Jul 26, 2021 Restaurants
You won’t find those trolleys at SkyCity’s Chinese restaurant Huami ’s yum cha, where items are steamed regularly every five minutes or so for pending orders to ensure the dumplings and other dim sum are delivered to you fresh from the steamer.
It’s this commitment to quality and attention to detail that has proven a hit with diners, shown in the huge demand it’s created, particularly on the weekends, when you’d be lucky to get a table. It’s this scarcity, among the many other delicious things on offer, that keep people coming back.
Amongst the menu, there a regular favourites like siew mai (though one option does have braised baby abalone, perhaps not a regular anywhere else), chicken feet, lo mai gai (glutinous sticky rice), lo bak go (radish cakes) char siew bao (pork buns, though Huami has a chicken version) and congee. You can also order some additional dishes on the side, like the wok-fried noodles, sauteed prawns, or hot and sour soup.
We talk to Xue about what exactly sets Huami apart from the numerous other yum cha options in the city.
Hi, Ray. Could you tell me what is different about the yum cha at Huami?
Huami’s yum cha is different from other yum cha restaurants because we use the best ingredients. The variety may not be as wide as other Chinese restaurants, but when I go outside to eat, I find that our food is not the same. I’m a bit fussy [laughs]. I’ve been in the industry so long. So we’re always choosing the best product to make the things, and the best chefs with the best technique to wrap the dumplings.
For example, the filling is one thing, and the wrapping is another thing. When I go to other yum cha places, after the dumpling is steamed, the wrinkles [from wrapping] are all gone. But ours, the wrinkle is still there, because when the chef does their finger work, they have a certain technique.
Take our har kao, for example. Every yum cha has a har kao, but we use the best prawns for our har kao. The texture will be different; very “Q”. At other places, it’s a bit mushy, since they use a different size of prawns. Our har kao has truffle oil and truffle jam in there, so it makes a difference with others.
Another example is with our xiaolongbao. When I go outside, the first thing I find is that they use processed pork mince; the size is different, the texture is different. Sometimes, it’s also a bit more sour. At first, this also happened in Huami, until I realised it was because of the soy sauce that was making it sour — the soy sauce had the yeast, which was still working in high temperatures. Even in the fridge, it was still going. That produced the sour taste.
So now we boil the soy sauce and wine together before we use it, and it makes a huge difference. The dipping sauce, which is vinegar, well… lots of people use dark vinegar, or red vinegar in Cantonese restaurants. I’m from Shanghai, and xiaolongbao is from Shanghai. We use a real rice vinegar with pickled olive.
See, it’s all the little things. When you put two and two on the same table, there’s a clear difference.
Overall, we may have lots of things that, outside of Huami, others may have, but the difference is with the quality.
Huami’s yum cha is available from Wednesday-Sunday, 11.30am-2.30pm. We recommend booking.