Lei Garden has roots from a Hong Kong Michelin-starred restaurant and there are 2 outposts in Singapore. The one in Orchard, according to my eating companion, is cramped and has tables too close to one another, but at Chjimes, the colonial building, with gorgeous French windows showing a garden view, brings out a relaxed ambience.
There is a selection of 38 dim sum items, and almost all items we had were fantastic. A must-order is roasted pork belly siew yuk ($16.80). Costly for 9 tiny pieces but they were worth every cent. Crackling skin with tender meat, and none of that greasiness. This was one of the few siew yuk that tasted better on its own, than with mustard.
BBQ Pork char siew ($16) is also on the menu, but we eschewed it for cheong fun with bbq pork ($5). Smooth as silk skin wrapping very fatty bbq pork but so delicious that I didn’t mind the fat.
There were two minor faults with the dim sum, in general. One or two times, their skins, like prawn dumpling har gow ($4.80 for 4) and siew mai ($4.80 for 4), stuck to the paper lining the basket, and thus, breaking. Good dim sum should never break skin until it’s in the mouth.
A second minor fault was that the fillings in buns were little compared to the thick skin. (Skip the custard salted egg-yolk bun $4.30, not eggy or sweet enough.)
Carrot Cake $4.80
Despite these minor faults in execution, the food was extremely delicious.
Pumpkin & Almond Paste $8.80 – better apart than eaten together.
Besides the lovely ambience and extremely delicious food, the service was also top notched. Not once did we lift the teapot to pour tea ourselves. I was extremely impressed with the waitress, Zheng ZY. I always say “Thank You” when servers refill my water/tea, but Zheng was one of the rare few who replied, “Welcome.”
We knew we ordered 7 items (before desserts), and only 6 arrived. I asked Zheng about it, and she said, “Is it the custard bun? I’m keeping my eye on it.” WOW, we didn’t even remember what the last item was but she did.
I left the restaurant, feeling an euphoria. Lei Garden is worthy of its Michelin-starred origins. For 9 items including desserts, we paid $80 for two. I want to bring all my friends and family to share the joy with them.
30 Victoria St, CHIJMES #01-24 Singapore 187996
T: 6339 3822
Rating: 4.103/ 5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.