Royal Pavilion @ Park Regis Hotel
Near Clarke Quay MRT
And finally, another good dim sum restaurant has opened in Singapore. Though the dim sum scene in Singapore is getting increasingly crowded, most only offer above average yet pretty expensive dim sum. After being back for a year and a half, I have only managed to discover four good dim sum places – Wah Lok, Crystal Jade Dining In, Summer Palace and Cassia @ Capella (no ranking intended over here). That is indeed not a flattering number for dim sum crazy Singaporeans I feel. Luckily, Royal Pavilion which just opened about three months ago, is the latest addition to my group of good dim sum places. All the dim sum here generally cost between $4 – $5.
Lavishly decorated, it makes you very relaxed the moment you step into this restaurant.
So we got the swiss baked char siew bao. While some restaurants love to make their crust super thin, sweet and buttery, the one served over here is lighter and fluffier which reminds me of the char siew bao I had at Tin Lung Heen. Quite a good char siew bao here.
Steamed diced vegetable dumplings. Again the skin used here is really good and I like the skin to be almost transparent as it makes the dim sum look more appetising. Vegetables are crunchy too. Delicious.
Har gao with a pleasant presentation. This is definitely unique and different from all other restaurants as a slit is deliberately made on one side to hold the fish roe. The fish roe definitely made it more pleasant to look at. Prawns in it were succulent but I thought the salmon roe did not improve the taste much. Instead, I would prefer the har gao without the roe.
Coffee smoked salmon. This is not part of a dim sum menu but from the appetiser main menu. It sounded really exotic and I thought I should try it since it is one of their signature dishes. I didn’t like this dish though as the coffee and salmon have two discrete tastes. While salmon tastes creamier, the coffee has a slightly more ‘acidic’ taste. It may have been better if a creamier condiment is used instead. About $10.
Half smoked duck for $34. Very good slab of duck meat over here. The skin is the outstanding part of the dish as it is super thin and crispy. I could hear the crispy sound when my chopsticks pressed slightly against it.
Grilled Siew Mai on a skewer and this reminded me of Paradise pavilion. Really fragrant piece of siew mai over here and meat in it is substantial.
Hokkien mee with reduced prawn broth. I was quite amazed that they serve hawker fare over here. I didn’t expect it to be the Singapore kind of hokkien mee when I ordered it. Nevertheless, it was still a very good bowl of Hokkien Mee. The noodles were not soggy and were not swimming in the watery broth which you get at some hawker. The flavour of the broth here has totally penetrated into the noodles and every mouthful is really flavourful. Prawns used here were also fresh. $24 for three ppl. This portion here is for one person.
Sesame bun which looks very much like oreo bun. This bun is light, not buttery like the usual liu sa bao that most people will go for. You can taste the freshly ground sesame in it and isn’t too sweet as I believe little sugar is added. A good bun I felt for the less sweet tooth.
And we got the mashed yam dessert with pumpkin puree in a coconut, or what locals know as orh ni. I love this dessert. Mashed yam and pumpkin puree were really smooth and while most places usually serve oily ones as pork lard is used to make it fragrant, this one over here didn’t feel oily or queasy at all. It was of the right sweetness and you could also scrape the coconut flesh out. Flesh is really delicious as well when eaten together with the orh ni. $8.50.
Though there were some small misses, I felt that this restaurant overall did win my heart. Presentation wise, they are perfect. Royal Pavilion is definitely very strong in their steamed section of dim sum. I usually find steamed dumplings the hardest to make and this restaurant managed to pull it off. So go for their steamed dumplings if you are intending to pay them a visit. Service is very good though I wouldn’t say that it’s classy. They are more towards the ‘friendly’ kind of service. Paid a total of about $150 for three and I find that really reasonable. Yeah, and I am really glad there’s another good dim sum restaurant in Singapore!