Established since 1992, East Ocean Teochew Restaurant is well known in Singapore and the region for serving the best in Teochew cuisine and dim sum. In 2012, they moved to Takashimaya shopping centre and as pioneers in the art of Chinese cuisine, they constantly innovate by introducing new products such as cute looking dim sum, aimed at children.
You can consider East Ocean if you want something more than just your traditional dim sum. As I had some friends visiting from out of town, I decided to give them a try.
On thursday at 12pm, the dining area was maybe 30% full. They were groups of business people and you could tell they were important discussions over the dim sum, as they barely touched their food!
So here's the cute dim sum menu I was talking about. Nothing that really stood out to me. I was hoping for cute looking siew mai, har gau or even char siew pau maybe?1. Pan Fried Carrot Cake $5++
Pan fried pretty well!
So first up was the pan fried carrot cake, one my my favourites. The texture was great, charred on the exterior to give it a crisp bite and yet soft and warm in the certain. You could clearly see the shreds of carrot inside with small pork cubes. It was flavourful and actually met my expectation.2. Steamed Spare Ribs $4.80++
Served with yam
The spare ribs didn't have much bones with them, so it was very easy to eat. The meat was very well seasoned and flavourful.
My foreign really enjoyed this. Hidden underneath the layer of meat, are yam cubes. The yam was steamed till it was all mushy but yet soaked up the essences of the spare ribs!3. Lion Fish $6++
It's a fried prawn ball
So we got these cute fish shaped, fried prawn balls. My friends and I all agreed, it was just for looks. We would pick har gau any day over these. 4. Little Big Foot $6++
When this was served, my American friends went, "Wow". I think the chefs did great by innovatively placing almond flakes on the back of "Big Foot". They were so cute, it took awhile before everyone on the table was done snapping photos.
Inside the thick, and chewy pastry was sweet barbecued pork. I was expecting more of a char siew soh, so this was a surprise. The almond flakes were well with the pork I must say.5. Ha Kau $6++, Chicken Feet $4.80++, Siew Mai $5++
I decided to also get a range of traditional dim sum, to help bench mark East Ocean vs the familiar restaurants I've been to. Surprisingly, the taste was just "meh". Nothing to rave about.6. Steamed Custard Bun $5++ *highly recommended*
Definitely the highlight of my meal! Check out the liquid gold, flowing out of this very hot, steamed bun. The sweetness of the liu sha was perfect and the texture of the bun was soft and fluffy. 7. Steamed Shrimp Rice Roll $5.80++
The shrimp was sizeable and crunchy. The sauce had a right mix of sweet and saltiness. The shimmering rice roll was very soft and delightfully tasty.8. Crispy Roasted Pork Belly $15++ *highly recommended*
My friends who never tried this before were crazy over this dish. It was only when I told them it was $15++ that they realized, they had to savour this dish slowly. Good stuff doesn't always come cheap, but pricey stuff doesn't always mean good. But this is by far the best dish we had at East Ocean. The skin was so crispy, and the meat was juicy and tender.
Strangely though, it was served with wasabi mayo.
Service throughout the meal was great, as the staff was constantly refilling, our pot of tea and asking if we needed any help ordering. They were also attentive to our every action and cleared our plates thrice throughout our meal. We ended up spending close to $90 for the 3 of us, and we did have our fill, but I felt that the quality of the dim sum could be better. It's sad to say that I know of several other chain dim sum restaurants that surpasses the standard here at East Ocean for several of their dishes.
My suggestion, skip the kiddy menu. Yes it looks cute, but it's not worth the price or the calories.
Crispy Roasted Pork Belly,Steamed Custard Bun
Spending per head: Approximately $30Other Ratings: