Long Street has become one of our favourite places to explore, and every corner or tiny door, hidden away by the busy street, traffic and bustle has something special to offer. This week’s find: South China Dim Sum Bar.
The unassuming restaurant, simply set up with benches and tables is the right place to be for a quick lunch or dinner, but be sure to get there on time, because it fills up rather fast during the rush! And we completely understand why!
The simple menu offers a selection of nine potstickers and dumplings, each with a different and unique filling, as well as a cold sesame noodle salad with chicken, braized beef with jasmine rice and hawker noodles with tofu, not to mention the daily special! The small menu focuses on bursts of flavour, executed to perfection, with no fuss, serving up perfect dishes every time.
We chose to focus on the dim sum purely because that is what they are known for, and they did not disappoint. The large bamboo steamers and thick skillets in the kitchen made our mouth water as we took our seats, while the delicate dumplings were gently steamed and some flawlessly seared to create the ideal crispy bottoms. This form of cooking truly is an art.
The chicken wontons with spicy Szechuan, packed a little bit of a punch thanks to the spice, and crunch thanks to the water chestnuts, but is immediately balanced off by the soy sauce, while the beef potstickers are perfectly crispy, adding a wonderful texture to the dim sum thanks to the gentle pan-frying on the thick skillets. The Char Siu Bao, also known as a wheat bun, was incredibly fluffy and sweet thanks to the honey roasted pork and onion, while the other end of the menu had a steamed translucent wheat and tapioca dumpling filled with prawns, water chestnuts and topped off with spring onions for that additional freshness; the beauty of this little morsel of goodness is that unlike most prawn dumplings we have tasted in the past, which reduces the prawn meat to a paste, these dumplings are filled with small chunks of the prawn meat, and to us, it makes all the difference. The Siu Mai with mustard and Hoi Sin sauce is their open face dumpling filled with pork belly and shitake mushrooms, and the flavour of the shitake stands out, with the pork belly cutting through the sweetness of the thick and sticky Hoi Sin sauce.
Complete the dim sum experience as tradition calls, as you sip on their range of teas, waiting for the next plate of dumplings.
Having ordered eight dishes, and each of them ranging between R18 to R38, you can easily dine for two at R300 and leave with a happy soul and full belly! This simple menu is definitely a 4.5 from us!
Now that we have tried the basics and staples, we look forward to going back and trying their lamb potstickers with mint dipping sauce, and being a little bit more adventurous and trying the rest of the menu!