Friday, June 19, 2009

Dim Sum Surgery

Anne’s cousin recently moved to Singapore from Paris, France with her husband and baby girl Sarah about 6 months before we made our way to Singapore. They graciously offered us their spare bedroom and we were thankful. Being expatriates working for a financial institution from France meant long hours during the week and the occasional Saturday, but we managed to squeeze one day of exploring local style. Being cousins, we agreed the only way to start a leisurely day of sightseeing in Singapore was with a slow, tasty, and quick to serve Dim Sum breakfast.We made our way to a mega-mall called Suntec City Mall, which is a massive link of four towers mixing offices, convention center, entertainment area, a Carrefour store, a galleria, shopping, dining, and all centered around the world’s largest fountain called the “Fountain of Wealth”.Similar to Malaysia, Singapore’s Chinese influence can been seen everywhere and after our limited selection of basic dim sum we had in Kuala Lumpur we were ready for a banging breakfast and we were not disappointed.As we made our way through the massive, but welcomed air conditioned mall we ended up in the basement area where the restaurants could be found and immediately we began to see what other restaurants were available, but never did we once stray from our goal of dim sum. Highly recommended by Peggy and Phillip we knew we were in for a treat. As we came upon the restaurant and noticed the chic, modern, and very busy dining room we knew we had hit paydirt!We found out there would be no dim sum carts and we ordered off a list sheet, similar to ordering sushi; listing out how many pieces per order and categorized by steamed, fried, rice, noodles, etc. Being the dim sum fanatics that we are, we were immediately excited by the creative and unique items of dim sum available. Unique takes on our favorites and we quickly marked up the sheet and had it all filled out before we were even seated. Yes, we are serious when it comes to dim sum! Much like the traditional cart way of serving dim sum our items came in a steady pace with one or two items appearing at a time. First was the shrimp pancakes.This shrimp patty was meaty and crispy. Formed into a long flat disc that was cut into strips, perfect for Sarah to snack on until her fried rice came.On a side note, it was so refreshing to meet a child who not only liked to eat, but was very curious about food and loved taste, texture, and quality. Sarah is not allowed to have sugar, which may have explained how well seasoned her palate was. Something we found most Asian children had, food is the center of all life in Asia and it was odd to be dueling it out with a child over the last piece of squid. But this time Sarah was very happy with her fried rice and shrimp cakes and boy were we glad because this was the shit dim sum! We ordered pickled cucumbers in dark sweet soy sauce – tangy, refreshing, crunchy, and finally a vegetable item other than bok choy or Chinese broccoli!Soon the main dumplings started to appear, hot straight from the steamer. Beautifully shaped, perfect little pockets of minced pork and chives topped with a whole shrimp. One order came with 10 dumplings which were quickly divided up because no one wanted to miss out on their fair share of these fantastic version of Har Gau.Another notable Har Gau inspired dumpling was the minced shrimp and pork dumplings served in a spicy thick soy and chili sauce.It would be tough to declare a favorite between the beautifully presented whole shrimp har gau and the spicy soy-chili sauce dumplings. Both were phenomenal and exactly what were hoping to find in food heaven Singapore.

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