Sunday, April 29, 2007

Victor's Kitchen



Dim sum, to me, has always been nothing more than a term used to refer to small portions of high cholesterol, prawn-laden parcels/packages/treasures.

Very much a Hong Kong thing, it didn't really appeal much to me, until recently. Perhaps I've been just plain ignorant but I found it hard to be excited over tiny dumplings and buns. I guess I was missing out on a lot.

Whether is it because my family's lack of interest in dim sum, or just blatant narrow-mindedness on my part, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't make a difference now because I am crazy about dim sum. Or at least with a certain dim sum place that I discovered last month when a couple of my friends from SMU introduced me to it.

No no, it's not that I've never popped a har gao (prawn dumplings) or siew mai (steamed minced pork dumplings) into my mouth. I have! I've eaten at Yum Cha, Din Tai Fung etc... but like I said, the level of appreciation stopped there - the savouring it at face value. Really not sure how to explain, but yea, I think I didn't quite get the whole dim sum thing.

Anyway, back to what I've been meaning to rave about. Yes yes, this tiny cosy outfit can be found in Sunshine Plaza along Bencoolen Street. Victor's Kitchen is its name and seriously, you cannot let the exterior fool you. You can't! That's unless you only like eating food in nice posh air conditioned places. But you know what? Even if you do, you got to at least try out the dim sum from this place at least once or do a take-away.

What's so incredibly special about Victor's Kitchen? It's not just the reasonable prices, it's the quality and freshness. I hear the sceptics rising from their chairs, ready to question me, but hold on, hold on a second. At least let the photos speak for themselves:



That's the fresh succulent prawn from the har gao. It's amazingly tender and delicious. You know how important the freshness of the prawns are. When you eat har gao, it's only the thin translucent skin that covers the crusteacean and if it stinks or lacks freshness (the prawns), it's very obvious and the entire experience will go down the drain.

Prior to my visit to Victor's Kitchen, I did a Google search about it on the internet to have a sense of what to order. I found Chubby Hubby's post on Victor's Kitchen and ordered almost everything he recommended, including the Oyster Sauce Char Siu Bao; which I absolutely adored!



Chunks of scrumptious char siu awaited me with each bite and it was definitely much nicer than most char siu buns I've tried. The fluffy pillow of goodness put not just a grin on my face but a twinkle in my eye. No, I'm not exaggerating; you can ask the friends who came with me! hahaaa

That's not all... what's to come is even better:



Custard buns. Filled with egg custard that had corn bits and salted egg yolk, this was one sweet bun that I will not forget. I think it was my first time eating such a bun and I really got to say this: the custard takes the bun hands down. Part jelly-like, and part creamy, the sweet filling tasted good even with the salted egg in it. Very intriguing and fantastic bun. Yummy to the very last crumb.

Being a chee cheong fun fan, I had to try their You Tiao Chee Cheong Fun (rice flour rolls stuffed with fried dough fritters):



There's just something about the silky white 'skin' that appeals to me. This one is made on the spot and has a certain elasticity that enchants as much as it satisfies the tastebuds. Love the sauce they served it with, and the you tiao was still very crispy and superb:



Don't you just love the different textures and flavours of Chinese cuisine?

Here's the glutinous rice wrapped with lotus leaf:



There's chicken, salted egg, Chinese sausage and ginger in it. Sticky rice is my kind of thing and it's always fun using the chopsticks to pick out chunks of rice. That's because I am not blessed with fantastic chopsticks skills and have to contend with using it only when really necessary. I know, I should master the proper way.

Well with glutinous rice it's so much more easier. Who's the genius who thought of wrapping the rice in lotus leaf? It does make a difference in the taste of the rice. I totally devoured this one with chilli sauce and the sauce from the chee cheong fun.

I've been there only twice but it's now already in my mental list of places to recommend others. Trust me, my friends have heard me raving about the place and I do hope they go there and try it! And you my friend :) if you're reading this, go give it a try.

The owner's actually from Hong Kong I heard and it's really authentic - in terms of cooking style et al.

And remember, don't be fooled by the humble tables and shaky stools. After all, it's the quality of the food that counts, no?



Victor’s Kitchen
Sunshine Plaza, #01-21
91 Bencoolen St,
Open Tues to Sun, 10am-9pm.

9 comments:

thecoffeesnob said...

Haha i can totally understand why you never got into the whole dim sum craze in Singapore. I was only exposed to the whole dim sum 'culture' in Melbourne. It's such a big thing here.

I've only had dim sum once in Singapore at China Square. It wasn't that great but i loved the way they gave the washrooms such a quaint feel.

Thanks for the review. This place sounds fab. I'll be sure to give it a shot when i get back year end :)

missbubbles said...

yes.. the dim sum @ Victor's Kitchen is yummy.. Got to noe it somewhere last yr when i went Sunshine Plaza for Wanton Mee & i saw it's on Chubby Hubby's blog thus give it a try.. But sometimes it seems hard to wake kakkis up on wkends..lol~ kinda miss it..

melixitin said...

Hi! I always like reading your foodie blog cuz it seems so acessible and your love of food is so infectious!

But I do have my reservations bout victor's kitchen...trekked there one early Sun morning sometime ago just after chubby hubby's rave, but somehow it was not nearly even up to tung lok's/crystal jade kitchen's standard...not that I'm a snob or anything - i love my hawker food in sweltering heat equally too..but i do agree that the char siew pau was yums!

Kay said...

Occasionally I would get to eat dim sum, and so I love eating them whenever I can get myself to one of those restaurant, looking at the pictures just spark my craving again!

sharoNG said...

Hi! I've been an avid reader of your blog & really enhoy your sharing on baking & reviews on various makan places.

However, I beg to differ with regard to the food quality at Victor's Kitchen. I'd just recently visited & posted a review on Victor's Kitchen too. http://ilovetomuse.blogspot.com/2007/04/weekend-jaunt.html

I too, enjoy a great meal in the sweltering Singapore heat anytime but was really unimpressed with the taste & standard at Victor's Kitchen.

The bao pi is nice & fluffy and, the prawns fresh but that's about it. Dun think my hubby and I will ever go back again.

Perhaps you can try Crystal Jade (Ngee Ann City 5th level, I think) - though it looks intimidatingly expensive, prices are actually very reasonable and the dim sum is superb. Or Teochew City at Centrepoint; fantastic anytime too! :)

Cheers!
sharoNG

sharoNG said...

ooops, i mean "enjoy". :)

missbubbles said...

hmm.. standard drop? need to go back to try again.. seems tt all have a diff comment abt it..

Pam said...

hi! i love this place. been going there for quite long, never knew it was so well-known. the custard buns are damn good!

Thierry K. said...

I am an Ang Moh living currently in Singapore, I love Viktor's Kitchen, the food and the ambience, I am the only Ang Moh there! Now V's K. has extended, the dinning room is bigger, I did like the old ones, I even liked to wait for a table, though that I am an hysterical Urban European. I will miss it when we will be back in Europe.

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