“Are you open yet?”, a customer quips. 5 minutes later, another couple arrives, joining the queue. 10 minutes later, a steady queue of patrons has formed. And the restaurant hasn’t even opened for the day yet.
The restaurant’s popularity comes at no surprise, with their large variety of dim sum, ranging from traditional recipes such as Fish Roe with Siew Mai and Xiao Long Bao, to instagrammable innovations such as their Little Twin Piglet Pau and Panda Pau.
The person behind these fun, eye-catching dim sum is Chef Jun Cheang, who helms the kitchen at Yum Cha Restaurant.
“I’ve always had a penchant for traditional food,” shares Jun Cheang. When he was just 16 years old, he began working at a factory making dim sum. From then on, he was plunged into the culinary world, eager to gain more experience and exposure from different food establishments.
“To be honest, I never imagined that I could be Head Chef at a dim sum restaurant one day. I could only achieve this dream with the guidance of my mentors, and the curiosity and passion that has never left me throughout the years.”
Jun Cheang, Yum Cha Restaurant
As Head Chef at Yum Cha Restaurant, Jun Cheang’s mission is to enliven the restaurant’s mission of serving traditional, authentic dim sum that brings families together. “Dim sum is a tradition for many older folks, and I wanted to create dishes that would also entice the children, which is why you’ll see many cute cartoon character buns on Yum Cha’s menu.”
One of his most recent hand-made creations include the ‘Kiasi Bao’, created during the circuit breaker to bring some lighthearted cheer to the otherwise dull lockdown period. On why he constantly innovates and creates, Jun Cheang says, “Food is a big part of our everyday life, and I want to create joy through food.”
Tradition doesn’t always have to be boring or stagnant, and we daresay chef Jun Cheang strikes just the right balance between tradition and creativity, with dishes that continue to excite his patrons, while retaining the traditional flavour and methods that are honoured and treasured through time.
If you’d like to bring some cheer to your family and delight them with Dim Sum that tastes just as good as it looks, Yum Cha delivers island-wide.