Monday, September 01, 2008

Sunday Dim Sum

After church yesterday, to get away from the maddening COMEX crowd, we decided to head to Shaw Tower for lunch. The place? Ah Yat Seafood.

It was my second visit. The first was a Mother's Day seafood lunch with my grandparents that was dismal due to bad recommendations by a lady Captain and below average food. I didn't feel that it was justifiable to invest time and efforts to blog about it.

Praise the Lord for their dim sum! It was much better.

A dim sum favourite, Har Gao ("Ah Yat" Steamed Shrimp Dumpling on the menu) went for $3.80 for a bamboo basket of four dumplings. The skin wasn't too thick nor thin till it broke easily. It was supple and slightly chewy, encasing a fresh mix of lightly-marinated chopped prawns. Really surprisingly good.

The other dim sum staple, Siew Mai (Steamed Fish Roe "Siew Mai" on the menu) ($3.80 for 4 pieces), was also delicious. The ones here contained more prawns and thus were more 'seafoody' than porky.

For those who like something sweet, the Steamed Pumpkin Dumpling with Custard ($3.20 for 3 pieces) would be ideal. I found the skin to be a tad thick and gummy for my liking but overall, it was still interesting with it's sweet custard feeling filling.

A popular choice in most dim sum places by now, the XO Pan-Fried Carrot Cake ($6) was also available here. With an 'XO' in its name, I had expected more oomph. More XO sauce and a longer time in the pan please.

A big favourite of mine to have when eating dim sum is chicken legs which are elevated to the more sophisticated-sounding Phoenix Claws. Don't think Harry Potter. The Steamed Chicken Claw with Homemade Sauce ($3.20) was decent but otherwise nothing to shout about.

It's partner in crime, Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce, was tender but could do with more black beans. Ahh...the appetite that black beans can invoke!

For a bit of starch, we ordered a serving of Steamed Glutinous Rice with Lotus Leaf ($3.80 for 3 pieces). The sticky grains with corn kernels, salted egg yolk and a bit of meat was delicious with a slight fragrance from the lotus leaf. Marketing people are right....It's all about packaging!!

Sick of seeing the word 'steamed' yet? No fear as dim sum has its share of fried goodies. The Deep-Fried Beancurd Roll with Seaweed ($3.80 for 3 pieces) was a fine example. A crisp skin with succulent prawn (I think) filling gave a very fresh taste.

My Sis had to have this. A fan of Steamed Ricesheet Roll with "You Tiao" ($4.50), she declared it was good. And good it was. Ultra crunchy deep-fried dough fritters wrapped with smooth steamed ricesheet roll and placed in a pool of salty-savoury light sauce, it made the table silent for a while. A moment of quiet savouring.

Another calorific dish, the Deep-fried Scallop in Yam Paste ($3.80 for 3 pieces) had barely-there scallops but was no less yummy.

For a little more starch (yes, I like my carbos), we ordered the Braised Ee Fu Noodle with Mushrooms ($12). It was tasty but unfortunately the noodles were insufficiently braised, rendering them a little hard. !@#$%

As snacks, the Deep-Fried Silver Fish ($4.80) was delicious. It came with two dips too- sweet sauce and sesame paste.

Although being in a seafood restaurant, we could have skipped the seafood that day but Dad seemed to have a craving...for shellfish. And soon the Big Head Mussel ($12.60 for 700g) stir-fried with small chilli appeared at the table. I didn't exactly take to this dish though it was fresh but the rest of the family seemed to have really enjoyed it. Give me beef man. :p

Because the Peking Duck ($38) had a promotion and because we are true-blooded Singaporeans and because we couldn't let the duck die in vain, we went ahead to try it. The skin wasn't crisp and the wait staff had sliced off too much fat with the skin. Disappointing. But at least the duck meat was flavourful albeit fatty.

I like the freshness of the dim sum here. Comfortably refined but nothing too stuffy. Btw, recommendations and service can make or break a meal. Approach David, the Supervisor, for a good meal.

And yes. Something tells me it's time for mooncakes.

Ah Yat Seafood
Shaw Leisure Gallery (Shaw Tower)
Tel: 6299 3773

Chew On This: Enjoy a 50% discount on dim sum and live seafood on weekdays and 30% off on weekends. The prices above do not reflect the discounts. Do call to enquire more.


Anonymous said...

ah the dim sum there does looks quite reasonable cheap, but i heard that it isn't that good.

The Hungry Cow said...

ladyironchef: I got the same comments from another friend. Hmm...perhaps they've got some inconsistency issues.