I happened to chance upon the 40% discount off their Dim Sum Ala-Carte Lunch Time Promo while I was surfing Ah Yat website. Their 40% promotion is only available from 11:30am to 2:30pm. So we went to try it out in the morning.
This is the menu allowing you to place your orders for the choice of your dim sum. With a selection of 28 dim sum to choose from, I felt it's quite little and it could have been better if there were more variety.
This is the Ah Yat Steamed Shrimp Dumpling. Although each dumpling comes with a full prawn and ample meat filling, I felt it could have tasted better if the prawn taste fresh and it's not served piping hot but it's only lukewarm hot. The skin tasted a little thick and it could have been better if they used a thinner skin.
This is the deep-fried Seafood Roll. The seafood roll looks like it's been wrapped with strands after strands of noodles deep-fried to a golden brown perfection. But to be honest, I am not sure what's it's made of in order to achieve the noodle strand effect. But it's definitely very crispy and nice. When you bite into it, you will get to taste the seafood roll, which is a mixture of seafood mashed together. I think the roll paste contains fish, prawn and some other seafood which I can't really identify but the whole mixture of the seafood in that roll is fantastic, in my opinion.
This is the Steamed Chicken Claw with Homemade Sauce. I felt it could have been better if the chicken claw is cooked longer as it's not soft enough. Usually nice chicken claw skin and meat are very soft but not for the one from Ah Yat. Also the presentation of the food is messy. Not sure what's the Homemade Sauce is but I felt it did not bring out the flavour in the chicken claw. If possible, only order if you are craving badly for chicken claw. If not, I felt you can satisfy your cravings elsewhere.
This is the Steamed Shanghai Dumpling, aka Xiao Long Bao. For a start, the Xiao Long Bao skin is not thin enough and it also is not soupy enough. What I meant is when you eat Xiao Long Bao at other restaurants, usually when you bite into the Xiao Long Bao, soup will gush into your mouth and flood your taste bud with the sweet and aromatic meat flavoured soup of the Xiao Long Bao but in Ah Yat Xiao Long Bao case, I don't get similar experience. Also, if you take a closer look at the shape of each Xiao Long Bao, their shapes are not consistent at all, unlike other restaurants like Crystal Jade or Imperial Treasure where their chefs painstakingly shaped and ensured that each Xiao Long Bao shape looks similar. In the Xiao Long Bao dish that we got, one of it looks "shorter", one looks like a "ball" and only the right side has a decent Xiao Long Bao shape. There are more room for improvement.
This is the Steamed Fish Roe "Siew Mai". Siew Mai is my all-time favourite and a must order dim sum dish when I am eating dim sum. The amount of Fish Roe on each Siew Mai is not consistent. Some have 7 Fish Roe, some have only 2 Fish Roe, some have more. Not sure why the Fish Roe is yellowish orange in colour. Usually the Fish Roe I saw in other Siew Mai is bright orange in colour. Each Siew Mai comes with a full prawn and meat filling. I felt the prawn in the Siew Mai is fresh. Overall, I find the Siew Mai passable, but nothing fantastic to rave about. The yellow skin tasted a little thick and not much to my liking. I prefer the yellow skin to be thin. Also the meat filling is not that juicy and tasted quite dry. Usually nice Siew Mai, when you bite into it, sweet tasting meat juice will swarm your mouth and leave you with the Siew Mai aftertaste, which is something that I always look forward to but sadly it's lacking in Ah Yat Siew Mai.
This is the Steamed Dumpling with Hot Sauce. Simply it's the steamed dumpling cooked in chili oil, which is also another standard dish that I will always order when I dine at any Chinese restaurants. There are a total of 5 small dumplings given and it contained ample spring onion and garlic diced and mixed with the chili oil and huge chili skin flakes. The sauce concoction tasted nice but the dumpling is a little bit of a let-down as the dumpling skin is thick and the dumpling meat filling tasted bland. Usually those that I ate before, the meat filling usually have juice oozing out when you bite into it but not in this dish.
This is the Pan-Fried Turnip Cake. While its commendable to present the Turnip Cake sitting onto the banana leaf, but I felt the banana leaf did not help in enhancing the taste of the Turnip Cake. Perhaps it's place there for decorative purpose? In total there are 3 slices of the Turnip Cake. I always like Turnip Cake to be fried with a Golden Brown colour and with Crispy skin but soft inner Turnip filling. For Ah Yat Turnip Cake, the skin tasted soft but the Turnip filling tasted nice. Overall I felt it's still passable and the taste is further enhanced if you dipped it into their in-house chili sauce.
This is the Steamed Assorted Ricesheet Roll. There are 3 rolls in total. One of it contains prawns, which tasted much fresher than the prawns I ate from the Ah Yat Steamed Shrimp Dumpling or Steamed Fish Roe "Siew Mai". The middle roll contains BBQ pork aka Char Siew. I can't recall what's in the 3rd roll. I like the sauce that accompanied the 3 Steamed Ricesheet rolls. It's sweet, nice and not that salty. The Ricesheet Roll skin is quite soft and tender. The filling in it also complemented the Ricesheet Roll skin. Overall, I like this dish.
This is the receipt. After deducting the 40% discount, I only need to pay $34.06. Without the discount, the original price is $44.90. The prices are inclusive of service charge and GST. In my opinion, I did not really enjoy my dim sum meal at Ah Yat but luckily the 40% discount helped to mitigate my unhappiness over the sub-par standard of their dim sum. Simply put, I don't think it tasted nice and I won't return to eat their dim sum again unless they improve on the quality. There are a lot of room for improvement. But on a lighter note, I am quite surprised to find that while we are eating, the restaurant is 3/4 packed with huge group of families who drove to eat at this location. Why I am surprised is because this restaurant, although it's located beside the Jurong Bird Park, but I felt it's a little inaccessible if you do not have a car to travel to there. There's only 1 bus from Jurong Point Bus Interchange and the journey took about 20 minutes. I felt the families are there for the 40% discount. To side-track, I felt the 40% discount is just a marketing gimmick. After deducting the 40%, the final price of each dim sum is exactly the same price that Ah Yat had priced their dim sum 1 or 2 years back. In other words, they now mark up the price of each of the 28 dim sum that's available for your choosing on the menu and "tell" you that there's 40% discount now if you eat dim sum at their restaurant. Oh well, 40% sounds a lot for big families, especially when you are bringing your grandparents, children, uncle and aunties along for a morning family gathering over breakfast. But for those who had previously ate their dim sum a few years back, the price is still the same and the dim sum quality is average or if not poorer than in the past for this restaurant that's located beside Jurong Bird Park.
Regarding their staff service, although I do not have much issue with it as their staff are generally polite with us, however I dislike the way one of their restaurant manager and another staff treated the customers seated in 2 separate tables that's near us. The way the restaurant manager who spoke with a heavy China accent and with a condescending attitude towards the auntie when she asked him about the disparity in the serving portion of their dessert simply irks and puts me off when I witnessed the entire episode of their interaction with each other. For the 2nd table with the young couple, the way the waitress treated them as though they are poor and unable to afford their meal, I am simply amazed that she treated them in that manner when she is only a WAITRESS. Then for another table where the couple brought their elderly father to dine, the elderly man was wearing a gold rolex watch and decked out in expensive looking shirt. For this table, she treated them very nice and even bothered to stop and chat with them for a short while. In any service line, shouldn't all staff treat customers with almost the same treatment or at least not look down on your customers. Although I do not personally know the young couple, but logically speaking, if the young couple can dine at Ah Yat, with or without the 40% discount, they should be on par or even better off than the old auntie waitress. Oh well, I must admit that my dim sum brunch today at Ah Yat is indeed an "eye-opening" experience.
Steamed Assorted Ricesheet Roll,deep-fried Seafood Roll
Date of Visit: 2013-04-06