Dim Sum: Pushcarts, Buffets and Kid-friendly Choices!
What are the best dim sum restaurants in Singapore? Where can you find dim sum pushcarts and all-you-can-eat dim sum buffets? We round up all the best dim sum restaurants in Singapore, from the Michelin-starred to those with old-school pushcart trolleys, to new Chinese restaurants, from those with kiddie entertainment, to posh hotel dim sum restaurants, the cheap and casual and those that go against tradition and serve dim sum for dinner, too.
First, a bit of clarification between “Dim Sum” and the commonly used “Yum Cha”. Yum Cha literally means “to drink tea” and so describes the act of drinking tea whether it be in the morning or more commonly in the afternoon. Dim sum which literally means “to touch the heart” refers to the collection of small Chinese bites, often steamed and fried dumplings. So you will most likely be eating dim sum when you yum cha!
Min Jiang in the elegant Goodwood Park Hotel serves Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine and is a good place to head to for the traditional pushcart trolley experience, served every lunch on weekdays and weekends. If you are looking for something a bit different, you can even dine alfresco by the pool and have the pushcarts come to you. Seek out their Steamed ‘Dou Miao’ Dumpling ($4.80), Mini Black Charcoal Egg Custard Buns ($4.20), Fried Teochew Chives Pancake ($12.80) and Deep Fried Scallop Kataifi ($4.80) along with all the classics like Steamed BBQ Pork Buns $4.20) and Har Kau’ ($4.80) from their dim sum trolleys.
22 Scotts Road, Goodwood Park Hotel, Singapore 228221, Tel: (+65) 6730 1704, www.goodwoodparkhotel.com/min-jiang
Peach Garden at Novena Gardens is the original branch (since 2002), but now there are seven more branches across Singapore. Peach Garden at OCBC Centre offers spectacular views across Singapore River while the Thomson branch offers all-you-can-eat high tea (3pm-5pm) dim sum buffet ($23.88/16.80 for adults/kids) brought to you on pushcart trolleys. Expect everything from traditional dim sum of Barbecue Pork Pastry, XO Chilli Carrot Cake, Baked Egg Tarts and Steamed Shanghai Xiao Long Baos to Pig Trotters with vinegar, Hong Kong noodles and even sushi and sashimi. Plus, and the kids will love this, ice-cream and chocolate fountains for dessert.
301 Upper Thomson Road, Thomson Plaza #01-88, Singapore 574408, Tel: (+65) 6451 3233, www.peachgarden.com.sg
Red Star is one of the old boys when it comes to traditional dim sum pushed around, table-to-table in old-style pushcarts by aunties that roam the room and take personal offence when you don’t grab their offering. Decor may lack in fancy aesthetics and the dim sum standards are not as high as competitors but this place oozes old school tradition so they are forgiven. Expect queues.
#07-23 54 Chin Swee Road, Singapore 160054, Tel: (+65): 6532 5266, www.redstarrestaurant.com.sg
Weekend Dim Sum Buffet
Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental Singapore Hotel, has been designed with Feng Shui in mind and offers modern Cantonese. Dim sum favourites include Crispy Wasabi-Aioli Prawns with fresh mango and tobiko, Steamed Juicy Pork Xiao Long Bao ($7) and delicious Steamed Kurobuta Char Siew in Fluffy Bao ($7). Or plump for their weekend dim sum brunch buffet ($68 adults, $40 kids 7-11, 6yrs and below free!) held at two timed seatings.
5 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039801, Tel: (+65) 6885 3538, www.mandarinoriental.com/singapore/fine-dining/cherry-garden
Upscale Golden Peony on the third level of the Conrad Centennial Hotel offers a Weekend Dim Sum Experience by Executive Chinese Chef Ku Leung where diners get to select four choices per table of: dim sum, four specialty dishes, plus a double boiled soup and dessert at $58pp. Steamed Chicken ‘Siew Mai’ topped with Fish Roe, Pork ‘Wan Ton’ with Spicy Sauce and Steamed Chicken Feet with ‘Zhu Hou’ Sauce are just some of the dim sum included, while the mains include everything from Braised ‘Dong Po’ Pork Belly to Sautéed Scallop and Coral Clam with X.O. Chilli.
