There are not many stand-alone pork-free dim sum restaurants in the city. Many perceive that dim sum without pork are “not that nice” as pork is deemed to be a major taste contributor for dim sum. However, there are several pork-free Chinese restaurants in town that serve decent dim sum and I’m so glad that there’s another restaurant being added to that list: Dolly Dim Sum.
Located in Avenue K, as the name suggests, Dolly Dim Sum is not your typical Chinese restaurant. Dolly Dim Sum is their modern interpretation of a traditional Chinese teahouse. It’s refreshing to walk into a chinese restaurant where its interior is not only contemporary in design but bright and cheerful as well.
The name “Dolly” is fun and kinda frivolous, projecting modern care-free vibes which are echoed in the bright turquoise birdcages and tiled floor. Furthermore, “dolly” also refers to how their dim sum is made – each piece is like an art form, delicate and exquisite.
The dim sum menu in Dolly is not extensive and that’s a good thing. It means the chefs can focus on their skills and time in producing the best from that exclusive list. Having said that, I wouldn’t say the selection of dim sum in Dolly is very different from the usual traditional items. In fact, most of them are the usual traditional dim sum as served in most restaurants. Customary and typical dim sum like “siew mai”, “har gow”, “loh mai kai” are all there on the menu.
In keeping the menu tight, the dim sum is cooked only upon order and everything came to the table piping hot. Chicken and prawns feature predominantly as main ingredients for most of the dim sum in Dolly. Minced chicken and shrimps make bouncy fillings for the dumplings, both steamed and fried ones. Or even soupy dumplings, like their Spicy Szechuan Dumplings drizzled with a red oily sauce that packs a fiery punch.
I particularly like the Steamed Chicken Wings, chopped into bite sizes and steamed with garlic, leek and fermented black beans. The chicken pieces were marinated with delicate flavors and very tender.
One of the rare beef items on the menu is their Steamed Beef Balls. Freshly ground beef are shaped into balls and steamed, studded with chopped pieces of aged mandarin peel which gives them a lovely citrusy nuance.
Steamed Beef Balls (RM9.20)
I love “malaiko” – steamed sponge cakes flavoured with caramelised sugar. Usually served in big square pieces, Dolly does them in little cupcakes form. Studded with pumpkin seeds, the little brown steamed cakes were pretty but somehow lacked the deeper flavour of caramel and were a tad dry.
Mini Dolly Cupcakes (RM6.90)
Known in Cantonese as “ham sui kok”, the Chewy Meat Croquette were really good. The chewy skin, made from glutinous rice flour had just the right “bitey” texture and delicious filling of minced chicken.
Chewy Meat Croquettes (RM8.60)
Dolly Mozza Roll (RM11.50) beancurd skin rolls stuffed with prawns and mozzarella
Pan-fried Radish Cake (RM8.60) with sundried prawns and dried scallops
Besides dim sum, Dolly’s menu does offer some more substantial eats – rice, congee and noodles are available. I like their congee which used imported pearl rice that had gone through long hours of slow boiling, resulting in a really smooth and silky texture. Topped with some ginger and scallions, their Dried Scallops and Shandong Peanuts Congee was really good.
Dried Scallops and Shandong Peanuts Congee (RM12.80)
Fresh bouncy prawns, omega 3 eggs and ebiko are the ingredients that went into the Royal Golden Fried Rice and tossed with a lot of “wok hei”. Can’t go wrong there.
Royal Golden Fried Rice (RM24.20)
Crispy Egg Noodles done Cantonese-style had deep fried shang mee smothered with chunks of red snapper, chicken, mushrooms and sweet peas, all in a delicious thick broth.
Crispy Egg Noodles (RM25.20)
Dolly Dim Sum is a perfect venue right in the city centre for a catch-up session over delectable pork-free Chinese fares and endless cups of premium teas. Oh they have some good mocktails and cocktails too, for that extra sparkle in your dim sum indulgence.
DOLLY DIM SUM
G9-G9A Ground Floor
156 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Open 11.00am til 10.00pm