As much as my last visit to Chong Lum Hin was a decent one, the one thing I remember most is the adult shop that was located kitty-corner to the restaurant. No, don't get the wrong idea, I wasn't longing to return for some products after-the-fact, rather, it was my son's question about a sign in the window: "what are adult toys?". Yah, awkward parent moment... Well, that store is long gone, but Chong Lum Hin is still around. For good reason too, as it combines decent eats at a low price. That was the plan for Dim Sum with Popper and Popette (oh and little poppy as well).
So onto the food, the first plates to arrive were the Shrimp Spring Rolls and Gai Lan with oyster sauce. My son jumped with joy when the spring rolls showed up but then made a face when he noticed the greens next to it. At least my daughter liked both plates (she's gonna be the foodie in the family). Anyways, we found the spring rolls to be crunchy and compact in size. There was very little filling which was ultimately too soft, especially for shrimp. There was no absence of seasoning though where the garlic really came through as well as the copious amount of salt. As for the gai lan, it was crunchy and visually-appealing. They cooked it just long enough.
Next we had 3 different rice noodle rolls including the Donut Rice Noodle Roll (Ja Leun) and the Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll. We also got the beef, but it is not pictured here. The rice noodle itself was buttery soft while still maintaining some elasticity. Inside, the salty donut was crispy while not being dense. It was a bit too greasy for our liking though (they could've done a better job draining the oil). As for the shrimp rice noodle roll, the filling was not surprisingly similar to the one in the spring roll. The little bits of shrimp were combined with mousse which in turn made it too soft without the appealing snap texture. It was well-seasoned though.
Onto the usual suspects, we had the Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumpling) and Sui Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumpling). With a thick and slightly chewy dumpling skin, the haw gow featured whole shrimp and mousse filling. It was a bit wet, but the pieces of shrimp had a nice snap. There was too much sesame oil though as it was a bit overwhelming. As for the sui mai, there was a moist and buttery bounce texture that was accented by a good amount of shiitake mushroom. We found that the salt content was too much, yet at the same time, the dumpling did taste good with a combination of pork flavour and Earthiness from the mushrooms.
Since I was given the responsibility of ordering (of which I gleefully accepted), I had to get the Phoenix Talons (Chicken Feet) and Bean Curd Skin Roll. Glistening with sauce, the chicken feet were sweet and garlicky with a definite lingering spiciness. Texturally, the skin was too soft and broken in spots. However, underneath, the cartilage was hard and crunchy. I thought the bean curd skin roll was well-prepared. The outer skin exhibited a chewy, yet moist texture where the sauce was silky and mildly seasoned. Inside, the filling was loose and juicy with a good amount of veggies. The pork was tender while maintaining a rebound.
Moving onto some carbs, we had the Lo Mei Gai (Sticky Rice) and Pork Spareribs on Rice. For mini-lo mei gai, these were pretty plump with lots of very sticky rice inside. And when I say sticky, it was dry sticky rather than being moist. On the bright side, there was plenty of ground pork filling that featured a good amount of shiitake and moisture (which helped the dry rice). Even more dry, the sparerib rice was chewy and purposefully dry. The spareribs on top were a bit fatty, yet ultimately tender enough with some rebound. There was plenty of garlic and spiciness even though much of the marinade had seeped into the rice.
For our last 2 dishes, we went for the Pan Fried Daikon Radish Cake and Beef Meatballs. We weren't huge fans of the daikon cake as it was mealy and wet. On the other hand, there was plenty of Chinese sausage which in turn meant it was flavourful. The aggressive pan fry also ensured caramelization and smokiness. The meatballs looked good and indeed they were with an appealing bounce texture accented by a proper amount of cilantro. This was further enhanced by a good amount of sweet and savoury elements. As you can probably ascertain from the dishes we tried, the Dim Sum at Chong Lum Hin is good enough for this class of restaurant. Sure, some issues arose here and there, but with nothing really around the area, it does the trick for cheap.
- Decent Dim Sum
- It's a dive (if you care)
- Service is okay, but very sparse