Treasure Cantonese Cuisine 御寶 serves wonderfully-crafted dim sum prepared by their Hong Kong chefs. The quality is also very consistent no matter how many times you dine at this dim sum restaurant in Great World.
The other branches of Imperial Treasure have good dim sum too, but the best selection of dim sum is still at Imperial Treasure Cantonese Cuisine.
The dim sum dishes with fresh prawn are crunchy and delicious, like the Steamed Crispy Rice Roll with Shrimp (S$12/plate) and the classic Steamed Shrimp & Pork Dumpling with Shrimp Roe ‘Siew Mai’ (S$6.20/4 pcs).
Try some of the dishes that you don’t see often at other dim sum places—the Marinated Duck Tongue (S$18) certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Expected Damage: S$40 per pax
Imperial Treasure Cantonese Cuisine 御寶: 1 Kim Seng Promenade, #02-111/112, Great World, Singapore 237994 | Tel: +65 6732 2232 | Dim Sum Hours: 11.30am – 3pm (Mon to Fri), 11am – 3pm (Sat), 10.30am – 3pm (Sun & PH) | Other Outlets | Facebook | Instagram | Website
A restaurant serving innovative Hong Kong-style Teochew cuisine, East Ocean Teochew Restaurant 东海潮洲酒家 has become much more accessible since moving to Ngee Ann City in 2012.
Hands down, the best Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (S$16) I’ve had in Singapore was at East Ocean Teochew Restaurant. The Steamed Custard Bun (S$6.80/4 pcs) was also amazing—thick, flowy custard that’s not overly eggy in taste.
They also serve intricate animal-shaped dim sum dishes that are almost too cute to eat.
Expected Damage: S$30 per pax
East Ocean Teochew Restaurant 东海潮洲酒家: 391 Orchard Road, #05-08/09, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872 | Tel: +65 6235 9088 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm (Mon to Fri), 10am – 3pm (Sat, Sun & PH), 6pm – 9pm (Sun to Thu & PH), 6pm – 9.30pm (Fri & Sat) | Facebook | Website
With a long history of awards, Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant 华乐酒楼 has always been reputed to be one of Singapore’s best dim sum restaurants. Serving traditional Cantonese dim sum, this is one of the few places you can find Hong Kong-style Steamed Carrot Cake (S$5.70).
You can order the dim sum portions here according to the number of diners, instead of fixed basket size. Prices are slightly steeper at Wah Lok than regular casual Cantonese restaurants, but the quality is worth it.
Try the Steamed Crab Meat & Egg White Dumpling (S$7.50) and Baked Custard Bun (S$6) for something familiar, yet done in a different style.
Expected Damage: S$35 per pax
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant 华乐酒楼: 76 Bras Basah Road, Carlton Hotel, Level 2, Singapore 189558 | Tel: +65 6311 8188 / +65 6311 8189 | Dim Sum Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm (Mon to Sat), 11am – 2.30pm (Sun) | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Established in the 1980s, Mouth Restaurant 地茂馆 opened their first outlet in Chinatown, serving up freshly handmade dim sum. After revamping the menu, Mouth Restaurant has now come up with creative dishes like Mouth’s Prawn Har Gao (S$6.20/4 pcs) which comes in different colours and flavours—Squid Ink, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Carrot and Original.
The Squid Ink Char Siew Bao and Squid Ink Chee Cheong Fun are two dishes you should try too. Definitely one for the ‘gram. And don’t forget the famous Top 10 Baked Cream of Salted Egg Yolk Bun (S$5.80/3 pcs), which has crispy boluo bun skin with salted egg custard filling.
Mouth Restaurant serves up affordable and visually-pleasing dim sum, although some look better than they taste. Certain dim sum items like the Squid Ink Char Siew Bao are not sold during dinner.
Expected Damage: S$30 per pax
Mouth Restaurant 地茂馆: 38 Maxwell Road, #01-01/02 Airview Building, Singapore 069116 | Tel: +65 6438 5798 / +65 9831 9461| Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm (Mon to Fri), 10am – 4.30pm (Sat, Sun & PH), 6pm – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook | Website
When a restaurant is bold enough to claim itself as the master of artisanal dim sum, you know they definitely have something to prove. MASA by Black Society is one such establishment, with branches at Great World and Orchard Gateway.
Cloaked in accents of black and white monochromes, accentuated by hanging vines, wall plants, and large vases of wildflowers, the space at MASA by Black Society makes for the perfect photo spot for those of us who live and swear by the ‘gram.
One look at the menu and you will be able to tell that MASA by Black Society is not just your average dim sum place—the selection of dim sum blends East and West influences.
The Swan Yam Pastry from the Dimsum Tasting Platter (S$16.80) deserves a special mention. The contrast between the lightly crisp surface and the moist meaty centre will have you going back for seconds.
