Yum Cha (which means “drinking tea” in Cantonese) is a Chinese tradition that is similar to having brunch or high tea, minus the sandwiches, scones and macroons. Instead, yum cha often conjures up images of waitresses pushing wooden carts filled with dim sum laid in piping hot bamboo steamers.

I don’t think I have ever mentioned this, but dim sum is one of my favourite comfort food. The endless varieties leave me spoilt for choice and the fact that they always come in small bite-sized portions make them absolutely perfect for fussy eaters like me who love to try a little bit of everything.  

I especially like dim sum buffets but most of them take place during lunch on weekdays (ending at 2.30pm) and can be crazily crowded. You can imagine my delight when I discovered that the weekday dim sum buffet at Yum Cha Restaurant starts from 3 – 6pm instead. If you want to avoid the lunch crowds and enjoy a slow leisurely meal, Yum Cha Restaurant is the place to go. Plus, you’ll get to savour 60 over dishes out of more than 80 items on Yum Cha’s menu at such an amazing price!

Yum Cha Restaurant is conveniently located in the main artery of Chinatown along the crossroads of Trengganu Street and Temple Street. The restaurant may be situated in the heart of a bustling tourist spot filled with modern shops selling gifts and souvenirs, but it chose to retain an old world charm with marble tables and wooden chairs reminiscent of tea houses from the past. 

A wave of nostalgia hit me when I sat down as it was only then that I realized that the waitresses here continue to serve dim sum the good old fashion way, by pushing wooden dim sum carts from table to table while patrons like you and I peered into the glass display to place our orders.

I had the privilege of trying out an assortment of delicious dim sum from Yum Cha Restaurant during a food tasting session recently.  With a total of over 80 dim sum dishes on the menu, Yum Cha offers a sumptuous spread to tantalize your taste buds. Karen and I had such a satisfying meal, we almost had to skip dinner!
signature dim sum include Xiao Long Bao, Prawn Dumplings,
Shark’s Fin with Meat Dumpling, Fish Roe Siew Mai, Phoenix Claw, Paper
Chicken Wings, Prawn & Mango Sesame Fritters, Baked Mini Egg Tarts,
and Crispy Red Bean with Banana.

Yumcha Prawn Dumpling (S$4.60)
Shark’s Fin with Meat Dumpling (S$3.80)

Fish Roe Siew Mai (S$3.80)

Phoenix Claw (S$4.00)

Paper Chicken Wings (S$4.60)

Xiao Long Bao (S$4.60)
Prawn & Mango Sesame Fritters (S$4.00)
Baked Mini Egg Tarts (S$2.80)

Crispy Red Bean with Banana Pancake (S$3.80)
Among these signature dishes, the fish roe siew mai was probably the most popular dish at our table and it is not difficult to understand why. Made from a tasty mix of chicken and prawn paste, it was bursting with flavours with every bite. 
The Crispy Red Bean with Banana turned out to be a hot favourite too. Fried to golden perfection, it was light and crisp on the outside, yet tender and moist on the inside. I could taste the goodness of the red bean and banana combination with every mouthful. 
We also tried the usual dim sum suspects such as Fresh Prawn Rice Roll, Century Egg and Lean Meat Congee, Fried Carrot Cake, Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice, Crispy Vegetarian Spring Rolls, BBQ Pork Buns, Chicken Yam Puffs, Deep Fried Shrimp Beancurd Roll and Custard Buns, Filo Scallop Rolls, Prawn Wanton Crisps, Crispy Silver Fish and Fish Meat Stuffed Beancurd.
 It was difficult for us to pick our favourites as each dish brought its own distinctive flavours to the table. I was personally drawn to the Fresh Prawn Rice Roll and Prawn Wanton Crisps as the
prawns were fresh and succulent. Apparently, choosing the right type of prawns to be used in dim sum is an art in itself and makes a significant difference to the overall taste. We were told that Yum Cha only uses white prawns as this particular breed is best suited for dim sum.
Fresh Prawn Rice Roll (S$4.00)

Century Egg and Lean Meat Congee (S$2.80)

Fried Carrot Cake (S$3.80)

Lotus Leaf Glutinous Rice (S$4.20)
Crispy Vegetarian Spring Rolls (S$3.00)

BBQ Pork Bun (S$2.80)
Chicken Yam Puff (S$3.80)
Deep Fried Shrimp Beancurd Roll (S$4.00)

Custard Buns (S$2.20)


Filo Scallop Rolls (S$4.60)

Prawn Wanton Crisps (S$4.00)
Crispy Silver Fish (S$8.00)

Fish Meat Stuffed Beancurd (S$3.80)
Contemporary Creations

Yum Cha also created a series of innovative specialty dim sum dishes to cater to the ever-changing tastes of its customers.
The Squid Ink Dumplings were one of the most unique creations that we tried. I would give this dish top marks for creativity as I have never seen this being served anywhere else. Although I generally have a preference for more traditional dim sum dishes such as xiao long bao, this was certainly a welcomed change.
Squid Ink Dumplings (S$4.80)

The Oyster Siew Mai is yet another specialty dish with a slightly chewier texture than its traditional counterpart.  I have a soft spot for oysters and I really liked this dish.

Oyster Siew Mai (S$4.80)
My favourite savoury dim sum that afternoon came in the form of Yum Cha’s Crabmeat “Sea Treasure” Dumpling Soup, a premium item that is currently not included in the buffet menu. The soup was flavourful and I really enjoyed the generous servings of shredded crabmeat. I would definitely order this again on my next visit.

Yum Cha Crabmeat “Sea Treasure” Dumpling Soup (S$7.80)


Just when we were about to surrender after devouring all these delectable dim sum dishes, desserts were served. I am convinced that all of us have separate stomach compartments for dessert, because none of us seemed to have problems woofing down these yummy traditional desserts although we were already so stuffed!

Double-boiled Hashima with Red Dates (S$8.00)
I love hashima for its nourishing properties (and collagen!), hence the Double-boiled Hashima with Red Dates was a natural choice for me. Thankfully, the chewy, soft gelatinous texture of the hashima was easy on the stomach too.
The osmanthus cake was fragrant with just a hint of sweetness and it also had a nice bouncy texture to it. These are perfect as light refreshments.

Osmanthus Cake (S$3.60)
One of the more unique desserts we had at Yum Cha was the Lemongrass Jelly with Fruits. The subtle citrus flavour was absolutely refreshing and the fruits added a delightful crunch to the silky smooth lemongrass jelly.
Lemongrass Jelly with Fruits (S$4.60)

 Well, that pretty much summed up my meal!  Are you salivating yet?

The good news is, you’ll get to enjoy most of these delicacies and more at Yum Cha’s Dim Sum Buffet for just S$21.80++ on weekdays! This is definitely one of the most value-for-money dim sum buffets around and as you are reading this, I have already made plans to head down with my friends and family for yet another feast!

Yum Cha Chinatown

20 Trengganu Street (Off Temple Street)

#02-01 (Chinatown) Singapore 058479 

 6372 1717 


Opening Hours:

Mon to Fri: 11am – 11pm/Dim Sum Buffet (3-6pm)

Sat, Sun & Public Holidays: 9am – 11pm