Situated within a commercial property in a corner of Woodlands, 1.30 Dim Sum is one of the few places that even Woodlanders might not know of in their neighbourhood.
1.30 Dim Sum is a stall operating within the coffeeshop situated at Primz Bizhub. The location itself is a little off the beaten track; it requires a fair bit of walking from the nearest bus stop and thus more convenient for folks who drive. As the name suggests, the stall serves all of the items on the menu at $1.30 without any service charge/GST; this makes 1.30 Dim Sum possibly one of the cheapest dim sum spot around the island that is opened for 24 hours, seven days a week!
Going for the usual staples we would order at any Dim Sum restaurant, we went for the Prawn Dumplings first. It was not particularly great, but certainly, one that was pretty decent with a reasonably fresh and well-sized prawn encased within a slightly thicker than usual skin on the exterior. Not too bad for a start.
The Siew Mai was also pretty fair; while it does seem a little firmer than those from more formal Chinese restaurants, it is rather meaty and delivers a decent bite overall that was okay in general.
The Crispy Roll was probably one of our favourites there. Discounting the slightly messy presentation, the fried exterior was crisp while encasing mashed bananas with red bean paste — the two elements provided for a contrast of sweetness and earthiness that went well with one another, though if anything, the Crispy Rolls could have probably fared better being less oily.
We are big Chee Cheong Fun lovers here, but the HK Style Prawn Chee Cheong Fun here was a tad disappointing. Sure, we might have been expecting a little too much especially given its $1.30 price tag, but the miserable amount of prawns did felt like it was missing the point somehow. The dish also seemed to be favoured by the soy sauce; the soy sauce itself was no doubt flavourful with its savouriness, but the Chee Cheong Fun lacked the complexity of flavours especially in terms of that ricey flavour.
The Carrot Cake here was overall rather generic; we could see why people would enjoy this especially since these were rather close to the generic ones that are denser with harder edges which are usually served in coffeeshops as a grab-and-go snack.
Not to be mistaken as a Salted Egg Custard Lava Bun, the Custard Bun is more of your typical corn custard bun. Served in twos rather than the usual threes here, the buns are sized larger than usual. The buns were decently fluffy, while the corn custard provides a soft sweetness that was pretty decent overall.
The Coffee Bun is also served in twos and sized pretty similarly to the Custard Bun. The roasty coffee aroma comes pretty evidently here, with the coffee flavour infused into the red bean paste which provides the sweetness that comes right at the end.
Overall, 1.30 Dim Sum is one of the places that is undisputed for cheap dim sum; the prices of the dim sum here are almost too good to be true, especially since all the items are being sold nearly half the usual price even when compared with casual dining concepts that serve the same fare. That being said, the affordability comes at a cost — the quality of the dim sum here is largely commercial and generic; somewhat pedestrian and lacks soul as compared to places that take pride in making their own dim sum. For those who are looking for artisan dim sum that satisfies in terms of taste, presentation and execution, we would advise looking elsewhere. 1.30 Dim Sum would probably be a good option for those living around the neighbourhood looking for a low-cost supper spot just to temporarily get that sudden dim sum cravings out of the way any tim, any day.
1.30 Dim Sum 块三点心
21 Woodlands Close