2 Temasek Blvd, Level 3, Conrad Centennial Hotel, Singapore 038983 ,Tel: (+65) 6432 7482, website
Hai Tien Lo
Hai Tien Lo within the Pan Pacific at Marina Bay mixes classic Cantonese and contemporary Pan-Asian cuisine. Dim sum set meals for weekday lunch (at $56/32 adults/kids) of all-you-can-eat dim sum include Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings with Truffles and Steamed Pork Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauces plus a choice of soup, mains and dessert. Weekend dim sum, which starts from $68 per adult, sees live stations of Braised Pork Belly, mains of Steamed Freshwater Fish with Chilli and Garlic and Diced Beef with Asparagus in Black Pepper Sauce plus an array of Cantonese dim sum.
Level 3, Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Tel: (+65) 6826 8240, www.panpacific.com
Jade at The Fullerton Hotel
Jade at The Fullerton Hotel has recently undergone a revamp complete with a new colour palette of duck egg blue and exquisite forest bird wallpaper. Weekday dim sum is available a al carte while weekends see a dim sum buffet (brought to your table) of over 50 dishes priced at $39 for adults and $19 for kids while under 5yrs eat free! Book at least 3 weeks ahead for this spot. Non dim sum items worth seeking out include Baked Lemongrass Char Siew Lamb Rib Loin ($23) and the Simmered Egg Noodle with Boston Lobster and XO Chilli Sauce. For something different try the Osmanthus Char Siew Bao -Fluffy baos filled with a floral infused sweet pork.
1 Fullerton Square Singapore 049178, Tel: (+65) 6733 8388, www.fullertonhotels.com
Peony Jade Restaurant
Peony Jade Restaurant, specializing in Szechuan and Cantonese dishes, has two branches – one perched upon the Singapore River at Clarke Quay and the other at the Keppel Club. Dim Sum brunch starts at an affordable $29.90 (for 3 persons and above) and features light green Pandan Liu Sha Bao fragrant with pandan, Deep-fried Prawns in Creamy Yolk and mains of Roasted duck. Kids will love the Piggies Char Siu Bao ($7.50 for 3) of honey glazed BBQ pork inside bar that are decorated like little pigs.
10 Bukit Chermin Road, Keppel Club, Singapore 109918, Tel: (+65) 6276 9138, www.peonyjade.com
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant within Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel is newly refurbished and wows with dramatic black and gold walls and booth seats fashioned as jewel boxes. Dim sum is available weekday lunches and on weekends, there’s the dim sum buffet starting from $68. Favourites include the steamed shrimp dumpling with black truffle ($6/two pieces), crispy mango prawn in rice roll ($6.50), and the Steamed Diced Prawn and Squid Wrap with Squid Ink Skin ($4.50).
320 Orchard Road, 3F Marriott Hotel, Tel: (+65) 6831 4615, www.singaporemarriott.com/restaurant/wan-hao-chinese-restaurant
VLV, set in a heritage building along the Singapore riverfront, is part Chinese restaurant and part Club Lounge, with al fresco courtyard bar and riverfront dining. Executive chef Martin Foo is behind the Cantonese cuisine where there’s a weekend dim sum brunch buffet ($68/person) which includes nine cooking stations (hightail it to the Peking Duck station), a choice of Chef signatures like Crackling Pork Belly, plus all-you-can-eat servings of upscale dim sum like Singapore chill Crab buns Kurobuta ‘Siew Mai’.
#01-02 Merchant’s Court, 3A River Valley Road, Singapore 179020, Tel: (+65) 6661 0197, www.vlv.life/singapore
Yanting at The St. Regis Singapore is a sophisticated restaurant that always impresses in appearance. We love the booth seats for a more intimate lunch. Dim sum is served from 10:30am, so this is a good option if you have little kids that need to stick to their post-lunch naptimes. Their dim sum buffet starts at $108 with tea and extends up to $168 to include Champagne, wine and beer. Dim Sum ranges from Black Truffle Siew Mai and XL Xiao Long Bao to Steamed Chicken Claw in Black Bean Sauce, plus a huge choice of mains from Chicken Claypot, to Beef Tenderloin with Asparagus and Lily Bulbs to Steamed Scallops with Beancurd in XO Sauce.
