When it comes to Chinese food, every one of us has a soft spot for dim sum—or yum cha as it is commonly referred to in Hong Kong. A classic Cantonese delight that is commonly enjoyed with hot tea—hence the term ‘yum cha’ which translates to ‘drinking tea’ in Cantonese—who can resist waking up to likes of steaming hot, meat and seafood-stuffed morsels of goodness.
Many folks may argue that the best (and most affordable) dim sum can only be found in Hong Kong or Guangzhou but we beg to differ. In fact, you can just as easily find some of the best and cheapest dim sum delights right here in Singapore.
As much as we love our cafe-style brunches, there is just something about dim sum that still makes it our ultimate go-to comfort food. Here is our list of 12 dim sum places in Singapore that will not hurt your wallet but will have you thoroughly satisfied nonetheless.
Photo Credit: charbao
JOHORE YE ZHI MEI HANDMADE BAO
Situated just a stone’s throw away from the esteemed Swee Choon Dim Sum is Johore Ye Zhi Mei Handmade Bao, which serves a wide array of tasty and affordably priced dim sum, 24 hours a day from Tuesdays to Sundays.
Besides their signature giant handmade bao, Ye Zhi Mei, that they are best known for, they also offer interesting spins on dim sum such as Bean Curd Dumpling, Salted Egg Siew Mai and Century Egg Siew Mai.
208 Jalan Besar
Tel: +65 6294 2210
Photo Credit: chillingsaint
Lai Kee has 5 outlets in Singapore, and they are all traditional, old-school dim sum stalls located in nondescript coffee shops. They offer endless dim sum options, including your typical Siew Mai and Har Gow.
Though portions are relatively small, most items are affordably priced, so rest assured that you can feast on dim sum without burning a hole in your wallet at Lai Kee.
126 Lor 1 Toa Payoh
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Photo Credit: qqingg
SHI WEI XIAN HONG KONG DIM SUM
Shi Wei Xian Hong Kong Dim Sum is a place where east-siders flock to for unpretentious and delectable dim sum. Their traditional handmade dim sum is priced at an average of just S$3, and this includes the classics such as the humble char siew bao, chee cheong fun and siew mai.
Oddly, they are only open on weekends and they usually sell out pretty early so be sure to head over earlier to beat the crowd!
119 Aljunied Avenue 2, #01-06
If you ask a resident of Kovan where you should head to for excellent dim sum without burning a hole in your pocket, Yi Dian Xin Hong Kong Dim Sum is the place to go. You are very likely to find a basket of their signature Liu Sha Bao on every table because no one leaves without a taste of that buttery salted egg yolk goodness.
If you are looking for more items to share, the humble stall also has other classic dim sum dishes such as har gao, xiao long bao, char siew rice roll and siew mai.
1012 Upper Serangoon Road,
Teo Seng Eating House
Tel: +65 9168 5587
TIONG BAHRU PAU
Offering value-for-money dim sum across a few outlets in Singapore, Tiong Bahru Pau is where you can get Cantonese-style buns and other dim sum items that range from S$0.80 to S$2 per piece.
Be sure to get the crowd-favourite char siew bao which is filled with large chunks of tender pork and a rich barbecue sauce that makes every mouthful ever so flavourful.
32 New Market Road
01-1038 People’s Park Food Centre
Tel: +65 6222 7656
KOW LOON HONG KONG DIM SUM
What makes Kow Loon Hong Kong Dim Sum stand out from their competitors—apart from the cheap prices (less than S$4 per serving)—is the fact that they offer dim sum with a twist.
Get started on Spicy Sour White Chicken Feet as a cold appetiser and continue your feast with Steamed Cheong Fun that is filled with prawns, char siew, Enoki mushroom and many more.
151 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5
Tel: +65 9685 9371
MONGKOK DIM SUM
At Mongkok Dim Sum, you can have dim sum for breakfast, tea and even supper! Open throughout the day, the dim sum joint has a plethora of choices that mostly fall below S$5.
The Char Siew Chee Cheong Fun, Pan-Fried Carrot Cake and Yam Pastry with Meat Filling come highly recommended.
214 Geylang Road
Tel: +65 8484 8829
Victor’s Kitchen is best known for its classic Liu Sha Bao, which features molten, creamy salted egg yolk lava oozing out upon your first bite into their fluffy white buns.
While their custard buns are hands-down the crowd-favourite, make sure to try out some of the other offerings while you are there, such as the Tasty Queen-Sized Siew Mai and Golden “Bo Lo” Char Siew Butter Buns.
91 Bencoolen Street
Sunshine Plaza, #01-49
Tel: +65 9838 2851
(*Victor’s Kitchen has another outlet at Chinatown Point)
DIM SUM HAUS
This Dim Sum treasure place is located in the heart of the Jalan Besar neighbourhood. The unique dim sum served here is one of the reasons why customers keep coming back for more!
Their one-of-a-kind Charcoal Siew Mai, made fresh upon ordering, have already captured the attention of many. It comes in a set of 3, with each one encompassing a whole shrimp. Topped with prawn roe, the additional texture of the dish stands out from regular Siew Mai.
57 Jalan Besar
Tel: +65 6909 0777
Tues to Sun: 11.30am – 3 pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Jalan Besar
True to its name, every single dish here is priced at the unbelievable cost of S$1.30.
One of the cheapest dim sum places in Singapore, Kuai San Dian Xin is popular for their Custard Pau and Carrot Cake. The Custard Pau has a rich buttery filling and your teeth will literally sink into the soft skin of the pau. However, do not expect the custard to flow out of the bun like regular custard paus in the market, the filling is more solid than liquid.
However, the prices are consistent with the portion of the dishes and one can definitely eat up to seven or eight dishes alone! But considering that it will add up to only about S$10, it is still a great deal!
21 Woodlands Close, Level 1
Daily: 24 Hours
Nearest Station: Woodlands
Photo Credit: Hong Kong Zhai Dim Sum
HONG KONG ZHAI DIM SUM
Since Hong Kong Zhai Dim Sum was founded in 1988, it has offered Singaporeans a taste of Hong Kong with its wide array of authentic and affordably priced dim sum choices. Many customers go back for their signature Lo Mai Kai, Chee Cheong Fun and Beancurd Skin Rolls.
Out of the different Chee Cheong Fun that they offer, the shrimp-filling one is by far the best of them all. Not only can one taste the freshness of the shrimps, but it is also impossible to resist the silky rice roll that neatly ties the dish together. Splashed with a generous serving of savoury sauce, the dish is complete.
3017 Bedok North Street 5
Tel: +65 6748 4893
LEGENDARY HONG KONG
This place is the perfect replica of Hong Kong itself. A lot of effort has been made to give off a ‘Mongkok vibe’. This place is a hit for those who not only want dim sum, but also a feel of Hong Kong. Every detail from the paintings on the walls to the tiled flooring plays a role in transporting you from Singapore to Hong Kong in a split second.
The price is a steal for the amount of food that is served with each portion. Their Milk Tea and Red Bean Ice has just the right amount of sweetness to brighten up your day, but at the same time not overpower you with too much sugar. These drinks pair well with the eatery’s Pork Ribs in Black Bean Sauce. The ribs are soaked with flavours of the sauce and are best eaten with steaming hot rice or congee.
63 Jurong West Central 3, #03-80
Jurong Point Shopping Centre
Tel: +65 6794 1335
Read our guide on the best dim sum restaurants in Singapore.