Damn good dim sum!

Posted on August 22, 2005 by Aun

Unfortunately, I didn’t make the delicious looking cha siu pau pictured above. Fortunately, I did have the pleasure of eating it and a whole table filled with other delicious dim sum this past Sunday morning.

Waking up too lazy to make our own breakfast, S and I decided to take a short walk around our neighbourhood and grab some food somewhere nearby. Our original destination was a prata stall at the corner of Short Street and Middle Road that I like because their prata are always very crispy. They weren’t open however. So, we walked across the street to Sunshine Plaza, which is on Middle Road between Prinsep and Bencoolen Streets. There’s a wonton mee shop there that I like but hadn’t visited in many months. I also recalled reading in the Straits Times that there was a good duck noodle place now operating in the mall. We didn’t find any duck noodle shop, but we did run across a little dim sum restaurant called Victor’s Kitchen. This place is tiny; it can seat maybe a dozen people inside and another dozen more at foldable tables set up outside, in the mall’s corridors. Inside, aside from the tables and stools, there’s one long counter covered with dim sum steamers and a small open kitchen. When we first walked by, there was nobody inside, except for the chef, and one family happily eating away at one of the exterior tables.

Curious, we decided to try a couple dishes, thinking that if they weren’t great we could head over to the wonton mee shop just a few doors away. We ordered a cheong-fan wrapped around dough sticks, some siu mai, and a steamed carrot cake. All were excellent. In fact, the steamed carrot cake was one of the best I have ever eaten. We quickly ordered some more food. I insisted on trying the lo mai kai and what the chef calls his Tasty HK Chicken. S asked for an order of custard buns. Again, they were all fantastic. The lo mai kai was delicious and I could have easily eaten another. But it was the custard buns that really blew me away. While S loves these, I have never really been a big fan. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a custard bun is made with a soft fluffy dough and filled with both egg custard and some salted duck egg’s yolk. All of the ones I have ever tried have kind of left me wondering why people like them. Until Victor’s. His custard buns were revelatory. The dough was soft and light while the custard was sweet and runny—something I have never experienced before. Usually, the custard is overcooked and dry. But these were beautiful. Not wanting to stuff ourselves too much, we ordered some “oyster sauce cha siu pau” to take home (and also because I wanted to shoot them) and decided to stop there, rationalizing that we lived only 5 minutes away and could easily come back again.

I regret, however, not trying Victor’s “king prawn har kau”, which he told us was one of his specialties. Not being a huge har kau fan, I had decided against ordering it. But as the restaurant filled up (which it did in the 30 minutes we were there), I began to notice that every other customer was ordering them. One man even asked for 4 orders.

Victor Leung and his wife moved here from Hong Kong only last year. And they moved for one of the best reasons I can imagine—so that their kids can take advantage of Singapore’s public education system, which is one of the best if not the best in the region. I really admire this incredibly friendly couple. They picked up, moved here and have started from scratch for the sake of their kids. Victor has 20 years experience as a dim sum chef, and has worked in several countries. His last job, before coming here, was in the dim sum kitchen at the New World Hotel in Kowloon. If you’re a dim sum fan, you must, must, must check out this tiny, inexpensive and simply fantastic find. Even if you’re not, I urge you to visit, for no other reason than to support Victor and his wife.

Victor’s Kitchen
91 Bencoolen St, Sunshine Plaza, #01-21 (open 10am-9pm, Tues-Sun)
HP: 9838 2851 (He also does catering)

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. lil August 22, 2005 at 4:28 pm

    a friend of mine is moving from s’pore to london next month… i wonder if i can ask him to “ta pow” and i’ll go visit him then!

  2. keiko August 22, 2005 at 4:29 pm

    Hi Aun – I’m jealous you have so many great places to eat nearby – I’m sure I wouldn’t cook anything if we had those places… beautiful shot, as always.

  3. eyes August 22, 2005 at 10:38 pm

    woooo I’m always on the lookout for good dim sum. I used to go to hotel asia for dim sum but since they changed owners the food standard havent been quite the same.

  4. ChubbyCat August 22, 2005 at 11:06 pm

    I love a good dim sum. Will definitely keep Victor’s Kitchen in mind when I head over to Singapore later in the year.

  5. Mavis August 23, 2005 at 8:00 am

    Dear ChubbyHubby and S,

    Just a note to let you know, that i thoroughly enjoy reading yr blogs while my eyes feast on the great pictures too.
    Keep it up!
    I first came across this site through kiplog.com and now i visit religiously almost everyday. ^-^
    Great work!

