Saturday, September 8, 2007

Victor's Kitchen HK-Style Dim Sum

Victor's Kitchen is often raved about as a dim sum joint that serves cheap and good dim sum in a most humble setting. However, there are quite a few people who aren't all that impressed with it, quoting it as really average fare and not being that cheap either. Well, I just had to try it for myself. Being a little skeptical but still hopeful, I ventured there with really low expectations.

I was stunned when I got there. The place was even smaller than I imagined. The kitchen took up the entire tiny shopspace, so they had tables and chairs all outside, hugging the glass walls of the shop. They were really tiny tables and chairs too, not quite for buffalo-sized folks like me and hubby plus baby in tow.

With tentative discomfort, we dug into the food after a short wait for it. The steamed glutinous rice (which Victor apparently only serves 60 portions of each day) was all right - soft, mushy, not too salty - I could feed lil Nadine with some of it (she took 4 mouthfuls, yay!). At S$4, you'd think they might put in more than one slice of sausage, but oh well, maybe that's for aesthetic considerations as well.

Prawn Chee Cheong Fun, originally uploaded by Camemberu.

The prawn chee cheong fun came next, with fat crunchy prawns enveloped in rice flour sheets. I don't know why but they still tasted average. I think the sauce was not ideal (mainly just salty). Nadine didn't like the cheong fun, she spat it out.

Fried Wantans, originally uploaded by Camemberu.

These looked huge but were largely fried wantan skin more than anything else. We had to smash the excess skin away. You can see how greasy and oil-logged they are.

King Prawn Har Gau, originally uploaded by Camemberu.

King Prawn conjures up certain expectations, which were not quite met when this basket of dumplings arrived. The prawns were not that large, they were oversteamed and bland. I also didn't like that two of the dumplings had gaping holes on the skin.

Milky Custard Bun, originally uploaded by Camemberu.

Ah I had read about the heavenly milk custard and salted egg buns. A must-have? Well, when I took my first bite, I thought I had gotten the wrong type. There was no salted egg. It also tasted dry and caked. The "milky" custard was certainly not runny. Later I found one with salted egg but it was still not spectacular. Had trouble finishing these buns, they were so dry.

We also had the steamed milk with almond juice (not pictured). That was interesting - very soft and yet dense. Sweet and fragrant but a little satiating towards the end.

Honestly it was hard to enjoy the food in such cramped surroundings with a squirming baby (see my little dumpling on the right). No baby chair in such a simple place, of course, although a wait staff offered a grown-up's plastic stool in misguided kindness.

I suspect the trouble with Victor's Kitchen is that the quality of the output is probably inconsistent. That must explain the differing opinions and reviews. Personally, hubby and I were both not too impressed. Most of the food was rather bland or just salty. Each basket of stuff was not that cheap either, mostly around S$3-4 (with a very few at S$2.50). Sure, there's no service charge or GST to bump up the final cost. But honestly, I'd rather pay a little more for better stuff elsewhere.

91 Bencoolen Street
#01-21 Sunshine Plaza
Tel: 9838-2851
Open 10.30am to 8pm; closed on Mondays



  1. Hi there,

    I tried Victor's as well. The service was friendly enough, though it was odd to be seated so far away from the kitchen. I wasn't that fond of the pork spare ribs - probably I like mine with more meat and no bone. The tim sum at Zi Yean, over at Lengkong Bahru is pretty decent. They also have a zi-zhar menu and you can decide to dine at the air conditioned section or the more casual non-airconditioned unit.

  2. Victor's dim sum is really so average. Really wonder about the taste of some people...

  3. Sonicstarburst, yup, heard of Zi Yean too, just haven't ventured West to try it yet.

    Dictator, ah well, maybe they are blessed with extra tastebuds we don't have. Lucky them?

  4. I'd agree with the tastebuds issue. There are many so called "recommended" stalls that I've tried that are extremely over rated.

    Nice pictures does not help in making the food any tastier. ;)

    Anyway my friends had bad experience with Zi Yean, overcharged and very bad service. YMMV as always.

  5. i went to victor's to try out the food there after all the raves, and guess what i saw?

    we order some dumpling with veggies inside it.
    we were seated next to the fridge... and we saw victor take the frozen dumplings out and then.. after it dropped on the floor, pick it up, steamed it, and served it to us.

    i lost my appetite after that.


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