With its first successful launch at Admiralty’s Pacific Place, Dim Sum Library brings its second location to Tsim Sha Tsui’s ELEMENTS along with its elegant, 1920s-esque chinoiserie interior.
Spacious and facing west, the sunset was simply stunning as we eased into the contemporary dim sum and Chinese-inspired cocktails to complement.
Dim Sum Library’s cocktails should definitely be ordered. I recommend the tea-based Qilin Guardian ($100), containing pu’er tea and gin, shaked with egg white. It’s floral, woody and transitions to a smooth, citrusy taste that’s light and refreshing, while Lion Dance ($100) is punchy and tropical. In this drink, tequila is combined with lime, pineapple juice and oolong tea, creating a smooth ending that bursts with the scent of kaffir lime.
The xiao long bao series ($72/3) was the most impressive of the dishes sampled. The four flavours represent the most recognisable soups from across Asia. This is the time to be adventurous and try the hot and sour, which pays homage to Sichuan cuisine, containing an aged vinegar and Sichuan paste. The bak kut teh was inspired by Aqua Restaurant Group founder David Yeo’s Singaporean heritage and is warm and herbal, while the kombu and bonito is an ode to Japan, containing kombu and bonito dashi. Finally, the beef brisket flavour is fragrant from the addition of cinnamon, white pepper and bay leaves.
The black truffle har gow ($62) is one of the signatures and a must-order. Each speckled wrapper contains fresh shrimp accented with black truffle.
The fried egg and tomato rice paper roll ($58) is influenced by the HK-style dish of baked spaghetti and filled with a creamy tomato mixture, while the prawn, scallop and crab spring roll ($68) highlights these prized ingredients.
For a quirky combination, try the deep-fried taro puff with escargot ($72). The subtly spicy pan-fried Sichuan cod bao ($68) was one of my favourites.
For the mains, I recommend the crispy pork ribs with black olive and pineapple ($188), which is both sweet and salty.
The stir-fried kale ($98) served in a sizzling stone pot is laced with salty fried sakura shrimp and diced pork. With a night of heavy meat and carbs, a serving of veggies helped to balance out all the dishes.
While I’m not the biggest fan of salted egg yolk, the deep-fried pumpkin ($68) is a fun East-meets-West collide. However, I found the texture of the pumpkin a bit too soft in comparison to the chalky salted egg yolk batter.
I thought the flavours were off in the chilled hibiscus and guava pudding ($52), which was also too gritty. I would skip dessert and order more from the XLB series or substitute with a boozy, pink-hued Silk Road Bellini ($100), containing Longjing tea, vodka, raspberry, lemon and Prosecco. Not overwhelmingly sweet, it’s filled with citrusy notes.
Dim Sum Library showcases an exclusive menu for its ELEMENTS branch. Some dishes were hit-or-miss, but overall the majority of bao and dumplings served are elevated with luxurious touches. I was especially impressed by the xiao long bao series and how flavourful and distinct each bao is.
Shop 1028B, 1/F, ELEMENTS, 1 Austin Road West, TST, 2810 0898, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
For more reviews like this, like Foodie on Facebook