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Yam’s Village Dim Sum Restaurant

Yams-Village
I can never get enough of dim sum. Unfortunately, it is usually available only during breakfast or lunch. So you can imagine my glee when I discovered  Yam’s Village at Downtown East – now I can have reasonably-priced dim sum anytime – even during dinner.
Crispy BBQ Pork Buns $3.50

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The dim sum restaurant is an offshoot of Yam’s Kitchen located at E-Hub which is popular with the nearby residents. The restaurant is helmed by Kelvin Yam, who won gold at the International Young Chef competition 2011 in China.

Yam's Dim Sum Village

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Egg Tarts

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The steamed chicken claws with black truffle oil ($2.80) was pretty good.

Yams-Village
I don’t touch glutinous rice. But I couldn’t resist this Lor Mai Kai ($2.80). The sausage was lean and rice flavourful, and the small portion convinced me that I wasn’t ingesting too much carbs, hurhur.

Yam's Dim Sum Village
The mini Yuan  Yang Dumplings ($3.80) were just what I was craving for – carb-guilt in mini portions!

Yams-VillageIn addition to dim sum, the restaurant also serves a pretty decent Klang-style bak kut teh ($8.80) chockful of pork ribs, pig intestines, beancurd sticks and golden mushrooms. It’s a great choice for a one-dish meal.

Yam's Dim Sum VillageThe meatball congee with century egg ($5.80) was passable. I felt it didn’t have enough texture.

Yam’s Village is a nice casual eating place for family outings or simple gatherings, and not too crowded for now. The service can be a little slow, but the pleasant service staff make up for the slight wait. It’s also nice to see the chefs making your dim sum at the open kitchen. I’ll be going back to try more dishes, and adding on photos to this post. So check back often :)

Yam’s Village Dim Sum Restaurant

1 Pasir Ris Close
#01-35 Downtown East
Singapore 519599
Tel: 6584 6678
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri – 10:00AM to 10:00PM; Sat & Sun – 10:00AM to 10:30PM

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Penang – Air Itam’s Nostalgic Eats: Lim Sister’s Curry Mee & Pasar Air Itam Laksa

Air-Itam-Penang-Eats-02What’s capturing Darren’s undivided attention underneath a makeshift tent? Don’t let your thoughts run wild… :)

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On our way to Kek Lok Si temple, we passed by the little town of Air Itam located at the foot of the hill.

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We took the opportunity to search for a gastronomic legend which has been bubbling under the same tree for the past 60 years.

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Air Itam’s famous Lim Sisters Curry Mee (Noodles)

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The Lim sisters, Lim Kooi Heang & Lim Kooi Lai (both in their eighties), have been selling their signature Penang style curry mee for over 60 years under the same tree. The broth is simmered over a charcoal stove, and the stall is basically set out on the ground with pots of noodles and ingredients placed around them. It would be my first time eating from such an interesting makeshift stall. And I simply can’t imagine spending my life sitting on a stool cooking curry noodles. I admire the sisters for the pride in their craft, and determination to cook a bowl of curry noodles for anyone who is interested to try their 1950s version of the famous Penang dish…for as long as they can.

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Eat a bowl of 1950s Penang

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Basically no-frills, you order the noodles and eat it on one of the tiny stools littered around the stall, or bring it to the coffee stall opposite for a proper table (do order something from the coffee stall, and there’s only coffee & tea, no carbonated drinks).

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Darren looks pretty happy with his curry noodles (RM4)

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Digging the retro porcelain bowl and wooden black chopsticks… I seem to have stepped back in time
A mixture of thick yellow Hokkien noodles with vermicelli topped with beansprouts, beancurd puffs and coagulated pig’s blood pudding (we opted not to add this), the star ingredient for me would be the saltish dried brown squid strips which blended so well with the light curry base. Don’t forget to mix in a spoonful of the sisters’ homemade chilli paste for that extra oomph.

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The elder Lim sister (in red) taking a break. Years of sitting huddled over their stall has resulted in a hunchback.
Despite the physical conditions, I am touched by the 2 sisters’ cheerful demeanour, never loosing their cool despite the flurry of customers and sitting for hours in front of a burning curry cauldron. They are chatty and patient with curious tourists armed with cameras – like me. I am humbled by their attitude in life, and I promised myself never to complain about not having air-con ever again, nor  recklessly lose my temper. I never knew a bowl of curry noodles could bring out so much emotion in me.

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Do have a bowl of curry noodles and say hello to the affable Lim sisters the next time you are in Penang. They are just located under the big tree along a row of wooden shacks lining the small side road.
The elder Lim complains the big tree has recently being trimmed, hence having to put up numerous blankets and towels in front of the stall to block out the scorching sunlight. I hope the tree would have sprouted new leaves to shelter the jolly sisters when I next visit.

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Opposite the road from the Lim Sisters curry noodles is the Air Itam market housing more street eats waiting to be discovered

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We took the opportunity to try the famous Pasar Air Itam Laksa

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This was one of the better Penang eats (RM4) we had
You can order your laksa and have it delivered to the soya bean shop opposite the road for a comfortable eat. Talk about a win-win partnership – offer your shop’s seating to the town’s most popular stall, and customers will order your drinks in return. Clever indeed.

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I liked the spongy texture of the thick rice noodles – which was melt-in-your-mouth, and the thick mackerel (ikan kembung) broth was well complemented with the sourness of the assam (tamarind) and Penang’s prawn paste.

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You can take Rapid Penang Bus 201, 202, 203, 204 and 206 to go to Ayer Itam Market. Which I will the next time I visit Penang :)

Lim Sisters Curry Mee
Address: Jalan Air Hitam, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Pulau Pinang
Right after the Ayer Itam Bridge (side road leading up to Chinese Methodist Church)
GPS Coordinates: N5 24.020  E100 16.695
Business Hours: Mon – Sun 8:00AM to 1:00PM (except during Chinese festive holidays)
Facebook (yes they are on social media!): https://www.facebook.com/currymeesister

Pasar Air Itam Laksa
Address: Air Itam Market (Jalan Pasar), Air Itam, Penang 11500
Opening Hours: Mon- Sun 11:15AM – 7:30PM