A long standing favourite among dim sum regulars, Victor's Kitchen is popular for serving delicious, reasonably-priced, authentic dim sum. Owned and fully operated by Hong Kongers - to the point of being investigated by our Ministry of Manpower for hiring illegal Hong Kong immigrant workers - it can't get more authentic than that.
I've written about them previously in my older blog, but an extremely satisfying recent visit made me feel that it deserves much more than has been said before.
Chicken and Sausage in Glutinous Rice ($4+)
Soft on the inside, but with a crisp and slightly charred exterior, Victor's nailed the glutinous rice. Generously filled with chunks of Chinese sausage (ie. lup cheong) and salted egg yolk, it has an amazing flavour and texture that prevents it from being jelak and mushy.
Scallop, Sausage Carrot Cake with XO Sauce ($4+)
Unlike the usual fried ones, steaming the carrot cake – and in a saucer too – is unique, innovative and utterly delicious. The delicate carrot cake holds rather generous amounts of scallops, and is specked with shredded radish that gives it an extra bite. But what seals the deal is their XO sauce. The spicy and savoury dried shrimp sauce is to die for. It gives the carrot cake that kick and prevents it from getting stale. Victor's knows this and capitalises on it by only giving a saucer of it. Additional sauce is chargeable at $0.50+ per portion.
Queen Size Siew Mai ($3.50+)
A combination of both lean and chunky pork gives Victor's siew mai a better bite than most. It can be slightly inconsistent with the seasonings though, sometimes coming out saltier than usual.
King Prawn Dumplings ($5.00+)
Very aptly named, Victor's prawn dumplings stand out because of the huge juicy and crunchy prawns used. It is pricier than most shops, especially with only 3 dumplings in an order, but the generous prawn filling more than makes up for it. The only downside is the dumpling skin which is fairly thick.
Prawn and Spinach Dumplings ($4+)
I always eat steamed dumplings at dim sum restaurants cause I'm not a fan of fried food; and I must say that Victor's make one of the best steamed dumplings. There aren't many to choose from, but what they offer they do well. These Prawn and Spinach Dumplings were once again generously stuffed with spinach and those juicy crunchy prawns. They are slightly salty, but the seasonings are welcomed compared to the usual bland steamed items. My only - and pet - peeve with Victor's is still the dumplings' skins which are always too thick.
Golden Egg Yolk Lava Bun ($4+)
All other dishes aside, what's arguably the most popular and famed item at Victor's is their custard bun. White pillowy buns, encasing a steaming hot, flowy custard that bursts magnificiently on the first bite. A perfect harmony between savoury and sweet. The custard has a slightly sandy texture from the salted egg yolks, which is actually very welcomed. It's not hard to understand why people claim it to be the best custard bun in Singapore.
The copius amounts of oil in the buns however were quite a turn off. The oil's often separated from the custard, sometimes even seeping out of the buns. Definitely not one for the health conscious. Bao Today makes and equally good custard bun with a less oily and consistent custard filling. Nevertheless I don’t disagree that Victor's does make pretty mean custard buns. They’re definitely one of the best.
Having visited so many dim sum restaurants in the past years, Victor's is by no means the best - but it’s definitely among the upper ranks. For its price and quality, it beats many. And if not for their famed custard buns, their radish cake and steamed goodies are worth the visit.
91 Bencoolen Street
Sunshine Plaza Singapore
Opens daily from 10.30am-8pm