My friends ask how I could have never heard of Wen Dao Shi. Well, the axiom goes…don’t eat where you shit. I don’t eat where I do my gangsta business. Me Ah Beng you know! Seriously, Geylang is scary. Once, the moment I stepped out of a cab, a man jumped out at me, holding a dead black cat by the scruff of the neck. The dead cat’s eyes were glassy and the entire body was limp. Very freaky. I wonder if he was going to cook it.
If you look around Geylang, you’d see that all the women either have a boyfriend by her side or are in groups or are whores. So a word of advice if you’re a woman: don’t go to Geylang alone. Bring an Ah Beng, like me, even though I am Gay Beng.
The drinks turned out to be in containers, like those used to packet noodles. Wow, worth the money!
Prawn chu cheong fun. I love how tightly packed and firm the fun was and the sauce was very unique. My sensitive tastebuds told me it is a mixture of peanut butter and oyster sauce…but I could be wrong. It took some getting used to because of its strangeness. In fact, the dim sum here was very strange. My friend said that the dim sum is HK-inspired but the dim sum I ate at HK was nothing like this. I also think it should be called shrimp fun, instead of prawn fun.
Yam cake. There was no sweet sauce in the entire restaurant; it only provides their special blend of chili sauce. Wow, I kinda like the backbone and imperiousness of the restaurant, NOT caving in to customers’ needs, maintaining its own stand. The yam cake was very…. yam-my. The strong favor was sweet but I thought the yam could have been mashed more thoroughly because there were some bits of solid yam in the yam cake.
Char Siew Bao (bbq pork bun). Sweet filling as it should be, but the soft bun was too thick and the filling too little.
The trademark of a good dim sum place is by the standards of the har gao (prawn dumpling) and Siew mai because they are the commonest dim sum. It is hard to cook a complex dish but it is harder to cook an easy dish well. The siew mai didn’t even have a shrimp on top and the har gao only had a little sad shrimp, not prawn. But the har gao was ok, because the skin was thin but firm, and didn’t stick to the paper.
I like eating with friends because they always order things I would never order such as tennis balls and xian-ren-jiao. Xian-ren-jiao, I think, is the same everywhere but at least Wen Dao Shi served it piping hot. The tennis ball was something special, minced pork with ham (double pig, sorry pigs), and the combination created different textures: the crispy of the deep-fried breading, the smoothness of salty ham, and the mince-ness of sweet pork. Give the restaurant a Wimbledon!
Steamed sea cucumber with pork filling. Sea cucumber has to be one of my favorite meat, but this one wasn’t soft enough, and the pork filling fell out of it. Skip this dish.
Golden mushroom wrapped in beef: Seriously how simple can this dish be…but wow, the taste was great. The crunchy golden mushroom and the soft beef with the sweet sauce. Win.
Japanese mushroom with minced meat under: Eeee…this one is not Chinese mushroom meh? The meat was separated from the mushroom and the mushroom was too hard.
At this point, the two of us were already very full…but we ordered more!
Glutinous rice in lotus leaves: The fragrance of the lotus leaves had completely infused into the rice, bringing out the sweetness of the rice.
Guo Tie (fried dumpling): Don’t be deceived by the looks. They were actually very decent tasting. The minced pork inside was marinated for a long time, so one can taste the saltiness of the marinate and the sweetness of the pork.
Zhao Pai Tofu (famous tofu?): DISH OF THE DAY. This was a surprise because I hate tofu. I resisted ordering this dish. I hate anything bland and tasteless, like don’t even waste my energy chewing. But there were just such a burst of favors here. The slightly sourness of the shredded mango in the mayo, the sweetness of fruit, the creamy richness of the mayo, the crispy fried covering (with a hint of egg), and the softness of the tofu. I thought even the tofu itself had taste.
Usually, people spend $8-$18 per pax here, but we spent $30 each! I enjoyed the eating experience. The decor of the shop is such that the front is obstructed by the counter, so if there is a fire, everyone will die inside. As a result of the obstructed entrance, the air circulation is bad, the place is stuffy (think of breeding ground for SARS). The lighting from the florescent lamps is gray and dingy, showing all the pockmarks of the bad complexion (don’t take photos here). The servers who dished up the dishes wore very dirty, grim-stained tee-shirts and the waitresses, although weren’t rude, wouldn’t win Miss Congeniality either. Like they were so tired of their dead-end jobs. (Why shouldn’t they?) But all these add to the experience of being Geylang. Overall, the food had some hits and misses, depending on what you order, ranging from average to excellent, but for the cheap price of a 24-hour dim sum place, I shouldn’t complain so much.
Wen Dao Shi
126 (sounds like the shop name) Sim Ave
T: 6746 4757
Rating: 3.791/5 stars