29 Tanglin Road, The St. Regis Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6506 6887, www.yantingrestaurant.com
Kid-Friendly Dim Sum
Mitzo Restaurant & Bar
Mitzo is one of the only Dim Sum Brunches where there’s a kids room (activities, colouring and TV) to entertain your little darlings while you chow down on elegant bites in relative peace. Midweek there’s the dim sum set lunch of $28 — three courses comprising 10 different types of dim sum, double boiled soup and dessert. Mitzo also does dim sum weekend brunch in style with their all-you-can-eat ($68) spread of 40 types of dishes from seafood delicacies to dim sums, roasts, wok dishes and desserts, plus all-you-can-booze (extra $60) cocktails, Veuve Clicquot champagne, wines, and beers. Children under 6 dine free; 6 to 12 years old enjoy 50% off.
Level 4 Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Road, Singapore 238857, Tel: (+65) 6603 8855, www.mitzo.sg
Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is a crowd pleaser and great for dim sum beginners given there is not so much choice as to be overwhelming. Grab your self-order chit and pen down Steamed Truffle & Pork Xiao Long Bao ($9.50 for 10 pieces or $6.80 for 6), Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing, Noodles and Egg Fried Rice. Don’t miss their Sesame Bao, these fluffy white buns are filled with sweet nutty black sesame paste so the kids love them too (perfect for dessert). Kids are entertained by watching the dim sum chefs preparing dumplings with lighting speed at the viewing counters (always a good distraction while you are braving the queues).
Din Tai Fung, multiple locations. See website for details
Imperial Treasure Cantonese Cuisine
Restaurant group Imperial Treasure started in 2004 and now has over 23 restaurants under its brand. They have a team of culinary Hong Kong chefs who prepare dim sum daily. Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck at Paragon is where to head when a craving for Peking duck sets in. Plus, with Paragon’s indoor play area the kids can burn off some steam before or after lunch. There are cute booth seats in one of the dining rooms but you’ll need to reserve these ahead of time as it is always busy. Dim sum ranges from Prawn Cheong Fun ($7) to Diced Scallop Soup Dumpling ($8) to Fried Carrot Cake with XO sauce ($12).
Paragon Shopping Centre, #05-42/45, 290 Orchard Road, Tel: (+65) 6732 7838, See website for other locations, www.imperialtreasure.com
Chop Suey Cafe
There are two branches of Chop Suey Cafe, including one at Robertson Quay (Martin No. 38), but our favourite is the Dempsey Hill location with its leafy alfresco area and its imposing black and white decor that the PS Gourmet brand is recognised by. Dim sum here is lunchtime on weekdays, brunch on weekends. The menu is Anglo-Chinese (think Pad Thai in salad form, and Sweet and Sour Fish and Chips) and their dim sum ranges from Orange Duck Dumplings ($9) to Brit faves of Prawn Toasties ($16) and Shredded Duck Pancakes ($29). They are just about to revamp their dim sum menu so check back for updates.
Block 10, Dempsey Road, #01-23, Singapore 247700, Tel: (+65) 9224 6611, www.pscafe.com/chopsuey-cafe-at-dempsey-hill
Full of Luck Club
Full of Luck Club, tucked away in Holland Village, is a modern dim sum spot where you’ll find Duck Spring Roll with Hoisin Sauce ($7.5) and Pulled Pork Spring Rolls with Yuzu Chilli Sauce ($7.50) alongside claypot rice, noodles and mains. They have a bao counter, too, offering fluffy buns ($6) of Kung Pao Fried Chicken to Panko-crusted Portobello in teriyaki mayo sauce with carrot cabbage slaw and grilled pineapples. Desserts are pleasingly modern with Western influences; think Matcha Creme Brûlée ($8.50) and Hokey-Pokey Ice Cream Fried Bao ($6.50).
