Discover the Best Dim Sum in Singapore

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best dim sum singapore

Singapore is known for its diverse cuisine, and dim sum is no exception – so we’re helping you find the best dim sum in Singapore. This beloved Cantonese dish has become a staple in Singaporean food culture. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, indulging in a dim sum feast is a must-do experience. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the best dim sum spots in Singapore, from the history of the dish to its modern-day iterations, and everything in between. So sit back, grab a cup of tea, and let’s explore the world of Singaporean dim sum.

A Brief History of Dim Sum in Singapore

Before we dive into the best dim sum spots in Singapore, let’s learn a little bit about the history of the dish. Dim sum originated in ancient China as a meal typically enjoyed by tea drinkers in teahouses. The small, bite-sized portions of food were designed to complement and enhance the flavours of tea.

The Origins of Dim Sum

The exact origins of dim sum are somewhat disputed, but it is generally accepted that it was first created in the Guangdong province of China. It was traditionally served from bamboo steamers and included a variety of small snacks, steamed buns, and dumplings. Over time, dim sum evolved to include a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes.

How Dim Sum Became Popular in Singapore

The dim sum made its way to Singapore through a combination of Chinese immigrants and British colonial influence. In the early 20th century, Chinese immigrants brought their cuisine to Singapore, including dim sum. British colonialists then introduced the concept of “high tea” which led to a merging of the two cultures, resulting in the modern-day Singaporean dim sum experience.

The Art of Dim Sum

Dim sum is more than just a meal; it’s an art form. The making of dim sum is a delicate process that requires specialized skills and techniques. Here are a few things to know about this culinary art:

Traditional Dim Sum-Making Techniques

Traditional dim sum is handmade, and each dish requires a unique skill set. For example, dumplings require the ability to mould the dough just right to create the perfect shape. Chefs must also have a deep understanding of ingredients and flavours to achieve the desired taste and texture. It’s not uncommon for experienced dim sum chefs to spend decades perfecting their craft.

Modern Twists on Classic Dim Sum Dishes

While traditional dim sum dishes are an integral part of the dining experience, many chefs are putting their own spin on classic dishes. Some restaurants offer fusion dim sum, which combines flavours from different culinary traditions. For example, some dim sum spots in Singapore offer sushi-inspired dim sum rolls or fusion dumplings filled with unexpected ingredients like truffle or foie gras.

Top Dim Sum Restaurants in Singapore

So where can you find the best dim sum in Singapore? That depends on what you’re looking for. Below are some of the top dim sum establishments in Singapore, broken down by category:

For diners looking for an exceptional dim sum experience, there are several Michelin-starred restaurants in Singapore that specialize in the cuisine.

Tim Ho Wan

best dim sum singapore
Image source: Tim Ho Wan

One such restaurant is Tim Ho Wan, which first gained recognition for its famous baked BBQ pork buns. Aside for one of the best options in Singapore, they are also globally recognised for the greatness of their cuisine. This is everyone’s favourite and top choice when in search of the best dim sum!

Jade Palace

best dim sum singapore
Image source: Benson Kong

Other Michelin-starred dim sum establishments include Jade Palace, which is known for its refined menu and elegant atmosphere, and Summer Pavilion, which features a wide selection of unique dim sum dishes. They also specialise in Cantonese cuisine and they never disappoint!

Swee Choon Dim Sum

best dim sum singapore
Image source: Ngamtida Senrat

If you’re looking for an authentic dim sum experience, there are plenty of hidden gem restaurants to explore. Swee Choon Dim Sum is a local favourite and is known for its extensive menu that includes both classic and modern dishes. They’ve been the best stop for dim sum comfort varieties since the year 1962 so you should know why everyone loves this restaurant.

Red Star Restaurant

best dim sum singapore
Image source: Loki

Another excellent option is Red Star Restaurant, which has been a staple in the dim sum scene for over 40 years and is known for its no-frills, traditional menu. Most of the people who know the place should be the grandparents and the parents, but if you’re a dim sum enthusiast in search of the classic flavours, let Red Star Restaurant take you on a trip to the beautiful past of dim sum.

126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi

best dim sum singapore
Image source: 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi

Dim sum can be an expensive dining experience, but there are affordable options for budget-conscious diners. One such spot is 126 Dim Sum Wen Dao Shi, which offers a wide variety of dishes starting at just a few dollars.

Yum Cha

yum cha








Another option is Yum Cha, which has several locations throughout Singapore and offers an all-day dim sum menu at reasonable prices. They also have various viands and desserts you must try. Some of the worth mentioning options are the egg tart and the century egg porridge – they’re everyone’s personal favourite!

Must-Try Dim Sum Dishes

Now that you know where to find the best dim sum in Singapore let’s dive into some must-try dishes:

Classic Dim Sum Favorites

Classic dim sum dishes include steamed pork and shrimp dumplings (siu mai), BBQ pork buns (char siu bao), and steamed rice rolls (cheong fun). These dishes are must-try items for anyone new to Singaporean dim sum.

Unique Singaporean Dim Sum Creations

Singaporean chefs are known for their creativity, and dim sum is no exception. Some local favourites include salted egg yolk custard buns (liu sha bao), curry puffs, and fried carrot cake. These dishes offer a unique spin on traditional dim sum and are a must-try for adventurous diners.

Vegetarian and Vegan Dim Sum Options

For vegetarian and vegan diners, dim sum can be a little challenging due to the heavy use of meat and seafood in traditional dishes. However, many dim sum establishments offer vegetarian and vegan options, such as steamed vegetable dumplings and mushroom buns. Just be sure to ask the waitstaff for recommendations.

Dim Sum Etiquette and Customs

Before you head out to your dim sum feast, it’s essential to understand a few etiquette and customs for the dining experience:

How to Order and Share Dim Sum

When dining on dim sum, it’s customary to order dishes to share with the entire table. Start with one or two dishes and then order more as you go. It’s also important to note that it’s considered impolite to waste food, so don’t over-order and be sure to finish what you order.

Tea Pairing with Dim Sum

Many people don’t know that tea is an essential part of the dim sum experience. Traditional Chinese tea is typically served during dim sum, and it’s customary to pour tea for your tablemates. The type of tea you pair with your dishes is crucial in enhancing different flavours. For example, jasmine tea complements seafood dishes, while pu-erh tea is better suited for richer, meaty dishes.


There you have it, a comprehensive guide to the best dim sum in Singapore, from the history of the cuisine to modern-day twists and customs. Whether you’re a dim sum connoisseur or new to the dish, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So the next time you’re in Singapore, be sure to indulge in a dim sum feast and experience the unique flavours and cultural significance of this beloved cuisine.