Located at the heart of Jalan Besar, Swee Choon has been serving delicious Dim Sum to Singaporeans from all walks of life for almost 50 years. The restaurant is still decorated like a traditional coffee-shop in the olden times, but much cleaner and well-lit. The walls are decorated with photos of celebrities who have patronized the restaurant.
Swee Choon is well-known for their Dim Sum (Steamed and Baked/Fried) , but some people may not be aware that they also have Appetizer, La Mian, Cooked Dish, Soup, Rice/Noodle and even Dessert. With more than 100 items to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone.
I am not very fond of Lotus Paste Pau 莲蓉包 because I find the paste too sweet.
Don’t be deceived by the humble appearance of the Plain Chee Cheong Fun 猪肠粉 because it tastes so good, we actually ordered two more plates. The rice noodles here are thinner than those found elsewhere and the soya sauce is very light and sweet with strong bean fragrance.
Char Siew Pau 叉烧包 is average, nothing special here.
There is a reason Swee Choon Big Pau 瑞春招牌大包 is one of their signature dish and I think the secret lies in the light and fluffy skin which is filled with minced pork, chicken, egg and shitake mushroom.
Congee with Minced Pork & Century Egg 皮蛋廋肉粥 comes in a small bowl and the porridge/congee is velvety-smooth.
Swee Choon’s Spring Roll 春卷 is longer and thinner, but equally as good.
I am not a fan of Yam Fritter 芋角, so no comments on this one.
I have never really like Bean Paste Pau 豆沙包 because I find the bean paste too sweet, but the ones here have just the right amount of sweetness.
Even people like me who don’t normally eat this have to admit that Swee Choon’s Chicken Claw 凤爪 is really very well done. The chicken feet have been very well marinated and steamed so thoroughly that the skin falls off without much effort.
We were really curious about this Steamed Chicken with Egg 鸡汁 so we ordered one to try and I am not impressed. The chicken stock with egg is flavorful, but the two pieces of chicken have not been marinated enough and they taste rather bland.
Nothing spectacular about the Siew Mai 烧卖 here.
Deep Fried Salt & Pepper Mushroom 椒盐炸三姑 is one of the dishes from the Chef Recommendation menu and we are absolutely in love with it. The saltiness from the salt and pepper brings out the sweetness of the mushrooms. We couldn’t stop eating!
If mushrooms are not your thing, the other option is Deep Fried Salt & Pepper Squid Tentacles 椒盐炸珍宝须. I personally feel that there is too little salt and pepper but the chewy squid tentacles will having you eating non-stop.
Swee Choon Mee-Suah Kueh 瑞春招牌面线粿 may be one of Swee Choon’s signature dish, but I am not very impressed. Vermicelli cake arranged on top of carrot cake and deep-dried till golden. It is innovative, but there isn’t much improvement on taste.
Swee Choon has done a fine job with Steamed Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun 奶黄流沙包. Look at that beautiful runny custard! I like that the custard is not too sweet or salty while maintaining the sandy texture of salted egg yolk. Eat it while it’s hot but be careful because the hot custard might burn your tongue.
Kids will love Layer Pancake with Egg & Pork Floss 千层糕 with the pork floss and egg all rolled up and cut into bite-size servings.
Plain La Mian in Onion & Oil 葱油阳春拉面 may be plain, but the springy handmade noodles actually taste really good in the onion and oil broth.
Shrimp Hor Fun in Creamy Egg Sauce 滑蛋虾仁炒河粉 is not as salty and all the ingredients are fresh. It is a very filling dish that is better shared.
Hometown Stir Fried Mee Suah may be a simple dish but it is very comforting. It tastes of home with vegetables, fishcake and char siew.
End your meal on a sweet note with Red Bean Paste Pancake 豆沙锅饼. I find that the skin is a little too hard from over-frying but the red bean paste is not too sweet.
Swee Choon has taught me what it means to be “popular”. Swee Choon has taken over all the 5 shophouses along the stretch. The main restaurant is in the middle, flanked by air-conditioned seating area on each side, the extreme left is seating area with no air-conditioning and the extreme right is a takeaway counter. By 7pm (1 hour after opening), all air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned sitting areas are fully occupied, the extra tables set up at the back of the restaurant is filling up fast and there is a small crowd of people waiting in the queue. It’s an amazing sight.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with this restaurant. The staff may not be all smiles but they are very efficient. All dishes are freshly-made and served pipping hot to your table. The prices has risen over the years but it is still reasonably cheap compared to restaurants and the late opening hours makes this the perfect place for supper.
Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
Address: 183/185/187/189/191 Jalan Besar
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 6pm – 6am (Closed on Tuesdays)