243 Holland Avenue, Tel: (+65) 6208 6845, www.fullofluck.club
Award-winning restaurant group Crystal Jade has a phenomenal amount of outlets (over 110) across the region. While Crystal Jade Prestige is one of their newest outlets located at Marina Bay Financial Centre with super views of Marina Bay, it is their Crystal Jade Golden Palace that’s earned itself a Michelin star. Dim sum is classic Cantonese and they do all the favourites of Har Kau ($6.80) and Char Siew Bao ($5.80). At Crystal Prestige try their Prestige Signature Dim Sum platter ($11.80 per portion of 4 items), (pictured) available on weekends and their Signature Oven Roasted Baby Spanish Suckling Pig with French mustard ($148 for whole pig, 1 day advance order) which is served in a similar style to Peking duck with the Chinese pancakes. Crystal Jade Golden Palace Restaurant at Paragon also has the indoor mall playground which is popular with little ones before or after lunch.
Crystal Jade Golden Palace, 290 Orchard Road, Paragon #05-22, Singapore 238859, Tel: (+65) 6734 6866, www.crystaljade.com
Lei Garden has two branches – one in Orchard, and the other at Chjimes, housed in a colonial building that looks onto the central green lawn. The dim sum menu is expansive; must orders include the Roasted Pork Belly Siew Yuk ($16.80) of crackling skin and juicy tender meat, cheong fun with bbq pork ($5), Chocolate Swirl Baos filled with Salted Egg Custard ($4.30) and their Crab Roe Soup Dumplings. Service is commendable here.
30 Victoria St, CHIJMES #01-24 Singapore 187996, Tel: (+65) 6339 3822, www.chijmes.com.sg/lei-garden-restaurant
Summer Palace has been awarded a Michelin Star for their authentic Cantonese fare. Weekend brunch ($56 per adult, minimum four to dine) pairs dim sum with fragrant Chinese teas. Think Steamed Prawn Dumplings with Bird’s Nest, Steamed Pork Dumplings with Dried Scallops alongside mains of Chef’s Signature Roasted Meat Platter. Every month there’s a special new dim sum creation to look out for. Interestingly Summer Palace also offers a gluten free menu.
1 Cuscaden Road, 3rd Floor, The Regent Singapore, Tel: (+65) 6725 3288, www.regenthotels.com/regent-singapore/dining
Tim Ho Wan Dim Sum
Tim Ho Wan, which started as a humble ‘hole-in-the-wall’ eater in Hong Kong, now has one Michelin-star and several branches in Singapore. When they first opened at Plaza Singapura queues were ridiculous, but as the hype has died down, so have queue times. The set up is fast-casual dining. Big hits from their menu include the Baked Char Siew Bun – crisp on the outside, soft inside and filled with sweet char siew meat and sauce – and their thinly wrapped Beancurd Skin with Pork & Shrimp plus their pan-fried carrot cake.
68 Orchard Rd, #01-29A, Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839, Tel: (+65) 6251 2000, www.timhowan.com
Janice Wong at The National Museum
Dessert doyenne Janice Wong, in collaboration with Chef Ma Jian Jun, has designed an artful dim sum menu. The Signature 5 ($15) consists of five different dumplings that change every season. The five dumplings are made with five different flour textures of elastic, crystal, transparent, matt, and crispy, and filled with delicious concoctions like truffle mushroom and pork, shrimp and chives. Mini Pots ($15) are three colourful renditions of upscale Siew Mai while the XLB Tasting Platter ($20) showcases Xiao Long Bao with modern fillings of Whisky Pork, Truffle Cheese Chicken, Foie Gras Pork Cherry, and Shrimp Ebi Kombu.
