Kun Shu Food Stall: Restaurant-Quality Hong Kong Dim Sum By Ex-Hotel Chef at Toa Payoh Vista Market

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When you’re craving some dim sum, you immediately think of Din Tai Fung, Canton Paradise and the likes of expensive, big-name restaurants. With Kun Shu Food Stall (根叔美食世家), you won’t ever have to pay such exorbitant prices again for good-quality Hong Kong dim sum

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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. 60 years later, he’s still as passionate as he was then, coming to the stall at 3am daily to prepare his dishes. 

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. 

After seeing that I had ordered dim sum from his stall, he came over to my table and asked how I felt about the food in a barrage of Cantonese that I barely understood. Thankfully, my friend helped to translate, and he willingly shared his story with us. 

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He chose to specialise in dim sum in order to stand out from other hawkers, instead of selling generic economic bee hoon. He jovially revealed that he doesn’t run his business for the money, but for the satisfaction of his customers when they enjoy a traditional dim sum meal from his stall.

Seeing as to how he comes to the stall every day without fail and cares about his customers’ feedback, I don’t find his admission hard to believe. After his insightful sharing, I was more than ready to try the dim sum for myself. I was happy to find that all of their items were under S$5, and I took my pick from the wide array of authentic dishes. 

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First, I tried 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. 

This lor mai kai is bigger than the average glutinous rice, owing to its special shape. 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 bold and savoury flavours of the Chinese sausage, salted egg and dried shrimp helped to offset the sticky richness of the rice. 

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I also had the Hong Kong Glutinous Rice 香港生炒糯米饭 (S$2.80), which came in a huge portion of rice, sprinkled with peanuts and spring onions. Like the lor mai kai, this dish contains a liberal serving of ingredients like cuttlefish, dried shrimp, mock char siew, Chinese sausage and mushrooms. 

The glutinous rice was extremely fragrant, with a light yet chewy texture that made me crave more. The crunch of the peanuts and large cuttlefish pieces cut through that thick “nian” feeling, while the other ingredients added umami yet not in an overpowering way. The dried shrimp chilli was savoury-sweet and added a welcome kick to the rice. 

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Next, I had Siew Mai (S$3.60 for three, S$1.20 each), one of the classics of dim sum. Even though this is often considered a side piece, this was one of my favourites from the stall. The Siew Mai was larger than average, with a generous filling of minced pork, prawn and tiny dried shrimps, wrapped with a thin and chewy yellow outer layer. 

The end result was a savoury finish from the pork and prawn fillings and a bounciness from the outer layer, which overall provided an indulgent mouthfeel and a burst of flavour. 

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Paying respects to his Cantonese heritage, Uncle Kun’s Congee with Century Egg & Salted Egg七彩皮蛋瘦肉粥 (S$3.90) originates from Guangdong, where this dish is the most popular. Topped with fragrant ginger strips and some peanuts, this dish is simple but familiar and comforting. 

The porridge was thick and filling, with a light flavouring from its ingredients that didn’t cause it to be too rich. A hefty amount of century egg and salted egg was given, lending the congee a piquant and earthy flavour, while the peanuts helped to add some crunch to the viscous porridge. Not the best I had tried, but still satisfying. 

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Finally, I had the Signature Yam Cake 招牌五香芋頭糕 (S$2.80), another one of their more popular dishes. For S$2.80, two large pieces of yam cake were given, garnished with spring onions, fried shallots, peanuts, sesame seeds and a generous amount of sauce. 

The cake was very smooth, with a good texture—not hard but not mushy. Personally, I thought the sauce was slightly salty but you can adjust the amount added to each bite. Despite the yam cake itself not having much taste, the sauce and Chinese sausage and dried shrimp added a welcome savouriness.  

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For their prices, I can confidently say that the dishes here at Kun Shu Food Stall are almost on par with the ones from Cantonese restaurants, and I’d recommend you pay a visit here if you’re in the area. However, some of these dishes are only available during the weekends like the Oblong Lor Mai Kai, and you might have to head down earlier to get your hands on their more popular dishes. 

I’m pretty sure that these would be good for takeaway too, just heat them up and you’re all set! Of course, remember to stay safe. 

Expected Damage: S$2.80 – S$7 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Kun Shu Food Stall

74 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Toa Payoh Vista Market, #01-03, Singapore 310074

Our Rating 4/5

Kun Shu Food Stall

74 Lor 4 Toa Payoh, Toa Payoh Vista Market, #01-03, Singapore 310074

Operating Hours: 6am - 1pm (Tues to Sun), Closed on Mon

Operating Hours: 6am - 1pm (Tues to Sun), Closed on Mon