When speaking about Dim Sum, I’ve heard of Swee Choon more often than not. With my usual Dim Sum diners, we arrived at this, not that accessible restaurant. Just be warned, it’s about a 15 minutes walk away from Lavender MRT (of which includes a couple of dark alleys – okay, not really dark dark, but, dark). When I got there, I was rather taken aback, because I wasn’t expecting it to be a shophouse concept, quite run-down, narrow. Some seats in the air-conditioned area, some outdoors, in the back alley.
Having been starved, we quickly ordered whatever looks good. It was amazing how fast the dishes started flowing in (non-stop) – so much that all of us were at a lost which to dig in first, which is a good sign. Let’s start on some food, in order of merit.
Nai Huang Liu Sha Bao ($2.70+/3) :: It was unanimous that this was one of the winning dishes of the night. Being a Liu Sha Bao fan, I thought this was pretty good.
Shui Ji ($6+) :: Hell yeah. After trying some in Taiwan street market, I have been looking for this, water chicken in Singapore for the longest time. Even though it doesn’t quite match up to the ones in Taiwan, it managed to satisfy my craving. For first timers, it’s cold, spicy, salty, and pure brilliance.
Dou Miao ($6+) :: Another ordinary dish done extraordinarily. Eat it while it’s piping hot. And it’s a good getaway from all the dim sum dishes.
Huang Jin Dou Fu ($3+) :: It’s so delicate and fragile that it takes some specially trained skills to pick those up with a pair of chopsticks without crumbling it. It might look bland, but meh, don’t be deceived by the pale look of it. It’s one of the most flavorful beancurds I’ve had.
Mian Xian Gao (Mee Sua Kueh) ($2+) :: I’ve never seen this dish before, but apparently it’s one of the more popular dim sum dishes. It’s wrapped with Mee Sua as the name of the dish suggests – it seems like a weird combination but it actually tastes decent.
Banana & Prawn Fritters ($2.60+) :: Being a banana lover and prawn lover, this dish is a no-brainer to be loved.
Lian Rong Bao ($1.40+) :: Considering the popularity of this restaurant, $0.70 per pau is a steal. You know, there are many different kinds of Lian Rong Bao – this kind is the traditional one – the darker colored kind of lian rong, rich and thick and satisfying.
Egg Tart ($2.60+/2) :: It was forgettable. Maybe partly we have ourselves to blame – I left it out there for pretty long before consuming it.
Fried Fish Skin ($5+) :: A lot of raving reviews on this, but I think it’s rather overrated. It’s nice to nibble on when you want to take a break from the war you have with the I-have-already-lost-count-how-many-dishes-there-are dim sum. Good thing it’s not overly stenched with the smell of raw fish.
Hua Diao Jiu Zui Ji (Drunken Chicken) ($5.50+) :: This is one of the few disappointing dishes of the night. It’s cold (meant to be), but there was an overdose of hua diao jiu, in our opinion – too much for our liking.
And we had a couple other dishes. Yeah we were monsters that very night. Don’t be expecting any good service (well they don’t charge service charge anyways), or a good ambience for dim sum. I’m giving this a 3 stars for sheer good food.
—> Note #1: They only charge 7% GST.
—> Note #2: They don’t take reservations.
—> Note #3: They only accept cash and NETS.
Address: 185 / 187 / 189 / 191 Jalan Besar
Photos by Kathleen.