Tak Po Chinatown


Another food review for the month of February, and this time round we are going to have dim sum ^.^

I was craving for dim sum one day after my vocal class at Rhythm & Wave, so (former) bf suggested for us to go Tak Po (德宝) for supper. Tak Po is a restaurant located at Smith Street Chinatown that serves reasonably-priced Hong Kong dim sum, and is open daily from 7.30am to 10.30pm to cater to the different crowds. I have actually passed by the restaurant a couple of times before but it was always packed so I never had the opportunity to go in without having to queue. Fortunately we were slightly later than the usual dinner crowd that day so it was relatively quiet by the time we were there and voila, I finally got to visit Tak Po for some savory dim sum.

We requested to sit inside the restaurant as the corridor is usually jammed, and were left alone at our table for some time to look at the menu and fill up the order forms on the table before one of the staff came to confirm our selections. Similar to other traditional Chinese restaurants, roasted peanuts and wet towels will be placed on your table upon your seating and they are chargeable at $1.00 and $0.30 each respectively. We took both as we wanted to have some peanuts while waiting for our dim sums to be served, but you can inform the staff if you don't need them, to avoid incurring the additional costs.

Enough talk, here comes the food..

Soya Beancurd | $1.20

I have no idea why the beancurd was served first when it is supposed to be a dessert. Moreover, I was rather disappointed to see that it came in the pudding form instead of the traditional kind I was expecting from a dim sum restaurant that was supposed to be serving authentic dishes. Standard-wise, it was mediocre and tasted a little powdery. You can easily find better ones out that and save a few cents too.

Century Egg & Lean Meat Congee | $3.50

This is one big bowl of super delicious congee that I would recommend everyone to order and share. It is equivalent to two of our usual rice bowls full to the brim and the chef is extremely generous with the portion of century egg and lean meat. The congee is thick but consistent and not-at-all sludgy, the pieces of century egg fragrantful and lean meat tender and savoury. Simply scrumptious!

Char Siew Bun | $0.90 each

One of my personal must-order dish, Tak Po's char siew bun does not disappoint. I love how fluffy, light and soft the bun was, and how the stuffing was rich but not overpowering. Although the picture does look like they are rather stingy with the fillings and the bun was extremely thick, I thought the ratio of bun to meat was just nice and like how it was not overly-meaty.

Fragrant Rice with Chicken | $2.80

This dish is exceptionally tasty! The chicken was luscious and aplenty, and the glutinous rice was flavourful and not heavy at all. Even up to the point when I was really full and (former) bf and I decide to choose who is responsibility to "settle" what dish, I still chose this fragrant rice over all the other leftover dim sums (as they came in threes). It was THAT good.

Pan-Fried Carrot Cake | $0.90 each

My love for black and scrambled carrot cakes as opposed to these big whole pieces of carrot cakes (even though I like them as well) never wavered until I have had this one. The pan-fried coating made it extremely crispy and satisfying on the outside, yet soft and juicy on the inside. It is seriously astonishing how such a simple dish can be so so yummy.

Fried Prawn Dumpling | $4.20 for 3

Another one of my personal favourite. The prawn filling was sweet and bountiful, and taste heavenly with the mayonnaise provided. I wanted to skip this initially due to the price but I was lucky to decide against it in the end because the fried dumpling was so "fat" and bulky that I was eating the prawn stuffing on its own. Super worth it though I thought the skin was a little oily and flaky.

Prawn Dumpling (Har Gao) | $2.70 for 3

I would prefer the fried prawn dumpling to the steamed ones as the skin was slightly too thick and tasteless. But once again, the chef's generousity with the stuffing had me in awe. There were at least two prawns squeezed inside a piece of this small dim sum and they tasted fresh, sweet and real good, especially with Tak Po's very own chilli sauce!

Creamy Custard Bun | $1.30 each

I don't know why they are in green when the ones in the picture on the menu were white. It might have been a psychological issue but I always think that green or any other coloured buns for the record weren't as nice the pure white ones, which are usually softer and fluffier. Nonetheless, I was elated to see the thick and strong flavour of salted egg yolk oozing out like golden lava *thumbs up*

Tak Po 德宝
42 Smith Street
Singapore 058954
Tel: 6225 0302

Opening hours: 7.30am to 10.30pm daily
Nearest Station: Chinatown/Outram

The total bill came close to $29, inclusive of the peanuts, wet tissues, $1.20 per pax for refillable Chinese Tea and 7% GST. It is not exactly amazingly cheap if you only look at the fact that there was just the two of us, but considering how much we ordered and how bloated we were at the end of the meal that we had to takeaway the pan-fried carrot cakes, Tak Po is for sure cheaper than most of the other dim sum places and definitely worthy of our moolah. I will certainly return for some quick and affordable dim sum and congee, and would make it a point to try out the other items such as the siew mai, mango spring roll and chee cheong fun on the extensive menu too!

Can't wait to have the congee and carrot cake again,

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