'Bored at home': Hong Kong dim sum chef-owner reopens stall in Tampines, but with smaller menu

After a hiatus of more than six months, the chef-owner of coffee shop dim sum stall Ho Yun (Hong Kong) Tim Sum is back in business.

However, don’t expect to see the same variety of dim sum delicacies at his new stall, located at Blk 107 Tampines St 11, right opposite the Church of the Holy Trinity.

In fact, the menu looks to have been drastically pared down, based on a photo of the signboard shared by user Edwin Neo on the Hawkers United — Dabao 2020 Facebook page.

It even has a new name — Ho Yun (Hong Kong) Sunrise.

Still, AsiaOne has confirmed that the stall is run by the same 68-year-old Hong Kong-born chef and owner Cheng Chi Ho, helped out by his wife. According to media reports, Cheng had spent years working in several hotels and restaurants in Singapore, with his previous stall at Tampines St 41 known for its authentic hand-made dim sum at affordable prices.

In a social media post early last year, Cheng’s daughter shared how he was forced to shutter the stall in December 2022 after suffering a bad fall

Speaking to AsiaOne, his daughter, who wished to be known as ‘Ms Cheng’, stated that her father is now “90 per cent recovered from his injuries”.

She added that the new stall had opened just last month. 

‘They were getting bored at home’

On why her parents decided to return to the business, Cheng’s daughter shared that retirement didn’t sit well with the couple.

“They thought of retiring, but after a few months they were getting bored at home, so they decided to do something simpler to pass the time,” she said, sharing that her father “doesn’t want to be a salaried worker”.

She added in jest: “They were getting noisy at home so I chased them out to work.”

“Something simpler”, has evidently resulted in a streamlined menu at their new stall. Gone are the traditional steamed dim sum in baskets, which Cheng’s daughter shared were dropped from the menu due to how laborious and time-consuming they are to make.

Instead, the stall now offers a handful of their signature deep-fried dim sum dishes, century egg and lean pork congee as well as steamed rice rolls. Based on past reviews, these were also some of their most popular items at the old shop. 

New on the menu too, are typical Hong Kong char chaan teng (teahouse) breakfast items such as instant noodle and macaroni soups.

Having fewer dishes to prepare has helped ease her parents back into the rigours of running a hawker business, said their daughter.

“They had rested for some time, so having fewer things has helped them get back into the momentum,” she shared.

In his Facebook post on on Thursday (Sept 14), Edwin wrote: “For those who missed their reasonably priced authentic Hong Kong handmade dim sum, they are back after uncle recovered (sic).”

He stated: “Due to space constraints and health considerations, there are some changes to the menu. Same old tasty classics remained.”

The stall is open from 5.30am to 3.30pm Tuesdays to Sundays, but Cheng’s daughter tells us that her parents would typically get to the stall at 4am to prepare everything.

While business has been slow after only about a month of reopening, she shared that their “many regular customers are happy” to see them back.

Address: Blk 107 Tampines St 11, Singapore 521107

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 5.30am to 3.30pm.

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