Despite not doing nearly enough reviews of it, dim sum is one of my favourite things in the world. Without a regular fix of dim sum in my life, I become irritable and suffer serious cravings that will not go away until I have ingested far too many delicious dumplings and eaten myself into a food coma. When one such craving hit, I decided to put Che’s Cantonese Restaurant to the test, having heard nothing but praise about this Lockhart Road eatery.
Like most dim sum spots around town, on the weekend, Che’s is invariably packed, yet the good thing about this place is that, provided someone actually picks up the phone, you can make a booking.
It is as loud and as hectic as any dim sum restaurant, with suited, smile-less waiters dashing from one round table to the next. The décor is surprisingly simple, with not a stereotypical chandelier in sight. In terms of the menu, it isn’t overwhelmingly large, mainly offering the classics and the favourites, with an additional a la carte menu available upon request.
Our delicious feast began with a village style omelette – an unusual choice, yet a good one. More of a pancake than an omelette, this had a satisfying crispiness to it that gently tickled our taste buds and opened our appetites for what was to come.
Despite my initial disappointment at not seeing char siu bao anywhere on the menu, Che’s crispy barbecue pork buns (photo at the top) made up for it. The sweet, wonderfully fluffy exterior gave way to rich, saucy char siu that made our eyes light up and immediately decide we needed a second order!
Char siu cheung fun is a must at any dim sum restaurant and, although Che’s didn’t offer the best I’ve ever had, it certainly didn’t disappoint. The thin rice noodle roll was light and fresh, generously laden with sweet chunks of char siu.
Che’s har gao, a dish it proudly and rightfully claims to be one of its signature dishes, was, on the other hand, possibly the best I’ve ever tasted. The skin was perfectly thin, stuffed with a sizeable, fresh and mightily tasty prawn. Again, so good we couldn’t resist a second order.
Also delicious were the siu mei and the vegetable dumplings, but the wu gok (or crispy taro dumplings) deserve a special mention for the sheer fluffiness of the outer shell, encasing soft, mashed taro and pork meat; again, probably up there amongst the best of the best…
Whilst some argue that tofu is a boring, tasteless dish, this could never be said about Che’s deep fried tofu. These generous-sized cubes, lightly dusted in salt and pepper and gently deep-fried to achieve a paper-thin crust, simply melted in the mouth and were so far removed from that chewy texture so often mistakenly associated with tofu.
Last but never, ever least, we finished our feast with some deep-fried dumplings with black and white sesame. One bite into these crispy balls revealed a delicious black sesame paste that once again required us to place a repeat order.
Che’s most certainly fulfilled my dim sum craving; I left sincerely replete, with a dim sum induced smile on my face. What made my smile even bigger was the fact that the total bill came to $135 per person, despite the extent to which we over-ordered. Che’s is definitely going on my list of go-to dim sum restaurants the next time one of my insufferable cravings kicks in…probably this weekend!
Che’s Cantonese Restaurant
4/F, The Broadway
54-62 Lockhart Road
Tel: +852 2528 1123