Dim Sum Buffet @ River City Restaurant

I had a dim sum craving, since my National Service days. Due to the shift nature of my vocation. This has prevented me from actually being able to attend any dim sum session. As most Chinese restaurants, hold their dim sum buffet session in the morning.

A friend introduced me River City Restaurant. To my surprise, their are actually related to Dragon Cate Restaurant which is located in Harbor Front. In fact, River City is cheaper at $12.90++ on weekdays and $15.90++ on weekend. However, the River City dim sum is missing 6 dishes compared to Dragon Gate. $2 cheaper for the lost of 6 dim sum items seems a rather waste.

Siew Mai (Steamed Dumpling with Mushrooms)

The chef here infuse the Siew Mai's mince pork meat with mushroom is a good try. However, I feel that the use of mushroom has overpower the sweetness of the mince pork. In addition, the mince meat was rather dry. Perhaps they use too lean meat?

Har Gao (Steamed Shrimp Dumplings)

The Har Gao here is really good. Not the best, but rather tasty too. Shrimps are fat and crunchy. The skin is slightly thicker then what I would like, but still passable. Skin isn't too soft and breaks off when removing from the bamboo baskets. We order many baskets of these.

Siao Long Bao (Steamed Dumplings with Superior Soup)

The bottom of the list of all the dim sum items I tried that day. In fact, its the worst Siao Long Bao I've ever tasted. The skin is totally thick, meat is all mashed up with hardly anything within the dumpling and the soup existence isn't even present. My all time low in the whole dinning session.

Steamed Rice Flour Rolls with Fresh Shrimps

Similar to the Shrimp Dumplings, the skin is silky thin and shrimp plum and succulent. The soy sauce isn't too much and salty. One of the must eats.

Steamed Pork Balls with Water Chestnuts

The meatballs were rather fragrant and the bits of water chestnuts within it added additional texture and crunch to an ordinary meatball. Should try for anyone who haven't.

Steamed Pork Ribs with Soy Bean Sauce
Rather normal nothing to comment.

Steamed Chicken Claws with Chilli Sauce
I don't consume chicken claws. No comments.

Steamed Fish Head with Chilli
Mum complained that fish flesh was sour. A missed.

Steamed Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf

The lotus steamed glutinous rice was rather inconsistent. Out of 2 packets, 1 have a nice lotus fragrant and the other had a sourish hint. The rice was to hard and dry, maybe due to overcooking and prolong time in the steamer.

Panfried Meat Dumplings

The Panfried Dumpling were a hit. With the crispy seared base and nicely steam top. Paired with vinger and strings of ginger. One word. Shiok.

Baked Sesame BBQ Pork Pies

The highlight of the whole dim sum trip. I'm beyond words to describe this dish. The crust is butter and flaky. Crumples softly as soon as you place it within your mouth. In which the fragrant sweet BBQ pork erupted into your mouth. Yum. Order 3 per person at least. Trust me.

Deep Fried Beancurd Skin Rolls with Shrimp

Another hit. My second most favorite dish. The bean curd skin wasn't too salty and not too thick and was slightly flaky. Shrimp were plump as usual.

Deep Fried Shrimp Dumplings with Salad Cream

This was also nice too. However, they mash up some of the shrimp paste and chunks of shrimp flesh. Maybe a way to add more flour to make your appetite fill up faster. Order less of these and more of the beancurd skin variety.

Deep Fried Crispy Chicken Wings

Average. Normal chicken wings season with salt and pepper. I'd prefer if they use shrimp paste to marinate it. Still rather crispy.

Grilled Carrot Cake

I love the charred and crisp side of the carrot cake. Adds the wok heat into the carrot cake, adding more fragrant and flavor to it. There are also bits of preserved sausages inside, not overwhelming and complements the carrot cake well.

Deep Fried Vegetarian Spring Roll
Rather thick layers of skins. Avoid unless necessary.

Century Eggs and Lean Pork Congee

River City has a poor retention of the porridge then their Dragon Gate counterpart. The century eggs were literately non-existence and the congee lacks the thick chicken stock that is use to boil and add flavor to it. Congee consistency was slightly too thick.

Soup of the Day

Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple Cubes
More flour and pineapples than pork.

Fried Green Vegetables with Minced Garlic

This is a joy to eat. The spinach was tender and refreshing. Not overly stir fried or oily. I order so much, that I was slurping down spinach as if they were noodles.

Chilled Sweet Mango Pudding, Chilled Chinese Herbal Jelly & Special Dessert of the Day

The Mango Pudding is average. As it lacks chunky bits of mango cubes, but still passable. The Herbal Jelly is the real deal and is really bitter. Be sure to add lots of sugar syrup. The Dessert of the Day was boiled beancurd & barley, good for cooling down after all those fried stuff.

Service is prompt and friendly even though they are under staff. At time they forgot your orders, but a quick reminder and they would dish out your orders asap. Certain orders seem to wait till a "quotation amount" before the chef cooks all at once, thus you would have to wait. Popular dishes like the Steamed Shrimp Dumpling are a bit slow to come, maybe due to their high demand and the restaurant's invisible limitation cap. Personally I'd prefer Dragon Gate, due to the more variety of dim sum and better standard in quality. However, River City is located neared to town. Just know what are the hits and avoid the misses.

Buffet start at 11.30 am and end at 2.30 pm.

River City Restaurant
5 Coleman Street
#04-02 Excelsior Hotel
Singapore 179805
Tel: 6339 9969

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