Technically chee cheong fun (rice noodle roll) wrapped around a giant fried spring roll, the Dinosaur Rice Roll (S$8.80) was equal parts savoury and sweet. A blanket of delicate stem rice roll encased a spring roll that was deep-fried to perfection.
Step aside, cafe-hopping. Time for cha chaan teng hopping instead!
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$40 per pax
MASA By Black Society: 277 Orchard Road, Orchard Gateway, #01-12/13/14, Singapore 238858 | Tel: +65 6243 7988 | Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Sun to Thu), 11am – 10.30pm (Fri & Sat) | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Who doesn’t like to stuff their faces with dim sum? I know I do. Here’s where you can find dim sum buffets in Singapore with good variety and quality.
Jade 玉楼 in The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is well-known for offering authentic Cantonese cuisine in a beautifully-decorated space with overhead lantern lighting and specially-commissioned wallpaper.
At S$50++ per person and with minimum two to dine, Jade’s Weekend Yum Cha falls within mid-range buffet brunch pricing, but it’s worth every dollar. You can order 15 items from the menu, which includes signature dim sum, appetisers, soups, mains and dessert.
One-time order items include the sumptuous, savoury Braised Bird’s Nest With Truffled Egg White in Superior Broth (S$38, a la carte)—replacement for the usual shark’s fin soup—that has generous amounts of crab meat with that fragrant, addictive truffle after-taste.
The fried and baked items at Jade are excellent too, like the Okinawa Brown Sugar Char Siew Bun (S$7.20/2 pcs, a la carte) and Pan-Fried Radish Cake (S$7.20/3 pcs, a la carte) which have crispy yet non-greasy crusts. The extremely well-trained and attentive staff members are a bonus, making this one of the best balanced dim sum buffets.
Expected Damage: S$50++ per pax
Feeling peckish at odd hours? Head over to Yum Cha Restaurant 飲茶酒樓 at Chinatown.
This Chinatown stalwart serves a S$26.80++ weekday dim sum high tea buffet from 3pm – 6pm. Yum Cha gets quite crowded over the weekends during breakfast and lunch hours, so this is probably your best bet at getting a taste of their dim sum.
There are over 60 items to choose from, including the Coriander Prawn Dumpling, Squid Ink Dumpling, Scallop Pea-Shoot Dumpling and more.
This is a casual, unpretentious place with old-fashioned dim sum carts, marble tables and wooden chairs. However, service gets a bit slow when there are too many people, and dishes end up taking a bit more time.
Expected Damage: S$26.80++ per adult, S$16.80++ per child
Yum Cha Restaurant Chinatown 飲茶酒樓: 20 Trengganu Street, #02-01, Singapore 058479 | Tel: +65 6372 1717 | Opening Hours: 10.30am – 10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 9am – 10.30pm (Sat, Sun & PH) | Dim Sum Hours: 3pm – 6pm (Mon to Fri)
Yum Cha at Changi: 6 Changi Business Park Ave 1, UE BizHub East, #01-33, Singapore 486017 | Tel: +65 6789 1717 | Opening Hours: 10.30am – 3pm, (Mon to Fri), 9am – 3pm (Sat, Sun & PH), 6pm – 9pm (Daily) | Facebook | Website
A Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine restaurant that’s been awarded a Michelin Plate, Peony Jade @Keppel Club features high ceilings, quaint red lanterns and decent dim sum.
Available at S$31.80++, Peony Jade’s weekend dim sum pushcart buffet is quite worth it.
You can look forward to a selection of handcrafted Hong Kong-style dim sum, complete with hot and cold desserts. The Steamed Piggy Char Sui Bao (3 pcs) is one for the ‘gram; the bun is made to look like an adorable pink pig!
Other treats include Steamed Crabmeat Dumplings with Chilli Crab Sauce, Drunken Chic Dumpling, Steamed Molten Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bao and more.
If you have a car and want some good value dim sum buffet, Peony Jade is a good candidate to consider.
Expected Damage: From S$35++ per pax
Peony Jade @ Keppel Club: 10 Bukit Chermin Road, Keppel Club, M Level, Singapore 109918 | Tel: +65 6276 9138 | Dim Sum Buffet Hours: 11am – 2.30pm (Mon to Thu), 10.30am – 12.15pm & 12.45pm – 2.30pm (Fri to Sun & PH) | Facebook | Website
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Each restaurant listed here has at least 30 years of history, with many of their dim sum recipes staying the same for decades.
The ambience and feeling are all very nostalgic—especially if you are a Gen X-er, you will definitely appreciate this. Youngsters should check it out to have a feel of tradition.
Red Star Restaurant 红星酒家 and the following entry, Dragon Phoenix Restaurant 龍鳳大飯店, are run by the remaining chefs of the ‘Four Heavenly Kings of Cantonese Cuisine’ who gained fame and multiple culinary awards in the 1970s.
They were all disciples of grandmaster Chef Luo Chen at Cathay Restaurant in the 1950s, which was considered to be the most prestigious Chinese restaurant at the time. These chefs are also credited with inventing the famous Singapore dishes we eat so regularly today: chilli crab, yam ring and yu sheng.
This Cantonese speciality restaurant serves up signature dishes like Fried Yam Pot Filled With Scallops, Prawns & Cashew Nuts, and chilli crab. It’s one of the few remaining restaurants in Singapore still serving up dim sum in pushcarts, so head over to Red Star Restaurant for nostalgic Hong Kong-style dim sum.
Expected Damage: S$25 per pax
Red Star Restaurant 红星酒家: 54 Chin Swee Road, #07-23, Singapore 160054 | Tel: +65 6532 5266 | Opening Hours: 8am – 3pm (Mon to Sat), 7am – 3pm (Sun & PH), 6pm – 10pm (Daily) | Facebook | Instagram | Website
Like we’ve mentioned earlier about Red Star Restaurant 红星酒家, Dragon Phoenix Restaurant 龍鳳大飯店 also has similar standards and still employs traditional cart-pushing dim sum ladies, like in Hong Kong. The restaurant layout and recipes have remained unchanged for more than 40 years, giving a very deep impression of nostalgia.
Dragon Phoenix Restaurant has been around since 1963, which was when Master Chef Hooi Kok Wai created Singapore’s first chilli crab, Phoenix Spring Chicken, Yam Basket and Kyoto Pork Ribs.
Aside from the original restaurant on River Valley Road, there’s also Dragon Phoenix Grand, located within Temasek Club. This is a fancier version of the original Dragon Phoenix Restaurant, and despite its location, it’s open to the public.
Expected Damage: S$25 per pax
Dragon Phoenix Restaurant 龍鳳大飯店: 177A River Valley Road, #06-00, Novotel Clarke Quay, Singapore 179031 | Tel: +65 6339 3368 | Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm (Mon to Sat), 10am – 3pm (Sun & PH), 6pm – 11pm (Daily)
Dragon Phoenix Grand: 131 Rifle Range Road, Temasek Club, Block 2, Level 2, Singapore 588406 | Tel: +65 6463 3628 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm & 6pm – 10.30pm (Daily) | Website
The first restaurant in Regent Singapore, Summer Palace 夏宫 is a 50-seater space with décor that evokes nostalgia. Step inside, and you’ll see its resemblance to other traditional Chinese restaurants, with wooden fixtures and prosperous red highlights.
An immensely popular pick for traditional Chinese wedding dinners, Summer Palace also makes an excellent business lunch venue if you want to let your client sample Cantonese cuisine.
Of course, you can expect excellent service as befitting a hotel restaurant. Look forward to dishes like the Steamed Prawn & Squid Dumplings (S$8), Barbecued Pork Buns (S$6) and Deep-Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls With Black Truffle Sauce (S$8).
Expected Damage: S$40 per pax
Summer Palace 夏宫 : 3 Cuscaden Road, Regent Singapore, Level 3, Singapore 249728 | Tel: +65 6725 3288 | Dim Sum Hours: 12pm – 2.30pm (Mon to Fri), 11.30am – 2.30pm (Sat & Sun) | Website
Winner of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs medallion, Asia Grand Restaurant 亚洲金阁海鲜酒家 has one of the better service standards out of all the classic restaurants here—other than Summer Palace. They have also updated their decor to keep up with the times, so you can expect a few modern touches, including tables that can seat up to 15 diners!
They serve up traditional dim sums as well as simple yet new combinations, and the Baked BBQ Pork Buns Mexico Style (S$4.80) is reminiscent of the boluo buns you can get at old school bakeries.
The dim sum is popular and the restaurant gets constantly quite crowded on the weekends from 9am – 2pm. You must try the Peking Duck (S$72/whole duck) here—it’s one of the best in Singapore.
Expected Damage: S$30 per pax
The oldest surviving Chinese restaurant in Singapore, Spring Court 詠春園 has been around since 1929—before many of us were even born!
Spring Court is a massive four-storey heritage shophouse with an elevator catering for families and business VIPs alike—they even have valet parking available.
Strictly speaking, the current restaurant is pretty new since they’ve moved several times, but the dim sum is classic. Now onto their third generation of family management, this restaurant is constantly evolving and adapting to modern times, a good sign that they’ll be around in the future to continue serving us dim sum goodness.
The Dumplings with Sichuan Spicy Sauce (S$5.80/3 pcs) are fiery hot but burns so good. The spiciness makes my ears tingle when I eat it, but it’s just so delicious and full of flavour. Get a portion of the Roasted Pork Belly (S$13.80/portion) too—crispy, crackling skin, melt-in-mouth fats and juicy meat make this the perfect bite.
Expected Damage: S$30 per pax
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Did we miss any notable dim sum places? Let us know, and we’ll check it out.
As with all our guides, the term ‘best’ is subjective and based on personal opinion after trying the dim sum places. Many of the restaurants have different branches and standards may vary across outlets as well.