Next up on the list of revisits-to-restaurants-I-haven't-been-in-awhile is New Town Bakery in Chinatown. Hey, it's not like I haven't picked up some of their apple tarts or dai bao in the last 4 years, but I haven't actually sat down for a meal. Sure, they are more famous for their bakery products, but Viv and decided that we should try the Dim Sum menu. Why? Well, we haven't found good Dim Sum in Chinatown and this was the last place we hadn't tried (and please don't say Floata is good!).
We started with the Sui Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumplings) which was mostly comprised of chewy pork. There were a few bits and pieces of shrimp, but the predominance of the dense pork filling made the dumplings heavy and lacking in a variety of flavours. Next up was the Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) and they were below average. The dumpling skin was doughy with no elasticity while the shrimp filling was mousse-like with some decent pieces mixed in. In terms of flavour, there was really none to speak of as there was no natural sweetness nor the usual additions (such as sesame oil and white pepper).
Moving along, we had the Preserved Egg and Salted Pork Congee. The base was a home-style version where it was both light in seasoning and thickness. The ground pork was not really all that appealing as it didn't do a good job substituting for actual salted pork. Fortunately, the addition of dried oysters added the necessary saltiness to the congee. We also got the Beef Rice Noodle Roll which didn't look all that appealing at first. However it was soft despite being far too thick. The beef filling was pale, yet had a nice bounce texture. Too bad there wasn't enough of it in relation to the amount of rice noodle.
Looking like a home-made version, the Black Bean Spareribs also lacked colour. Apparently, proper tenderization was absent too as the meat was chewy (in a non-bouncy textural manner). The predominant seasoning seemed to be salt (and not from the black beans either since there was not many). At the very least, most of the meat was not fatty. Lastly, we had the Phoenix Talons (Chicken Feet). Being slightly undercooked, they were still plump with most of the fried skin still intact. The tendon and cartilage underneath were slightly crunchy as a result. There was a good amount of garlic and seasoning as well.
On a separate visit, I had tried their Soy-Fried Flat Rice Noodles with Beef. This was greasy as per usual (otherwise the noodles would stick to the wok), with tender slices of beef. It was seasoned properly as well. One thing that could've been better was the noodles, they were pretty hacked up. While we were about to leave, we couldn't jet without getting some of their famous Apple Tarts! Now be aware that the apple tarts are only good at the Chinatown location. The crunchy sugary tops combined with the flaky pastry yielded to a sweet and slightly tart apple filling. I like these, but I don't love them (maybe I'm not a dessert guy?).
We got some Dai Bao (big bun filled with pork, ham and salted duck egg yolk) as well, but didn't take a picture of it though. On the other hand, I did take a picture of the Steamed BBQ Pork Bun and it was big and filled with lots of meat in a sweet savoury glaze. Okay, one more item because our son would whine and complain if we didn't pick up some Pineapple Buns as well. These were also fairly large where the sugary topping covered the entire bun (unlike some other places like Maxim's). We thought the bun itself was soft and airy. A little pricey, but the size and quality made up for it. This small sample of their baked and steamed bakery products clearly shows what they are good at. Stick with it and you'll come away satisfied. Just don't have the Dim Sum.
- Good bakery products
- Large portion size
- Pass on the Dim Sum
- Bakery items a bit pricier than other places (but bigger too)