Its always good to find another place to have excellent dim sum, especially since there will be tummies rumbling during Mid-day. The idea of Dim Sum formally originated in Southern China and dian xin was paired commonly with tea as a snack (hence its name to only touch the heart in Mandarin).
Old Hong Kong Legend, having opened early this Year, has already been awarded as one of the Top Five Best Dim-Sum Restaurants in Singapore by Lifestyle Asia. And having been to the restaurant a few times with my family before that, certain key dishes do stand out as goodies which I believe are not to be missed. Yet while the traditional favourites still stand, Old Hong Legend does an interesting take on existing dishes be it in terms of presentation and the choice of ingredient pairing itself.
This article is a combination of dim sum items I had from both the media session and the dishes I ordered from my previous visit. I decided to combine the two articles together to whet your appetites even further and have a further view of what else the menu offers for dim sum.
龙皇太子饺 (Dragon Prince Dumpling) was a nice wow factor when it comes to first impressions. A smooth green luxurious skin contrasted with the pinkish hue of the prawn and topped with the intense orange from the fish roe. Pop the dumpling into your mouth and enjoy the crunch, followed by the deep flavours of salty sweet sea savouriness.
水晶礼盒 (Steamed Crystal Dumplings) is one of the vegetarian dumplings available on the menu. A mix of vegetables and mushrooms to inspire that savoury flavour, it was good in flavour and taste though I did find it a bit oily but that’s good.
One dish that I have frequently been coming back for is the 夏果叉烧酥 (Barbecue Pork Puff Pastry with Macadamia nuts). There’s something alluring about the sweet buttery flavour emanating from the pastry with the nutty fragrance of the macadamia nuts itself.
Pair that with the sweet savoury char siew filling that is a marvel if its served hot as the immediate entrancing aroma hits, and you are left with, “oh its heaven!”
Another highlight on the dim sum menu is the 鲍鱼鸡粒酥 (Puff with Whole South African Abalone). Baked whole with a whole piece of South African Abalone and diced chicken within the pastry crust itself, this is a one bite delectable morsel.
And to go for something a bit more unique in concept (at least its the first time for me), there would be the 米网野菌肠粉 (Steamed Double Layer Flour Rolls with Wild Mushrooms). I had no idea what they meant by double layer, so it came as a surprise to me when I bit in to the steamed rice rolls only to reveal a delectable crunch. According to the restaurant, the technique involves the use of Vietnamese Rice paper to wrap in the ingredients in a crispy shell before wrapping it with the chee cheong fun. Savoury mushrooms with flavours of the whole dish upped a notch with the side of sauce, sesame paste and sweet chilli paste.
For something a bit lighter in flavour yet with an interesting take on its ingredients would be the 彩蛋炸虾卷 (Deep-Fried Shrimp Rolls with Century Egg). Sweet and savoury with the unique flavour from the earthy century egg, I felt it was a nice combination that went well with the touch of mayonnaise.
One dish new on the menu is the Canton River Trout Siew Mai. Imagine siew mai but this is made with the meat of trout, mushroom and dried shrimps before topping it with a slice of chinese sausage. Texture wise, it was like a portion of fresh fish ball except more gooey in texture. Its said that this is a Canton classic popular amongst the residence in the Pan-Yu district and with almost a century of history.
The 25彩蛋炸虾卷(25cm Spring Roll) is more presentation than a strict wow factor by itself. Still, Old Hong Kong Legend manages to tweak the ingredients a little with the inclusion of char siew, pork lard, pork floss as the stuffing to give a flavour apart from the norm.
On the menu itself, there is also the traditional favourite of Pork Ribs with Black Bean. Its nice and tender though it can get a little bony throughout the course of the dish. The best part of this dish, is the oil. Goes exceptionally well with rice or porridge as it is packed with flavours.
And if you must have Char Siew Baos, the restaurant does serve up a decent portion with fluffy skins to boot.
Good ol’ Pork Porridge with its thick viscous texture and crispy you tiao (wish I could have more though)
There was the Braised Beef Noodles which was good, though not the best I had. Maybe it was a little mild in flavour and I’m used to having a more robust beef noodle with more sauce and gravy. Savoury and meaty flavours otherwise.
And for dim sums to end off, you can go for the sweeter tasting variants of 榄仁马拉糕 (Steamed Sponge Cake) and the 流沙奶皇包 (Steamed Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun). The steamed sponge cake was fragrant and the sweet molasses sugar from within reminded me strongly of an extremely aromatic one I had in Japan. Looks like food really traverses borders. The salted egg yolk custard bun was a delight in itself as the gentle ooze of salty and sweet is really a fascinating combination. Now, all they had to do is make the skin a little thinner and all would be perfect for the bite.
Old Hong Kong Legend’s Dim Sum Head Chef is Chef Leung Chi Man. Regarded as one of the top 10 dim sum Chefs in Hong Kong, Chef Leung has 32 years of experience under his belt. Impressive.
Me, Chef Leung and Brian
Old Hong Kong Legend’s dim sum array is a good mix of both traditional favourites and some interesting new combinations. While there may not be jaw dropping new fangled designs, I feel that fundamentals of flavour take precedence here in the restaurant. And this selection is just a sampler from the menu of 40 to 50 dim sum delicacies available, now’s hoping that the whole menu will be just a tasty delight as well.
Thank you Vanessa, Old Hong Kong Legend for the invitation. Thank You Victoria Li for hosting the media lunch.
Old Hong Kong Legend