Hua Ting is located inside Orchard Hotel and it's a very family-oriented Chinese restaurant. Despite being there a couple of times, I've never tried their dim sum and I was eager to taste whether the quality of their dim sum could match the stellar quality of their a la carte dishes.
For appetizer, we were served two plates of bean curd skin ($3.80/ plate). The bean curd skin tastes very vegetarian but it didn't taste too oily. The bean curd skin was a little tough but perhaps it was meant to be served this way? My mother liked this rare appetizer a lot.
Baked chicken and mango tart ($1.30 each; $3.90/ plate) The mango taste was very subtle yet it gave the tart a distinguishable fruitiness which sets it apart from other chicken tarts. Nice.
Cheong fun with fresh scallops ($4.80/ plate). This dish was absolutely lovely. The skin of the cheong fun was thin yet it could hold together and the rolls were stuffed with fresh scallops! The soya sauce concoction that we poured over this dish was also made to perfection - neither too sweet nor too salty. We also ordered the cheong fun with fresh prawns ($4.80/ plate) and while it tasted good as well, I can't help but prefer the scallops dish. It's definitely a must-try!
Steamed crystal prawn dumplings or har gao ($1.60 each; $4.80/ basket). I always thought that Crystal Jade's prawns were big and succulent but the prawns at Hua Ting are even bigger! The prawns were wrapped snugly under the thin skin and all that you can taste after sinking your teeth into a single har gao is the springy and juicy prawn. We loved this dish.
Century egg porridge ($8/ bowl). We thought that this bowl of porridge was slightly overpriced. It was a little too runny for our liking but it still tasted nice.
Steamed siew mai with shrimp roe ($1.60 each; $4.80/ basket). Compared to the har gao, this wasn't as popular because it tasted pretty average. Perhaps you can skip this dish and try something else instead.
Steamed xiao long bao stuffed with crab meat and roe ($1.50 each; $4.50/ basket). The xiao long baos were a great disappointment. The skin was poorly made - most of us couldn't lift the xiao long bao off the basket without tearing the skin and it was too hard and tough. In addition, the soup in the xiao long bao wasn't as delicious as the ones that we have tasted at other restaurants. I hope they'll do something to improve this dish.
Steamed glutinous rice with abalone ($2.60 each; $5.20/ basket). Frankly, I thought this tasted pretty average and I definitely didn't detect any hint of abalone! I thought it was just normal glutinous rice! Oops. Unless you've a craving for warm glutinous rice, I think you can give this a miss too.
Deep fried bean skin roll with prawn ($1.60 each; $4.80/ plate). One of my sisters commented that this tastes like the prawn version of 'seaweed chicken'. I thought the skin was more authentic though! It's definitely lighter and more crispy. If you prefer fried to steamed food, then this would be the fried version of har gao.
Deep fried seafood roll with mixed fruit salad ($1.50 each; $4.50/ plate). I thought that this dish was pretty interesting because I didn't expect the insides of the roll to be slightly sweet and cold! I actually liked the combination of warm, deep fried skin with cold fillings! The sweet and salty combination worked out well here and I thoroughly enjoyed eating this.
Pan fried carrot cake ($1.30 each; $3.90/ plate). This tasted pretty average so there's nothing to rave about.
Seafood fried rice ($15). I thought that the presentation of this dish was very Vietnamese/ Thai-ish. Who would have thought that seafood fried rice would be served in a coconut husk? I think the coconut husk managed to retain the moisture of the fried rice because the rice grains weren't dry and hard. It's worth a try!
Pork chop noodle soup ($10). It's essentially udon-like noodles in soup with a plate of fried pork chop (featured below). My brother ordered this because he didn't want to eat dim sum. I didn't think this dish was fantastic but I guess it's enough to satiate a hungry boy's tummy.
Fried pork chop that comes with a bowl of noodle soup.
For desserts, we ordered a bowl of herbal jelly ($6, not photographed) and black glutinous rice with vanilla ice cream ($12). Again, the coconut husk makes its grand appearance, which delighted me for some unknown reason. I guess I find it aesthetically pleasing? Anyhow, the black glutinous rice (aka pulut hitam) was cold and refreshing. I think vanilla ice cream makes as good a complement as coconut milk to black glutinous rice.
We managed to finish all the dishes that we ordered and we felt full and contented (: One word of caution though: their soft drinks don't come cheap so if you don't wish to spend $7 on a cup of soft drink, perhaps you can opt for a cup of tea at $2.50 each. Each of us had a cup of crysanthemum tea and some of us ordered soft drinks on top of that so we spent quite a lot on drinks! Oops. Anyway, I look forward to returning to Hua Ting again with my family to try their a la carte dishes some time in the near future! =)