93 Stamford Road, National Museum Singapore, 01-06, Singapore 178897, Tel: (+65) 9712 5338, www.janicewong.com.sg/restaurant-bar
Yàn is a good option for upscale Cantonese pre- or post a cultural visit to the National Gallery, as the restaurant sits on the 5th floor. The Dim Sum Combination Platter ($18) features six bite-size delicacies from Steamed Black Truffle Prawn Dumpling filled with Shrimp and Celery to Deep-fried Taro Dumpling filled with Duck Meat and Cheese. The Steamed Dumpling Trio Platter ($6.8) showcases three modern dumplings: Conpoy Dumpling with Squid Ink, Vegetarian Dumpling and Chicken and Dried Shrimps Dumpling.
1 St. Andrew’s Road, #05-02, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore 178957, Tel: +65 63845585, www.yan.com.sg
Part of the Paradise empire, this one’s just opened at The Shoppes Marina Bay Sands. Popular dim sum include the Steamed Rice Rolls with Preserved Turnip Filling ($5.20), while kids will love their Steamed Molten Salted Egg Yolk Custard Piggy Buns (S$6.80/3 pieces) (pictured). For dessert, Steamed White Chocolate with Walnut Charcoal Bun (S$2.90/piece), are buns made with bamboo charcoal powder and filled with premium white chocolate. Hot Tip: Get 50% off Yum Cha (Dim Sum, Congee & Noodles) at any six Canton Paradise outlets weekdays, 3pm to 5pm.
2 Bayfront Avenue, #01-02 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972 Tel: (+65) 6688 7052, www.paradisegp.com
The fourth and newest branch of Joyden has opened at Shaw House on Orchard Road. Cantonese classic food and a modern setting see dishes of Roasts, Dim Sum and Double Boiled Soups. Signatures include Foshan Old Coconut Soup with Farm Chicken ($14 per pax) and Daliang Pan-Fried Lotus Root ($9/4 pcs) stuffed with minced pork, shiitake mushrooms and water chestnuts. Dim sum includes Pan-Fried Carrot Cake with Chinese Sausage ($5/3pcs) and Deep-Fried Mango Prawn Roll ($5.5/3pcs)
Shaw House, 350 Orchard Road, #04-00, Singapore 238868, Tel: (65) 6908 3833, www.joyden.com.sg
Chef Leung Chi Man and his team of Hong Kong chefs serve modern dim sum at the newly opened Song Garden in Mercure Hotel, a smart restaurant which boasts 7 private rooms. Classic are reinterpreted here: Pan-Seared Otah Siew Mai on Skewers ($6) of four meaty dumplings filled with spicy mackerel otah paste and prawn chunks and Steamed Cheong-fun with Fresh Prawn ($6) made in-house daily, served sliced with a signature homemade soya sauce.
Mercure Singapore Bugis, 122 Middle Road, #02-01, Singapore 188973, Tel: (+65) 6521 9299, www.mercure.com/A0D7
Dinner Dim Sum
Sum Yi Tai
Sum Yi Tai is more of a drinking den of a designer bar than restaurant though dim sum does feature on its “Chinese Tapas” dinner menu. If you’re looking for dim sum with a difference, eating Maple Honey Glazed Char Siew ($12), King Prawn Wantons Tossed in Chili ($15) and Golden Salted Egg Squid Tentacles ($15) on a conservation shop house roof top with old Canto-pop tunes playing in the background should do the trick.
25 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069622, Tel: (+65) 6221 3665, www.sumyitai.com
Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant
Old school Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant is one of a few select places that serve dim sum at night. This casual restaurant serves Cantonese and Shanghainese dim sum at affordable prices. Look out for the Swee Choon mee suah kueh ($2) – a vermicelli crispy cake – plus fluffy char siew bao (three for $1.80) and the chilli oil soused chao shou (four for $3.50).
183-191 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882, Tel: (+65) 6225 7788, www.sweechoon.com
Even More Dim Sum Restaurants
Hua Ting is an old favourite for their Roast Meats of Crispy Duck ($45/half) and Suckling Pig. They have a Dim Sum Delights Executive Set Lunch at $35 (min 2) or go for a la carte to try their soft buttery Steamed Custard buns with Salted Egg Yolk ($4.80/3pc) and Steamed Xiao Long Bao stuffed with Crab Roe and Crab Meat ($6.30).
