Lei Garden at Chijmes is possibly the only dim sum spot (that we like) that we always seem to be able to snag a table for Sunday brunch at the last minute. It's surprising, really. Because Lei Garden has fantastic dim sum. Maybe it's because the prices are a little high(er) here, but we say the food is well worth the extra buck. Or two. Or three.
We had the Rice Rolls with Char Siew ($4.80), which unfortunately, had flat leaf parsley littered amongst the tender barbecued pork layered between the soft chewy thin rolls. This would have been great otherwise. Note to self: Remember to tell the wait staff to hold off the parsley in future.
The Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaves ($4.80) was a tad smaller in portion than we expected, for the price, but it was good nevertheless. Rice was moist and nicely flavoured with diced chicken, Chinese sausage and mushrooms and shrimps.
The Beef with Black Pepper Rolls ($8) were a hit, succulent juicy peppery diced beef stuffed in a flaky shortcrust pastry that was baked to perfection. Please note that this dish was off the specials menu.
Chunks of potatoes and Chinese black mushrooms were interspersed with the diced beef for texture.
We'd ask the waitress to hold off the flat leaf parsley in the Crystal Dumpling with Chicken ($4.80), but when it arrived on our table, we were dismayed to discover that there was parsley everywhere! There was no way we could even extract the green bits from the translucent chewy dumpling. Obviously, we didn't touch this. At least the waitress took this dish off our bill. We would have been more upset otherwise.
We also had our favourite Pork Porridge ($4.80), sans century egg, thick rice gruel with chunks of diced marinated pork for flavour. So simple in its homestyled appeal yet so good.
The Crabmeat Porridge ($10.80) was no less impressive, with the crab roe thoroughly mixed into the congee for that cheery sunny hue and extra flavour. Crabmeat was fresh, plentiful in huge chunks and sweet.
Of course we also had the ubiquitous Steamed Pork Dumpling ($4.80), juicy, succulent and totally satisfying as usual.
This is the first time the Fiance had the Steamed Custard Bun ($3.80) and he totally loved it. So much that he promptly ordered another portion after the first bite.
What sets this fluffy bun apart from its competitors has gotta be the chocolate swirls, which lend a bit of sweetness to the savoury gritty stuffing of mashed salted egg yolk.
Chijmes Lei Garden Restaurant
30 Victoria Street
Tel: 6339 3822
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch and from 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner