Be prepared to queue up even if you arrive at 11 am, because the dim sum-loving old folks will be there earlier than you to tapao the freshly made dim sum from Hong Kong Mongkok Tim Sum (香港旺角点心).
Located within the stuffy Chinatown Complex Market, it’s pretty frustrating to queue physically, but this stall has implemented a numbered queuing system, which makes it less tiring for its customers.
Stacked with bamboo steamer trays, you’ll get to witness the stall owners making numerous char siew baos from scratch.
By the way, this place only sells six kinds of dim sum and they are all priced at $2.30 each.
The Char Siew Bao was quite fluffy and generously packed with meat filling. I was pleasantly surprised because the three pieces were huge for their price tag.
While you might find it weird that it’s not red in colour, the tender meat broke apart easily and the bun was pillowy soft.
That said, this Char Siew Bao was definitely legit and it is one of the better ones I’ve tried at a similar price point.
For the Steam Chicken Feet, I found that the sauce was too diluted for my liking. Texture wise, it was a tad dry and rubbery as compared to what I am used to.
For the Prawn Rice Flour Roll, the sizes of the prawns were alright for the price I paid, and the overall taste was quite mediocre.
On itself, the rice flour roll, or chee cheong fun, was pretty above average due to the desired thinness and appropriate filling ratio.
Shao Mai, or Siew Mai, was proportionately sculpted to an average bite-size and had a robust taste of sesame oil to it.
Springy but slightly tough when it was no longer warm, I’ll recommend you to devour the Shao Mai while it’s fresh out (the food get cold easily without the bamboo steamers), and dip it into the tangy house-made chilli sauce for extra flavour.
The skin of the Xia Jiao (har gao), aka prawn dumpling, was of the right thickness, but the folds were a little tough.
Despite being priced at about 77 cents per piece, you get to witness the prominent prawns encased inside the dumplings. The bite felt like a mix between chewy and mushy, and there wasn’t a lot to shout about the taste (but dipping more chilli sauce would do the trick).
Compared to its prawn variation, I much prefer the Char Siew Rice Flour Roll. Rice roll aside, the meat version worked better with soy sauce, and although it did not look like much, the flavour did make up for the lack of red colouring.
While it was definitely an affordably priced meal, I am not sure if I would like to wait for an hour again.
I am sure there are many great dim sum places out there but if you have some spare time to fight the lunch crowd, the value-for-money char siew bao here is quite worth a try.
Expected Damage: $2.30 per plate