Level 2, Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road ,Tel: (+65) 6739 6666, www.millenniumhotels.com/en/singapore/orchard-hotel-singapore/hua-ting-restaurant
Asia Grand (no website) is on the ground floor of Odeon Towers and rolls out dim sum and much loved roast meats of Peking Duck ($38) and Suckling Pig. Try their Steamed Cheong-Fun with Dough Fritters ($8), Vinegar Pig Trotters and prawn-packed Hau Gau ($5.20)
331 North Bridge Road, #01-02 Odeon Towers, Odeon Towers, Singapore 188720, Tel: (+65) 6887 0010
Mouth Restaurant serves affordable dim sum from their much-raved-about Liu Sha Bun with salted egg custard filling to the interesting naturally coloured Rainbow Har Gao ($9.80) made using squid ink, spinach, sweet potato, pumpkin and other natural food colours.
01-61 China Square Central South Bridge Court Shophouse, 22 Cross Street, Singapore 048421, Tel: (+65) 6438 5798, www.mouth.com.sg
Red House Seafood
Red House Seafood has been a Singapore institution established in 1976. There are three branches, with Clarke Quay being the newest. Rob Quay sees alfresco dining by the river and there are often promotions on dim sum from 20% to 40% off – check their website. Interesting dim sum include Chilli Crab Bun ($10/3 pcs), Truffle Wild Mushroom Dumplings ($6/3pcs), and their BBQ Pork Char Siew Crispy Bun ($6/3 pcs). Don’t miss their Spicy Seafood Combination Curry best eaten alongside fried or steamed mantou.
3C, River Valley Road, #01-02/03, #02-07/08, The Cannery, Singapore 179022, Tel: (+65) 6442 3112, www.redhouseseafood.com
Shin Yeh, part of the Tunglok group, offers Taiwanese dim sum which includes classics like Steamed Chive Dumpling ($4.20 for 3) and Steamed Shrimp Dumpling ($4.80/for 4), Try their “Eight Immortals” Dim Sum platter ($12) which consist of Steamed Chives Dumpling with Pork, Crystal Mixed Vegetables Dumpling, Steamed Shrimp Dumpling, and Steamed Chicken Dumpling with Egg Plant, Turnip and Dried Shrimps.
177 River Valley Road, Liang Court Shopping Centre, #02-19, Tel: (+65) 6338 7337, www.tunglok.com/shin-yeh
Taste Paradise (under the Paradise Group along with numerous other brands like Paradise Teochew and Paradise Dynasty) is smartly decorated restaurant and a good non-hotel option for upscale dim sum. On the dim sum menu: naturally coloured xiao long bao (Shanghai steamed dumplings containing meat and soup) of 8 different flavours, from foie grass to garlic to cheese. Many love their Buttery, flaky BBQ pork pastry (char siew bao).
#04-07 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801, Tel: (+65) 6509 9660, www.paradisegroup.com.sg/concept/
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant on the second level of Carlton Hotel, with its white tablecloths and chandeliers, is a smart spot for dim sum and is also popular with families. They are known for their Baked Barbecue Pork Buns ($7.20 for four) and Steamed Crab Meat & Egg White Dumplings ($9.20 for four) along with crispy deep-fried yam rolls ($9.20 for four).
76 Bras Basah road, 2F Carlton Hotel, Tel: (+65) 6311 8188, www.carltonhotel.sg/dining/wah-lok-restaurant-singapore
Victor’s Kitchen at Sunshine Plaza is a ‘cheap and cheerful’ hole-in-the-wall type diner that serves Hong Kong-style dim sum with famed custard buns, Scallop and Sausage Carrot Cake with XO Sauce ($4.80) and the ‘liquid gold’ salted egg bao liu sha bao ($4.8).
1 Bencoolen Street, #01-49 Sunshine Plaza, Singapore 189652, Tel: (+65) 98382851, www.victors-kitchen.com