The convenience of frozen dim sum
Updated: Feb 1
Want dim sum at your convenience? Here's an option: SMH Food's frozen dim sum where must-haves like siew mai and bao hit the mark on price and taste.
(UPDATE: 1 February 2021 - SMH Food had reached out to let me know from what they see from the pic, I might have oversteamed the matcha azuki buns and I could try 6-7 minutes over boling water the same time to get the matcha lava flow. I'm assuming this could be done for the salted egg custard buns mentioned below. I will try this and update again! Thanks SMH Food for the tip!)
Original post: 25 January 2021
I grew up in a dim sum-eating family. I remember when my siblings and I were young, my parents would take us to dim sum restaurants for weekend lunches and we'd indulge in piping hot century egg congee, silky cheong fun and comforting egg tarts. Fast forward to today, my kids are not big on dim sum because we always end up going for their favourite Japanese food or Chinese ramen when we are out.
That said, dim sum remains a favourite with my parents and myself. But because of COVID-19, we have neither been dining out much nor taking my parents out for meals. We are still pretty big on ordering in which is what we mostly do now for our dim sum fix.
But this time, our ordering in wasn't like our usual orders from restaurants but from SMH Food's online shop on Shopee where they have a variety of frozen dim sums including buns and dumplings. You might have seen some of their bun offerings at supermarkets.
Their variety in their online shop isn't as wide as those in a restaurant (can't freeze the porridge and egg tarts I suppose!) but we managed to order a variety to keep in our freezer for an afternoon family lunch.
To be honest, my initial reaction to frozen dim sum was, it can't be as good as the freshly prepared ones. But after trying the dim sum out, I'm happy to say while a few items were so-so, most of the items we ordered were really good and they were a hit with my two pick-eaters as well. I'm also impressed by the creative bao offerings, like the coffee and matcha azuki buns pictured below.
I like the aromatic coffee and green tea scents, while both are also not overly sweet. These two type of buns, sold separately, come in packs of eights at S$3.75 for coffee and $5.40 for matcha.
Another favourite in our family is the honey BBQ chicken bun. While many of us are more use to the char siew (pork) version, the chicken one is not any less tastier with its sweet BBQ meaty filling. The outer bun is also fluffy, which makes it similar to the restaurant char siew baos we eat. These come at $5.40 for a pack of six.
And what's dim sum without siew mai? We've had many hits-and-misses when it comes to siew mai, whether it's restaurant or store bought, but these were delicious and they come in a pack of 18 at $6.85, which means enough to go around with extras for everyone.
Btw if you're wondering why their dim sum are chicken-based, that's because it is halal which is great for our Muslim friends.
Another one we love were the shrimp gyoza, which contains a delicious mix of shrimp, chives, cabbage and shiitake mushroom. These are in a pack of ten at $6. I had air-fried these. Do note that all the dim sum are already cooked, so all you need to do is to steam/fry/air-fry them before eating.
The adults also liked the Loh Mai Kai - glutinous rice with chicken and mushroom - (not pictured here) which cost $3.20 for two.
The Shanghai dumplings at $6.45 for a pack of ten were pretty decent. The dumplings are made of chicken thigh meat, squid paste, turnip, cabbage and carrot, wrapped in thin pastry. I air-fried these as well. They were pretty tasty but we all agree the shrimp gyozas were even better!
We had also ordered the salted egg custard buns, one of its bestseller which cost $6.10 for a pack of eight. This was a little disappointing though. Maybe we should have eaten it immediately after we took it out from the steamer but after waiting for it to cool down, the salted egg custard didn't ooze out as pictured. I also thought the filling could have been a bit more generous.
Likewise for the chilli crab buns at $6.90 for a pack of eight which I thought was so-so and the filling could also have been more generous.
Do note that the prices I listed above are SMH's regular price on Shopee but they do have bundle deals, and every now and then, promos and discount vouchers. They currently have some Chinese New Year offerings like crispy asparagus prawn rose dumpling and abalone siew mai. Other than these, we're also looking to try their Nyonya chicken buns and roasted canton duck buns on our next order!
Have you ordered in any good food lately? Do share with us in the comments below!
Disclaimer: We paid for our purchases, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.