Restaurant-quality dimsum at Potong Pasir coffee shop, Latest Makan News - The New Paper

Restaurant-quality dimsum at Potong Pasir coffee shop

For freshly made restaurant-quality dimsum and buns that will not cost an arm and leg, head to 146 Dim Sum Handmade Bao in Potong Pasir.

Housed in a clean and airy coffee shop, the stall offers a dimsum experience for a steal, considering the back-breaking labour put into the food.

Dimsum chef Siah Ming Shoon, 50, helms the kitchen, while his wife, Madam Lee Yian Ching, 48, helps with food preparation and operations. They are from Sitiawan in Perak, Malaysia.

Madam Lee introduced Pork Ribs Chee Cheong Fun ($4.50) as she prefers savoury chee cheong fun.

The steamed pork ribs with black fermented bean are placed on top of chee cheong fun, which is drizzled in a house blend of light soya sauce that is cooked with five other ingredients such as rock sugar.

Pork Ribs Chee Cheong Fun. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The sauce is similar to the type used for Hong Kong steamed fish. The chee cheong fun, though factory-made, is silky and slightly springy. I like how the pork ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and tasty.

The housemade bao are worth eating for their soft, fluffy skins. Mr Siah reduces sugar in the dough and salt in the filling where possible. His skill in baomaking is evident when you tear off the piece of paper at the base of each bun – it comes off easily instead of sticking to the skin.

The Big Bao ($2) has a pork filling made with lean hind trotter meat and a wedge of hard-boiled egg. The meat, cooked with red onion, bangkwang and spring onion, is deliciously juicy.

Big Bao and Egg Custard Bao. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Smaller bao worth trying are the Char Siew Bao ($1), which has a char siew filling that is more savoury than sweet, and the Coffee Bao ($1), which has an aromatic, coffee-infused lotus seed paste filling that is not overly sweet.

Char Siew Bao, Coffee Bao, Hotdog Bao and Big Bao. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The Egg Custard Bao ($3.80 for a basket of three) has a delightful, oozy salted egg yolk filling that stays molten even when the buns cool down. But the use of powdered salted egg yolk powder lacks punch and the filling is a tad too buttery.

Egg Custard Bao. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Madam Lee came up with the chicken Hotdog Bao ($1) upon the request of her daughter, who loves hot dogs. I am in love with the Honey Chicken Feet ($2.80) – braised chicken feet that do not contain honey. The sweetness comes from maltose in the marinade.

Honey Chicken Feet. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

While many stalls resort to ready-to-use deep-fried chicken feet, Madam Lee prepares it from scratch, starting with the unenviable task of cleaning them and trimming off the claws. The chicken feet are marinated, deep-fried, then braised in a sticky sauce that derives deep flavour from fermented bean sauce.

My favourite dumpling is the Century Egg Dumpling ($2.50), which has century egg and a pork filling with crunch from diced water chestnut, all wrapped in wonton skin.

Century Egg Dumpling. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

The Siew Mai ($2.50) are bouncy in texture too, with fish paste and diced water chestnut in the filling.

The Siew Mai are bouncy in texture and have crunch from diced water chestnut. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

A must-try is the slurpworthy Century Egg Porridge ($3.80), which is ultra silky in texture and available only on weekends. Eat it while it is hot as it turns watery quickly.

Century Egg Porridge. ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Fried items like the Fried Prawn Roll ($1.30 a piece) and Fried Yam Ball ($1.30 a piece) are also worth blowing calories on. The Fried Yam Ball, also known as wu gok in Cantonese, has a crisp, lacy exterior with melt-in-the-mouth yam encasing a char siew filling.


Where: 146 Dim Sum Handmade Bao, 01-127, Block 146 Potong Pasir Avenue 1
MRT: Potong Pasir
Open: Tuesdays to Sundays, 7am to 9pm; closed on Mondays