The Dad recounted the three dimsum kings of yesteryears (Da Dong, Nam Tong and Ming Kee) whilst we tucked into a late afternoon tea. . Chop Hean Kuan or 斗記 belonged to the same era. Spotting two stall spaces, one as a retail front while the other serves as an open concept kitchen where workers would gather around a bucket of meat and a pile of dough kneading dimsum through the day.
It's baked, it's flaky...it's time for dimsum teatime!
Otherwise known as 烧包, I expected this to be a fried char siew pau...turned out to be 鮮肉包. Memories of the delectable 鮮肉包 courtesy of Daniel were evident once I sunk my teeth into them. A far cry in fact, looked better than it tasted. From the bland flaky pastry to the meat filling, not too big on this.
Char Siew Sou
Shaped like a curry puff and dusted with sesame seeds, the sweet char siew fillings were held together by a gummy paste. The same pastry from the fried pau was still not a fave.
Ma Lai Goh
I grew up with Tiong Bahru's Ma Lai Gohs, the dafodil yellow is hard to resist every time I picked my tea choices over the counter. These were a shade too light and tasted more like sponge cake than ma lai goh. Yet another that did not satisfy.
Of the lot, this was the best. The same bland pastry once again and sweet curd. Not the bestest of eggtarts but probably is Chop Hean Kuan's saving grace.
These are perhaps not the best of Chop Hean Kuan. Average at best for a diehard Tiong Bahru-Ho Kee.
Chop Hean Kuan
32 New Market Road #01-1018/16A People's Park