"Sorry, we are closed" are the four words that hit me hard when the service staff at Taste Paradise told us. To be honest, we did went all the way to town to try their highly acclaimed Custard Bun and Baked BBQ Pork Pastry. My insatiable craving for good dim sum was growing gradually, I whipped out my iPhone immediately, punched in "best dim sum in Orchard Road", and lo-and-behold! Imperial Treasure came out next.
Establishing their first restaurants of Imperial Treasure in 2004, it has since garnered numerous ravings and media interviews, and has opened more than 10 eateries and bakeries under Imperial Treasure's trademark, serving authentic Chinese cuisine with great passion.
Looking at their extensive lists of Shanghai/Hong Kong dim sum, Xiao Long Bao (S$4.80 for 4) struck my eyes like a pretty girl across the street (okay, this makes no sense). I mean, who wouldn't love these delicately crafted steamed pork dumplings? Their version has a smooth bouncy texture to the dumpling skin, which is thin, yet strong enough to hold the succulent fillings in. And as with all the good food - One is never enough.
Egg Tarts (S$3.30 for 3), Fried Carrot Cake (S$4.20 for 3) with radish chunks and Siew Mai (S$4.80 for 4) are good, especially the former which presented my kind of flaky crust with soft, pudding-like egg custard. As for the latter, the ones at 126 Eating House still reigns in my best Siew Mai list (well, if there is).
Beside Siew Mai, Shrimp Dumplings or better known as Har Gau (S$5 for 4) are a necessity when it comes to Dim Sum. A good Har Gau's wrapping must be thin and translucent, yet be sturdy enough not to break when picked up nor stick to the paper. Wrapped together with the right amount of fillings, this dish clearly demonstrates the chef's skills. It is official, this is the best Har Gau I have ever had.
Happiness is defined when you tear gently into the Custard Bun (S$4.20 for 3) and beautiful, luscious yellow custard flows out slowly. You caught a whiff of custard and decided to sink your teeth in one. Or do you bite into it straight away, leaving a delicious mess of custard? But in any way, Imperial Treasure definitely know how to make your day with a custard bun!
All in all, Imperial Treasure is definitely a keeper and has no doubt, secured one of the spots in Best Dim Sum in Singapore. Fuss-free, accessible and affordable dim sum fix? This is it.
Har Gau,Xiao Long Bao