With 45 years of experience between them, two award-winning Hong Kong chefs Chow Shing Yip (left) and Liu Wai Hung (right) present dim sum for lunch (11am-3pm) from 9 – 22 Mar at Wan Hao at Marriott.
Dim sum is a culinary craft so difficult that Gordon Ramsay couldn’t master it. Dim sum contains two contrary elements: ethereal exquisiteness (because of its origins for yum cha, as light tea-time snacks), and unpretentious homeliness (because Cantonese eat dim sum for family bonding). To a large extent, the two shifu have achieved to combine the two different elements.
The steamed items were par excellence. The translucent skins of dumplings were supermodel-thin and didn’t stick to the paper—traits of good dim sum. Indubitably, the auspicious-looking steamed scallop dumplings ($5, 2 pcs, pictured above) and steamed wild mushroom dumplings ($4, 2 pcs, below) are must orders.
The xiao long bao ($3/pc) was different from the ones we have at Crystal Jade or Ding Tai Feng: it was not as flavorful—which isn’t a bad thing—it was clean, and more refreshing, which made me feel good, and less guilty for skipping gym.
William and I had an argument of whether Wan Hao’s baked BBQ pork ($4.50, 2 pcs) was better or Tim Ho Wan’s. William liked THW more because the char siew had a smoky flavor, but I mentioned that THW’s bun couldn’t match the texture of Wan Hao’s. The texture was amazingly soft and fluffy, and yet with a lovely grainy crust.
However, the fried items weren’t as ideal as the steamed and baked. They were greasy enough to moisturize the lips, especially the abalone taro puff ($5/pc, above). But when the crispy shrimp dumplings ($4.50, 2 pcs, below) were washed in its accompanying broth, boiled from ham and old hen, it was unique and fun. The noteworthy broth itself was a light dance, swirling at tip of memory.
Like the fried items, the crispy sesame rice flour ball ($2.50/pc, below) was oily, but the texture was sensational: a right balance of chewiness and tenderness, and it didn’t stick to the teeth. It was very simple, but simplest things are hardest to excel. I loved this very very much.
The dim sum presented by the two maestros is unlike any found in Singapore. They have their own distinctive style, which makes dining at Wan Hao full of surprises: you think you’re eating food you’re familiar with, then BAM! the food tastes different but equally (or more) delicious. A second plus point: the affordability. If the dim sum can impress even a blasé person as I, I should recommend it highly.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Thank you, Karen, Shi Ning, and Eileen, for the invited tasting.