Where would you go for dim sum? The consistent, convenient and affordable Crystal Jade had always been my favourite choice, with a good bowl of congee and basket of Siew Mai for comfort Sunday brunch. But I think Old Hong Kong had just opened up a new option for me!
I think many had visited their 24hour cafe at Katong, but this branch at Square2 specialised in dim sum during lunch and tea, while serving up stir fries at night. The shopping centre was rather sleepy for New Year Day, but when I turned around the corner leading to the restaurant, it was packed beyond expectations!
Appetising Snack ($1.00), Iced Milk Tea ($2.80)
The staffs were speedy and well-trained, overhearing quite a number of them conversing in Cantonese. Unlike most places serving salted peanuts as table snack, they had a more local varient with long bean, ikan bilis and dried beancurd.
As I usually judged a so-called Hong Kong restaurant by the standard of its milk tea, the one here had its own pros and cons. At first impression, it was rather fragrant and had a solid good flavour to it. However, the aftertaste was bad, leaving a dry, scaley feel when you rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This, according to a milk tea expert (aka mom), was not the fault of technique, but due to leaving the tea leaves boiled for way too long.
Siew Mai ($4.20), Char Siew Bun ($3.20)
I ordered pretty standard things when it came to dim sum, but for me its the normal stuffs that kept me happy when done well. The inclusion of abalone clam in the Siew Mai might be gimicky, but I actually liked how it tasted overall, with a solid texture of minced pork and prawn.
The other one was definitely A grade. Soft fluffy exterior with juicy sweet barbecued pork, one of the best I had in ages!
Pan Fried Flour Roll with XO Chilli ($3.80), Shrimp Roll with Cheese ($3.80)
Flour rolls were usually steamed and wrapped with prawns, scallops or char siew. But another way to eat it was to pan fried with XO chilli sauce. More savoury than fiery, it was a good one for me!
The shrimp roll looked interesting on menu, but taste-wise the cheese could be a bit more heavier, while I had to complement the generous amount of shrimps used in each roll.
Deep-fried Yam Dumpling ($3.20), Mini Egg Tart ($2.80)
Another well-done snack, the dumpling was piping hot and stuffed full of savoury yam and minced meat. The egg tart however, paled in comparison to Crystal Jade, with a diluted custard center and a crust just not flaky enough.
Chinese Pancake with Diced Scallop ($6.00), Steamed Rice with Chicken and Chinese Sauasage ($6.00)
The pancake was a mistake made on impulse. I had an impression that it would be the crispy prata-like type, but instead it was lumpy and tasteless, with the scallops hardly able to save it.
Still feeling hungry? Go for the rice selections! Fragrantly steamed and eaten with a dash of soy sauce, it will fill you up with satisfaction!
Bill for two was $40.20 after taxes, and that was a lot of food! Not exactly a Crystal Jade replacement, Old Hong Kong did have dishes to my liking, but there were some that could be further improved or avoided during my next trip!