Dim Sum is like Thai food for me… I love it, can’t get enough of it, and find I enjoy it most when it’s served up cheap in some back-alley hole in the wall. I’ve tried Dim Sum in fancier settings, but it always seems to lack the flavor of the more rustic shops. I also really love brunch at the St Regis in Singapore. So when I heard about Yan Ting’s dim sum brunch at the St Regis I decided to set aside my bias towards expensive Dim Sum and give it a try. To jump ahead a bit and spoil the surprise – they do manage to provide good value for the amount charged, but not necessarily in the ways you’d expect….
Yan Ting is located in a secluded corner of the St Regis Singapore, a contrast to the brightly sun-lit western brunch downstairs. The walls are tastefully decorated with Chinese art and diners are given a choice of simply adorned booths or round tables.
The dim sum brunch is all in at 72 SGD per person with free flow Juice. You can upgrade it to a boozy brunch of Moet & Chandon Brut for 98, Veuve Clicquot for 108, and if you’re after true indulgence for 298 you can enjoy Krug Grand Cuvee. With the brunch you are given a menu from which you can order to you heart’s delight / waistline’s demise.
To start your meal you’re given a bowl of the highly controversial Shark Fin’s Soup. To be honest I’ve had this dish at countless Chinese weddings and prefer the fin to come in a larger chunk (or whole for the truly decadent). The shark fin soup here is served in stringier bits and lacked the hearty flavor I’m used to. For those who don’t know a shark’s fin has absolutely zero flavor on its own and doesn’t add to the soup in any way except texture (and believed health/prosperity bonuses). Possibly Bangkok’s tastes for shark fin soup differ from Singapore?
You then given a choice of three different lobster with – garlic and butter, cheese and bacon, and superior stock and spring onions. Definitely go for the garlic and butter as the cheese and bacon (while a great flavor profile) completely masks the lobster. You could really be eating anything under the mountain of melted cheese.
Then it’s into the menu, which is quite expansive. I struggled a bit to find my favorites as I’m used to either ordering in Thai or at dim sum places with the various treats out on display so all I have to do is point. The waiter offered up some suggestions to compliment our own and our table was soon overflowing with plates including:
Char Siew Bao – Fluffy Steamed BBQ Pork Bun. Siew Mai – Steamed Pork & Shrimp Dumpling (both pictured above).
Then a Soft Shell Crab with a Black Sesame Mayo.
Next came lovely roasted pork ribs in Wuxi Style. The ribs came out steaming with a sticky, delicious sweet sauce. The meat fell off the bone easily onto our plate and into our bellies
Then we ate Stir Fried Baby Ceylon Spinach in XO Sauce.
After that we enjoyed cubes of Crispy Pork Belly Served with Spicy Wasabi, Mustard, and Soy. You can’t ever go wrong with pork belly.
Next out was a Steamed Emerald Spinach & Shrimp Dumpling. It looked like an Italian pasta more than a dumpling, but the taste was classic Chinese.
On the waiter’s suggestion we ordered the Terriyaki Unagi. This was a bit of a miss for us as it was very fishy. Perhaps not suited to our palates or maybe older fish?
To end the massive meal we sampled four different desserts (well it WAS a buffet ) starting with the Thousand Layer Cake… not a thousand layers by a long shot but still tasty.
Lime scented Chinese marshmallows.
Mini egg tart & Mango Pudding.
With our bellies full we reflected over the meal. The Dim Sum for the most part was standard with some better than average. But factoring in the lobster, soup, extra dishes like pork belly, and desserts… coupled with the nice venue the value is there. Sure you can get Dim Sum cheaper on the street somewhere and some particular ones might be better from a more specialized shop, but for a special treat, occassion, or if you’re just looking for air conditioning and a pleasant wait staff, Yan Ting’s offers a pretty good value. When you add alcohol to the ticket, considering a bottle of Veuve at most places is almost as much as this brunch option, the deal becomes that much sweeter.
Chef Chan Siu Kong
29 Tanglin Road
Phone: (65) 6506 6888