Halal dim sum and mee tarik that warm the soul

Eu Hooi-Khaw

Clockwise from top left: Custard lava bao, har gao, cheong fun with prawns, prawn bean curd roll, and Shanghai red dumpling. Centre: Nerdy red bean bao. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 19, 2022.

MY first visit to Santai Yamch’a Dimsum in 1 Utama was with a Muslim friend a few months ago. I was happy to have chanced upon a halal place to have lunch with her, and one that serves a wide variety of dim sum, mee tarik and rice too.

Back I went recently with friends for a full-on lunch review. We picked out some gems amid the array of halal dim sum presented for our tasting.

Among these were the prawn cheong fun, prawn bean curd roll and custard lava bao. Two rolls of prawn cheong fun (RM16.80) in a light, soy-based sauce were served with a delicious sauce of dried prawn with dried chillies.

Dry mee tarik with chicken popcorn combo. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 19, 2022.

The smooth cheong fun rolls were bursting with sweet, springy prawns. There’s a BBQ chicken cheong fun, too, if prawns are not your thing.

I liked the prawn bean curd roll (RM9.80), too, for its crispy fuchuk skin, generously filled with prawns, and served with a mayonnaise dip.

While the filling of the custard lava bao (RM12.80), fashioned as a plump minion, didn’t flow as the bun was cut, it still found favour with us.

There was more salted egg yolk (in crumbly form) than custard in the thick filling, and I loved it for its fine balance of sweet and salty. There’s also the nerdy red bean bao, notable for its lightly sweet, smooth filling.

Fried chicken chop with mixed vegetables and fried rice. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 19, 2022.

I had been drawn to the Shanghai red oil dumpling (RM12.80), with the chicken-filled dumplings sitting in a dark sauce with chilli oil, but was disappointed by the rather sweet sauce when it should have been a little tart with vinegar.

The loh mai kai or glutinous rice dumpling with chicken (RM10.80) erred on the sweet side too. It should have been more savoury, as it had a nice gingery flavour.

Har gao (prawn dumpling) and prawn siew mai (both RM12.80 each basket) passed muster as did the fried gyoza, filled with chicken and chives (RM 15.80 for six). You could have these dumplings (not fried) in a soup too.

Grilled chicken teriyaki with crushed egg rice. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 19, 2022.

The restaurant also serves mee tarik in different combinations – dry or in soup. The mala mee tarik with beef slices (RM25.80) stood out, with springy noodles in a Sichuan broth.

The aroma of the spices came through and the beef slices complemented the hot but not-too-numbing soup.

Dry mee tarik with chicken popcorn combo (RM19.80) was quite good. The noodles were al dente, tossed in a light sauce and topped with half a braised spiced egg and spring onions.

You could add in dry chilli flakes to spice it up. Crumbed deep-fried chicken with a delish garlic flavour came with the noodles.

Mala mee tarik with beef slices. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 19, 2022.

Rice in different combinations is on the santai menu. Nasi lemak bunga telang with fried chicken (RM25.80) is notable for its fragrant, coconutty, blue basmati rice, though we found the sambal rather sweet.

Grilled chicken teriyaki with crushed egg rice bowl (RM21.80) makes for a satisfying meal with its moist, tender chicken, sticky with teriyaki sauce. Then there is fried chicken chop with a mixed vegetable sauce, served with hot fried rice.

Nasi lemak bunga telang with fried chicken. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 19, 2022.

Santai Yamch’a Dimsum serves a good cham (RM7.80 for one with ice), with the right blend of tea and coffee.

The refreshing asam boi lemonade (RM8.80) is a hit among its customers. I liked the mellow and nicely sweet three-layer tea, with the lovely gula apong (RM7.80).

From left: Three-layer tea, assam boi lemonade and three-layer bandung with cincau. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 19, 2022.

There’s also the three-layer bandung with cincau. I still wish for some hot Chinese tea while having the dim sum.

Santai Yamch’a Dimsum is at Lot LG122, Food Street (Old Wing), 1 Utama, Petaling Jaya, Tel: 03 7495 9093. It is also located at Resorts World Genting, Seremban 2, and at Putra Walk, Seri Kembangan. – November 19, 2022.

* Eu Hooi-Khaw has been writing about food for the longest time, covering all aspects, from restaurant reviews to cooking and recipes, as well as the healthy side of it. She has written for major newspapers and magazines, published the cookbook Fresh Ingredients, and also writes for her website hooikhawandsu.com.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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