Craving for Hong Kong-style dim sum?
While travelling to Hong Kong for dim sum is out of the question for most,
especially since there are still travel restrictions to the land of dim sum.
Luckily, we found a restaurant with old-school HK vibes that will appeal to
those who long for a sense of nostalgia.
126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi
|126 Dim Sum Wen Dai Shi|
Wen Dao Shi is located at 126 Sims Avenue, on the outskirts of Geylang’s
notorious red-light district. Despite the location, we felt relatively safe to
venture there, especially since the ‘night activities’ had somewhat toned down
due to the pandemic.
We were treated by a somewhat messy facade. The shop front has ovens on one
side and displays of egg tarts and baps on the other. From the outside, you
could hardly see the interior of the restaurant. In fact, you might just walk
past it, not knowing that it is an actual restaurant.
Step inside, and you are transported to a whole new world.
The interior resembles an old-school HK restaurant with a tiled floor and
plastic chairs. This fits right up our alley as we were intentionally looking
for places that give out a retro mood rather than swanky new restaurants.
Somehow, we had the impression that food from such places would be more
authentic than manufactured. The 2 signage at the back of the restaurant –
‘Hong Kong’ and ‘Kowloon’ added to the charm of this place.
|Hong Kong , Kowloon|
Sim Wen Dao does not disappoint with the food selection. There were pages and
pages of dim sim or different varieties on the menu. While some were familiar,
there were plenty of others we had not seen in other similar dim sum outlets.
Although we did not count, there must be 100s of dishes in the selection.
Prices for most dishes are around $5-$8, making them even more appealing.
We decided to try a mix of steam and friend options. We decided to purposely
choose items that we rarely had a chance to eat in a dim sum setting.
Shanghai Soup Dumpling
|Shanghai Xiao Long Bao|
This is slightly different from the usual xiao long boa. The soup is mainly on
the dumplings outside rather than the inside. In terms of texture and taste,
it is equal to the popular xiao long bao in the more established
Seafood Tom Yam Siew Mai
|Seafood Tom Yam Siew Mai|
From Shanghai, we were transported to the street of Bangkok with Tom Yam Siew
Mai. While it looks different, the tom yam taste does not overwhelm the dish.
In fact, it tasted almost like a regular Siew Mai. The filling is generous,
and it is a mouthful at every bite.
King Prawn Dumpling
|King Prawn Dumpling|
For Dim Sum lovers, Siew Mai and Har Gow are a must. Instead of the usual Har
Gow, we opt for King Prawn Dumpling, which has a much larger portion of prawn
and fillings. Worth it!
Steamed Cuttlefish with Kang Kong
|Steamed cuttlefish with Kang Kong|
We had eaten steamed cuttlefish kang kong on its own but never in a dim sum
setting. The cuttlefish was fresh and tasted as good as those we had outside.
Fried banana with mango roll
|Fried Banana with mango roll|
It is always good to have some fruit when you have your meal. This fried
banana and mango roll fill that role. It was a tad sinful, but it was crispy
Fried Cuttlefish Ball
Crispy Soft Shell Crab
|Soft Shell Crab|
This dish was ordered on a whim because it had been a long time since we had
soft shell crab. It was nicely battered and fried. Not too oily and has the
right level of crispiness.
Fried Pancake with Onion
|Fried pancake with onion|
Our dessert was the fried pancake with onion. It was crunchy and flavourful. A
good way to end the meal.
Usually, we do not mention drinks in our reviews. This one deserves a special
mention because it comes in a soup bowl rather than a regular cup. This means
you get more volume due to the size of the bowl. No complains here.
The bill for 8 dishes and 2 drinks comes under $60 (no service charge). We
think that the price was relatively reasonable given the amount we ate. If you
are heading here for dinner or lunch, you can also choose from their selection
of porridge fried rice and noodles to complete the dish.
Food was served fast ( probably much faster than it took for us to order) and
service was pleasant. Given that we only ate less than 10% of what is
available on the menu, it is the same to say that we will be back for seconds
or a third. While it is not 100% authentic Hong Kong Dim Sum fare, we like the
eccentric twist in some dishes.
Given that we love the old-school settings, we hope 126 Dim Sum will not
succumb to upgrading and keep this retro charm. There is another outlet at
Serangoon, but this is temporary close. The outlet at Sims Drive opens 24