Dim sum, (simplified Chinese: 点心) which literally means “to touch the heart” is a Cantonese cuisine where the dish is prepared in small bite-sized, individual portion and traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates.
Dim sum is closely associated with an even older tradition of yum cha: 饮茶 (tea drinking), which has its roots in resting stops for travelers along the ancient Silk Road. Teahouses sprung up to accommodate weary travelers as it was believed that tea helps restore energy. Small snacks were also served to help recharge the travelers for their journey ahead.
Over the centuries, yum cha has transformed from a relaxing respite to a loud and happy dining experience. In present day, dim sum is constantly evolving in tandem with the creativity of the chef. It is estimated over 2,000 dim sum dishes have been created since the 10th century. What was once meant to be a quick snack to fill the stomach of travelers, has now become an intricate art that would take decades to master.
Popular Dim Sum Dishes
Being the first Anglo-Chinese restaurant in Singapore, many guests wonder what signature dim sum they should absolutely try, so here are four of our most popular ones.
White Skin Siew Mai
Most of us know the traditional Siew Mai is a pork and prawn steamed dumpling, tightly encased in a yellow thin wheat wrapper. At Chopsuey Cafe, the White Skin Siew Mai takes on a different appearance.
The natural flour-white skin of the Siew Mai was made without any artificial colouring or Kansui (lye water). Fillings are mixed with sliced lean pork collar meat and chunky shrimps for a healthier indulgence. Lastly, there is a subtle twist of a sweet wine-soaked raisin. Expect to savour beautiful layering of flavours from the first bite.
Pumpkin & Cod Dumplings
This carefully carved pumpkin-shaped dumpling is filled with black pepper marinated cod fish. The soft mustard coloured skin is made from a combination of pumpkin and flour. Visually appetizing, delicately tasteful with just the right amount of kick, makes this dim sum a crowd pleaser.
Flakey Char Siew Puff
The flaky pastry combined with the succulent Char Siew (marinated barbeque pork) filling makes the Char Siew Puff pastry one of the most sought after dishes during yum cha.
The pink hue from our Flakey Char Siew Puff gets its natural colour from fresh beetroot extracts, which is infused into the dough. The smoky flavour of the Char Siew filling is further enhanced with spices like star anise and cinnamon.
Chicken Rice Balls
Chicken Rice is quintessentially Singaporean. This delectable chicken dish is normally served with fragrant rice, chilli sauce and ginger paste.
Without losing its original flavour profile, Chopsuey Cafe after much research and attempts, has created a truly unique dim sum, the Chicken Rice Ball. The right temperature and amount of rice is crucial to firmly embrace the filling of this morsel. Deep in the center of the Chicken Rice Ball, is the mixture of lemon grass, ginger and garlic, which is then covered with finely minced chicken and wrapped with steamed fragrant rice, garnished with a dot of ‘chicken rice chilli sauce’.
Chopsuey Cafe Chilli Sauces
We have three homemade dipping sauces to accompany our dim sum selections, each with their own twists.
Dim Sum Chilli
Bean paste, chilli and tomato sauce
Sesame, coriander, garlic and chilli
Red and green chilies blended with calamansi
For reservations or more information, visit us at Chopsuey Cafe at Dempsey Hill, Singapore 247700 or call (+65) 9224 6611.
*only available for brunch and lunch.