Mouth Restaurant 地茂馆 (China Square)

January 28, 2013

 

Ever since I saw their new squid ink-based dishes featured on several blogs, Mouth Restaurant’s been pushed up to the top of my to-try dim sum places. Mouth Restaurant is not a new player on the block. A household name among the older generation, Mouth Restaurant had established itself as one of the very first Cantonese teahouses in Singapore. Amazingly this restaurant has been thriving for the past 25 years, and seeing its willingness to evolve with times and latch on to food trends, I’m sure it will secure itself a spot in the hearts of dim sum lovers generations to come.

 

Century Egg and Shredded Pork Porridge ($4.50++)

 

The porridge was nice and decent, nothing that deserves a special mention. Yan Ting makes a better century egg porridge.

 

Steamed Har Gao in 6 Flavours($9.80++)

 

Colourful xiao long baos have been trending in the local dim sum scene for quite awhile, but colourful har gaos? Mouth Restaurant’s unique take on har gaos is a bold move that definitely paid off. Using only natural ingredients of spinach, pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato and squid ink to colour and flavour the translucent skins, these har gaos are hands down one of the best I’ve tasted. Encased in a thin skin that remained so even after the dish cooled were huge succulent prawns and some ingredients of the flavour it’s skin took on. I tried the squid ink, spinach, carrot and pumpkin. What I loved was that though subtle, the distinct flavours were definitely detectable, and complemented the prawns in a way that was unique yet not overpowering. Definitely a must-try if you visit.

 

Squid Ink Char Siew Bao ($5++)

 

Though I can’t taste any form of squid ink, as a char siew bao this is definitely one of the best I’ve tasted. The lean pork pieces were extremely tender and not overly sweet, and the bun was fluffy, yet retaining a kind of denseness and bite to it. I don’t know if the squid ink contributed to a more substantial bun texture. The greyish hue of the bun scared my sisters quite a bit, but I must say I enjoyed the visual contrast!

 

Steamed Dumpling with Mushrooms($3.60++)

 

Veggie-haters would be missing out. A fully vegetarian dish, this dumpling was absolutely delicious. The generous portions of enoki mushrooms and carrots gave the dumplings a natural sweetness. Most importantly, the translucent skin was not overly thick.

 

Steamed Squid Ink Gyoza ($4.50++)

 

Another innovative steamed dim sum, these dumplings were stuffed full with sweet crunchy prawns, pork and spinach. Probably the best spinach prawn dumpling I’ve tried, these stood out because of the fresh ingredients and the light seasoning. Compared to its counterparts like those at Victor’s Kitchen, they weren’t overly salty. A pity the dumpling skins were a tad too thick and did not have a discernible squid ink fragrance.

 

Rojak Fried Carrot Cake($6.80++)

 

I read about this amazing dish but oddly couldn’t find it on the menu, so I ended up requesting for it. Crisp on the outside, the soft radish cake is pan fried with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. The topping of crisp yam shreds added a nice crunch and rounded up what was a wonderfully novel dish.

 

Squid Ink Seafood Soup & Egg White ($6.80++)

 

Mouth Restaurant’s new menu features 3 new individual-portioned soups: the spinach, squid ink, and lobster bisque. This squid ink soup was my favourite. A light and clear broth, the soup was packed full with seafood goodness, with chunks of scallops and fish in every spoonful.

 

Spinach Crab Meat Soup with Egg White ($6.80++)

 

Slightly more starchy than the previous, there was a pleasant spinach flavour in the soup, coupled with equally generous amounts of seafood. The superb seafood definitely makes these soups worth the money.

 

Lobster Bisque with Egg White Soup ($9.80++)

 

The Seafood Bisque tasted more like a soup version of your chili crab gravy, just less sweet. Not bad, but not something I’d pay the premium for.

 

Char Siew Sou ($4.30++)

 

I’ve begun to develop a love-hate relationship for this delectable pastry. Mouth Restaurant’s char siew sou has a wonderfully flaky, layered pastry, with a lean char siew filling. While I maintain that Yan Ting and Royal China has the best char siew sou, Mouth Restaurant’s is definitely among the top few. It would be best if it was served hot out of the oven.

 

Egg Tart ($4.30++)

 

The waiting staff highly recommended their egg tarts saying it was one of their best selling items. Sure enough the lightly sweetened eggy custard tasted wonderful paired with the buttery pastry. It was not too oily and was the perfect size for a small treat. For the quality and price, it beats the one I had at Yan Ting.

 

Squid Ink Rice Roll ($6.80++)

 

I like the idea of serving rice rolls the hawker way, with the sweet sauce and sesame seeds. Elevated by a fragrant peanut butter sauce and pork floss, the squid ink rice rolls were extremely soft and delicious. However the squid ink component failed to stand out, and that made the steep price a little unjustified. This dish is definitely worth a try, but I’d probably not order it on my second visit.

 

Cream of Salted Egg Yolk Bun ($5++ for 3)

 

What is a dim sum brunch without custard buns? I’d go as far to say that Mouth Restaurant serves the best custard buns in Singapore.

 

 

Burning hot, savoury and sweet, slightly sandy texture – this custard buns ticked every box on my checklist. When I bit into my very first bun, I was so shocked by the burning custard that burst out, spilling all over my fingers, cheeks, and spoons. It was very yummy messy affair. What’s different here is the traditional fluffy steamed buns are replaced with a thin dough casing, which allows for there to be more custard fillings. While I love the white fluffy buns, I love this perfect molten custard more.

 

Dessert Prawn Sashimi ($18++)

 

We don’t really order savoury dishes with our dim sum, but this dish looked to interesting to give a miss. Essentially ama ebi sashimi with a different prawn, the raw prawns were fresh, soft and really sweet. Brownie points to the ebiko for added textures and flavours. Unfortunately this dish did not resonate with our palettes because of the wasabi-infused soy sauce. We’re not wasabi fans, so we didn’t really enjoy this. I’d prefer if they served the sauce on the side for us to dip at our own liking.

 

Purple Potato Sago with Vanilla Ice Cream; and Avocado with Beancurd ($5++ and $5.80++)

 

I never expected to say this, but Mouth Restaurant dishes out wonderful Chinese desserts. The sweet potato paste was smooth, not excessively sweet, and surprisingly the sweet potato was discernible. A pity the sago was frozen when served, which is both slightly unprofessional and disrupted the creamy dessert. The avocado beancurd was another unexpected pleaser. Smooth, creamy and light, it is the perfect ending to the meal.

 

The ambience might not be amongst the best, but Mouth Restaurant’s dim sum is in no way inferior to the steeply-priced ones in hotels. For the quality, creativity, and comparatively value-for-money items, Mouth Restaurant is definitely one of my favourite dim sum restaurants up to date. I can’t wait to go back for the custard buns!

 

Mouth Restaurant 地茂馆 (China Square)

22 Cross Street #01-61
China Square Central
South Bridge Court Shop House
Singapore 048421
6438 5798

 

Weekdays: 11am-4pm, 6pm-10pm

Weekends & PH: 10am-3pm, 6pm-10pm

Opens daily, inclusive of the 1st and 2nd day of the Lunar New Year

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