(Hwa Nam Restaurant had since ceased operations.)
Mention traditional local dimsum and Hwa Nam Restaurant would be one of the few common answers that you might get from a local that would introduce affordable and unpretentious dimsum in a nostalgic setting. Having upheld a standard over the years, it had became one of the hotspots to have dimsum, especially on a weekend. It was nearly a year since I have last visited them, so I decided that why not settle for a dimsum lunch there with my dining partner who was there during my last visit to see how far things have changed.
We ordered nearly the same few items that we had the previous round from what we could remember, and added some new items that we wanted to try.
The Har Gow was a bad start to the meal. Our impressions of it in the past were way better than what we had got. The Har Gow no doubt being filled a succulent prawn did taste rather fresh, but the skin was a tad too wet and stuck onto each other that the skin of the other Har Gows ripped apart when we were trying to just get one of it. What happened to that smooth skin of the past?
I never tried the Yam Cake because it’s not really my sort of thing, but my dining partner mentioned it was just way too wet at the bottom with a puddle of liquid at the bottom and spoilt the texture of the yam cake a fair bit.
(Chee Cheong Fun with Pork)
Chee Cheong Fun with Pork still had the smooth silky Chee Cheong Fun that we liked. The slab of pork was pretty generous and was reasonably juicy. Would appreciate if there is more Soy Sauce to make it slightly saltier for that savoury taste.
Siew Mai was still pretty good with the chewy texture of the pork and the signature taste that comes from the skin, but it was a wee bit wet as there was liquid dripping from the bottom once it got picked up. While I still find it relatively reasonable in taste, it used to be better way back in the day.
(Crispy Beancurd Skin with Pork)
Crispy Beancurd Skin with Pork was crispy and generous on pork, but there was just too much grease at the bottom of the plate being soaked up that it gets seemingly oily to eat.
While the dimsum at Hwa Nam remains to be rather traditional and still rather acceptable, it is quite sad to see the quality of the dimsum to slip this much over the course of a year. This probably explains the dwindling weekday lunch crowd from full house to around a crowd of half capacity. With such standards, it gets really hard to convince people to make a special trip down to Hwa Nam just to have dimsum, especially when it is located at Thomson which is an area that is not really as accessible to locals who do not live in the nearby estates of Ang Mo Kio or Bishan.
Hwa Nam Restaurant (华南菜馆)
244F Upper Thomson Rd