I love dimsum. So it was an immediate “yes” when Leslie asked if I was game for a dimsum marathon session! For their May/June 2009 issue, Cuisine & Wine Asia magazine has a feature article on dimsum. 5 food bloggers, or “food paparazzi” as coined by feature writer Jackson Sim, served as tasters for 6 dimsum sessions that took place over 5 consecutive days in March. Besides Leslie and I, the other tasters are Hungry Cow, ladyironchef, and Camemberu.
Kicking off our dimsum marathon was Hai Tien Lo on level 37 of Pan Pacific Hotel. Even before we were wowed by the food, we were already blown away by the breathtaking view of Marina Bay, the Singapore Flyer, and the Singapore city skyline.
Currently helmed by Master Chef Lai Tong Ping, Hai Tien Lo has long been a name synonymous with fine Cantonese cuisine. The most impressive dish we sampled must be the dough-wrapped crab meat and shark’s fin in stock. I love the paper-thin, silky dough and sweet crab meat, as well as the light but flavoursome stock that’s infused with the natural goodness of Jin Hua ham and dried scallops.
Just as impressive is the Imperial Lobster Dumpling (pictured in the background above). About 3 times the size of a normal har gow, it looks like a giant har gow, except that it’s stuffed with luxurious lobster meat instead of shrimp.
We chomped our way through many more dishes, but there are too many pictures, so I’ll just post some of the more memorable ones. Like this very irresistible-looking plate of crispy vermicelli bundles. I like the contrast of the crispy noodles against the delicate fish inside.
Another elegantly presented dish! Instead of the usual steaming method, here the rice rolls are lightly pan-fried and topped with a very addictive-tasting crispy shredded dried scallop. We’d actually prefer the rolls to be more charred, and the rolls seemed quite dense. But we spent a lot of time taking photos, so this could be the reason they turned cold and stodgy.
I thought I’d like this, cos there’s yam and pumpkin, which are two ingredients I adore! Unfortunately, the taste of five-spice powder was just a little too much for my preference.
Another very healthy-tasting item. Now, I love carrot (more accurately, radish) cake, whether it’s steamed or fried. This was very soft and smooth, but it’d have been even better with a more pronounced taste of preserved meat.
The chef and his team have thoughtfully created a number of vegetarian dishes for non-meat eaters. But I think meat eaters will enjoy the veggie options, too, like these stuffed rolls that were crunchy, juicy, and flavorful! The flavors and textures of all the ingredients complemented one another perfectly. I didn’t expect that something so healthy and light could taste so fabulous!
These precious little egg tarts luxuriously topped with mounds of pure bird’s nest provided a sweet ending to our first dimsum session. We were truly spoiled!
Overall, I find that Hai Tien Lo’s dimsum is delicately prepared and with a strong emphasis on clean-tasting and light flavors. The food here will please those who find that Chinese food is too oily and salty.
Tempted yet? All these items and many more are available at Hai Tien Lo’s Exquisite Cantonese Weekend Brunch at S$48++ per adult. This ala carte buffet features up to 60 dishes.
Check back as I update on the subsequent sessions of our dimsum extravaganza!
Many thanks to Cindy Lim and Merissa Chong of Pan Pacific Hotel for hosting us, and feature writer Jackson Sim and photographer Danny Lim of Cuisine & Wine Asia for arranging this event.