  6. JellyGirl August 23, 2005 at 9:34 am

    Oh that all sounds so yummy! I’m going to have to try Victor’s Kitchen soon!

  7. Chubby Hubby August 23, 2005 at 12:54 pm

    lil: I’m sure you have just as good dim sum in London.

    Keiko: Thanks. Yah, it’s nice to live in a place that has good food. Just wish we got better quality produce at times.

    eyes: Hope you enjoy Victor’s.

    chubbycat: Great news.

    mavis: Thanks so much.

    JellyGirl: I also hope you enjoy the dim sum there.

  8. augustusgloop August 23, 2005 at 1:49 pm

    That’s a damn good photo too!

    We had dim sum for a Sunday brunch as well. And the yu tiao cheung fun was outta this world.

  9. Anonymous August 23, 2005 at 5:51 pm

    Glad that Victor’s kinda “discovered”. I’ve been a fan of theirs since day 1. My office used to be just beside Sunshine. While my office has shifted, I still patronise them.

  10. Julia August 25, 2005 at 12:28 am

    Hi Aun,
    Thanks for sharing your find. I love dim sum, and will definitely check out this place soon!

  11. Chubby Hubby August 25, 2005 at 12:02 pm

    Augustus: Thanks! Where did you go for your dim sum?

    Anonymous: Cool. Maybe we’ll see you there some time. I’ll be the wierdo wearing bright red birkenstocks.

    Julia: Glad to help out.

  12. Sashley August 25, 2005 at 3:01 pm

    Oh goody! Thanx for the recommendation! I love dim sum and Sunshine Plaza is like 10 mins from where I live! Will definitely check it out. :)

  13. Cindy Fredericka August 25, 2005 at 9:27 pm

    As usual, thks for all the details on the restaurant. Hmnn… think I will try it out this weekend. Another Dim Sum lover here! I LOVEEE Steamed Turnip Cake too!! It’s so hard to find the steamed version cux most Dim Sum rest serves the Pan Fried version.

  14. Sashley August 27, 2005 at 11:39 am

    Cindy, if you’re reading this, try Li Bai at Sheraton Towers. I usually order turnip cake by the box and steam it myself. It comes in a mooncake tin box and is usually available only during Chinese New Year period. But the chef does accept special orders if he’s not too busy. Just call and ask. It’s about $18 per box if I recall correctly.

  15. spots August 28, 2005 at 9:14 pm

    the best dim sum i’vr had has been at hong xing (red star) … will try out victor’s kitchen soon, thanks for the post!

  16. augustusgloop August 29, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    I had yumcha with Saffron and Pinkcocoa at East Ocean. I just posted on it here.

  17. fishgirl August 30, 2005 at 3:22 am

    inspiring!

  18. Viv & Chewie September 4, 2005 at 1:27 pm

    Tried Victor’s Kitchen on Friday. Disappointed with the har kow. The skin was soft and breaks up easily, not bouncy and slightly rubbery like a har kow’s should be. The pau also not up to Tiong Bahru pau’s standard.

    The best thing was the custard buns. So cute and tasty. Chiong faan and carrot cake were not bad too.

  19. Steffles September 7, 2005 at 10:07 am

    Hi CH,
    I’m a big dim sum fan, so i must, must, must check out Victor’s Kitchen!
    Cheers, Steffles

  20. S September 7, 2005 at 5:31 pm

    Hiya Steffles

    Just in case you’re thinking of going to Victor’s this week, he’s closed all week and will only re-open on Friday. I’m guessing it’s because his kids are on school holidays.

  21. Anonymous September 8, 2005 at 6:31 am

    this makes me want to go back to singapore right away!

    dimsum in london is pretty crap (and dirty) generally. everyone raves about yauatcha…but i think it’s the standard of how dim sum should be generally!?

    have not tried royal china, maybe i should…

    any good dim sum places to recommend in london please?

  22. Anonymous September 16, 2005 at 2:23 pm

    Hi there!.me & my husband finally went to Victor’s. U were right…his dim sum’s were damn good. We wanted to try everything on the menu..but the char sau pows and porridge were all snapped up. will definately go again. we heard he intends to do “pin-pong ha gao” wan tan mee ! typical true blue hong kong style. slurp

  23. Anonymous September 20, 2005 at 6:57 pm

    London does have good dim sum.
    Golden Dragon in Chinatown has the best braised chicken feet I’ve ever tasted. The other standard fare is also great and well-priced. Try drinking a crisp, sweet Riesling with dim sum, abslutely yummy.
    Hakkasan is tasty, chi chi but a tad pricier.

    In Singapore, I adore Crystal Jade Palace at Paragon which has the best siew mai in S’pore.

    Sue

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