Har gao with sauvignon blanc, xiao long bao with whisky – skip the tea and chase your favourite dim sum with an alcoholic buzz for a world of new pairing possibilities. These are some of our favourites.
BAKED BARBECUE PORK BUNS WITH CHATEAU DES FINES ROCHES CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE ROUGE 2011, at Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant (Level 2 Carlton Hotel Singapore, tel: 6311-8188, www.carltonhotel.sg/dining/wah-lok-restaurant-singapore)
Filled with fragrant char siew and char siew sauce, the buns also have a layer of custard which adds to their richness. The medium-bodied red from Chateau des Fines’ vineyards in south-eastern France boasts notes of red berries and spice, which hold well against the sweet-savouriness of the char siew.
STEAMED SHRIMP DUMPLING WITH MUSHROOM WITH CAKEBREAD CELLARS SAUVIGNON BLANC, at Jiang-nan Chun (Level 2 Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, tel: 6734-1110, www.fourseasons.com/singapore/dining/restaurants/jiang_nan_chun )
The quintessential dim sum dish, har gao, takes on an additional layer of umami at Jiang-nan Chun with the introduction of mushrooms. Together with juicy prawns, the mushrooms are enveloped in a thin, translucent skin that allows the flavours of the filling to shine forth. The Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc’s crisp acidity and fresh fruitiness of green apples, grapefruit and citrus are a great foil for the har gao’s sweet ocean notes and hint of earthiness.
JIU ZHUANG XIAO LONG BAO WITH RECHEERS SHAO HSING, at Jiu Zhuang (6D Dempsey Road, tel: 6471-1711, www.jiu-zhuang.com)
Not a dish for the young ones, Jiu Zhuang’s whisky xiao long bao (served in a basket) coats the palate with a tasty soup stock that finishes with a surprise hint of single malt. This goes well with Chinese yellow wine Recheers Shao Hsing – the umami-laden but mellow ambrosia enhances the flavours of the dumpling’s meat filling and introduces more sweetness.
CUSTARD MOON BUN WITH SINGING GEISHA COCKTAIL, at Mitzo (Level 4 Grand Park Orchard Hotel, tel: 6603-8855, www.mitzo.sg )
For a sweet ending to a dim sum meal, liu sha bao is always a popular choice – the combination of savoury-sweet flavours and the molten texture is nothing short of comforting. For something floral and light to cut through the richness, Mitzo’s Singing Geisha is fruity and refreshing. Fresh green grapes with chrysanthemum syrup, shaken with lemon juice and anise-flavoured spirit Pastis give you a tangy kick.