I finally found a stall selling zhar leong (chee cheong fun with fried you tiao) in a hawker centre! For those who haven’t yet tried this Hong Kong dim sum, it is essentially deep fried fritter wrapped in steamed flour and drenched in a slightly sweet and savoury soy sauce. A very simple dish which uses the most basic of ingredients but it really hits the spot and can be quite addictive.
Zhar leong isn’t really considered a top dim sum dish in Singapore, but in Hong Kong, it is found in every self-respecting dim sum restaurant. I must say that it is my favourite form of cheong fun (steamed rice rolls) and I would always ask for zhar leong first and settle for char siew cheong fun when it isn’t available. It isn’t easy to find zhar leong in local dim sim restaurants which was why I was very excited to find this stall at Changi Village Food Centre.
I thought that it was very smart of Chef Tham to include this dish in his menu. It differentiates his stall from the others. Chef Tham used to be the top chef for dim sum at Goodwood Park Hotel before he decided to venture out on his own so he certainly has good credentials backing him up. The cheong fun was made on the spot upon my order and was quite good as it satisfied my craving for zhar leong.
Those who like the Hong Kong style congee can try it here. For me, the Hong Kong style congee is less robust than the Hainanese one. The porridge here reminded me of the congee that Crystal Jade serves. The pork balls were a little different from the usual local ones where minced meat was rolled into balls. These were a little more bouncy and were a cross between machine-made pork balls and handmade ones in terms of texture.
There are not many places where you can just sit down and order a plate of zhar leong in Singapore so it is well worth a visit if you are after a tasty snack.
Lai Hua Porridge Cheong Fun
#01-18 Changi Food Centre
Tel: 9652 6038
Opening hours: 8am-7.30pm; closed on Wed