Conveniently located, just beside Toa Payoh Library, a couple of minutes walk away from this hidden gem, Swatow Seafood Restaurant was introduced to me by a good friend of mine. And I want to thank her for it! I’m going to put it across before anything – dim sum (yes, not to be mistaken by its name, we went there for their dim sum hi-tea buffet) is usually not my cup of tea, or Chinese food in general. But this appeals to me pretty much in particular. Well, probably because a lot of their dishes contain shrimps/prawns (I love them seafood). And there’s this, I’d like to call it the winning dish – Fried Durian. If I wasn’t already full then, I’d have ended up having a durian buffet instead of a dim sum’s.
Their concept is that of the traditional Hong Kong style. They have food served on carts (very much like those in the famous Red Star Restaurant) and occasionally on trays they walk around with. In view of me not being a dim sum person, I basically nodded to have a piece of whatever names of the dishes they blabbered whilst by our table. To my surprise, they actually do have quite an extensive list of dim sum dishes, to think that it’s only $19.80++ per person (on weekends). They have this 3-for-2 promotion going on on weekdays. So basically it’s around $23 nett per person on weekends and $15.50 nett per person on weekdays. You can enjoy the buffet from 3PM – 5.30PM, definitely a steal, at least now I know where to bring my parents for some good ol’ dim sum / chinese food.
Fried / Crispy Durian :: This is the durian I was talking about. Ohh, orgasm.
Char Siew Puff :: This is probably my next favorite dish. Eat it while it’s hot!
Xiao Long Bao :: Be careful when handling this delicate piece of bao. I’ve never been a xiao long bao fan, nor do I understand why people are queuing to have a xiao long bao buffet. Anyhows, it’s a decent dish.
Steamed Pork Ribs :: Like many similar dishes, it reeks of raw pork smell, which isn’t too appealing nor appetizing for me, despite being a pork lover.
Swatow Seafood Restaurant also serves one-per-pax dishes upon entry. So if you are either a big Abalone Kueh Pie Ti or Shark’s Fin Soup fan, then bring along a friend who isn’t.
Abalone Kueh Pie Ti :: I know what it tastes like the moment I had it in my mouth – the Abalone Salad Sushi one can find in Ichiban Boshi. The wasabi taste, the cubes of abalone. It’s nearly identical. I love it. So, any non-Abalone taker? Let’s go to Swatow, lol.
Shark’s Fin Soup :: To me, the soup is nothing to rave about. Quite a disappointment, but it doesn’t make up the main bulk of the buffet, so it’s less of a concern.
Some other dishes available on the pushcarts include Egg Tarts, Deep Fried Prawn Dumpling, Har Gao, Siew Mai, Chee Cheong Fan, Guo Tie, Chicken Feet, and Beancurd Rolls. Well, the list goes on for a while before stopping, I assure you.
You can also find free flow of iced water and plum juice (which I find it – well, it’s better that you don’t even take a sip of it). Desserts were lined up at the corner, pretty appealing to the eye. Some longan drink/dessert, the regular mango pudding, and almond longan dessert. It wasn’t too bad, just some alright / casual way to end the buffet.
This has to be my favorite / most value for money dim sum venue at least for now. It’s good to make a reservation before heading there. It was near to full house at a point in time while I was there.
Address: Block 181, Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #02-602
Telephone: 6363 1717
Photos by me.