The Scholar is a Chinese restaurant in the NUS Guild House (next to the alumni house) and I believe you need to either be an NUS staff or a member of the NUS alumni club to be able to make a booking here.
They do pretty good dim sum here and it’s a great place to introduce someone to Chinese cuisine. The place is usually packed for both lunch and dinner, which makes reservations practically mandatory if you would like a table. I’m not sure if they reserve a portions of the tables for walk-ins.
We started with their egg tarts – prettily glazed custard with a buttery crust, however not the flaky Portuguese sort.
And the har gao. This was typical. I think har gao is just one of those things (like chawanmushi) that cannot really be further improved – they’re either good or bad.
The course I liked best was the roasted peking duck, whose skin was sliced off and wrapped in rice paper for us (the meat was served separately with the duck sauce) I haven’t had Peking duck in ages and this one was perfect. I’ve heard that Min Jiang at Rochester Park serves pretty good Peking duck too (albeit a little expensive) – I’ll report back when I try that.
Then we were served the cutest little dinosaur glutinous rice dumplings i.e. the outside was a mochi type dough and I don’t really know what was inside. It was roughly the same filling that you find in deep fried yam dumplings.
Here’s a close-up. It’s so innovative to use almond slivers as the plates of the stegosaurus! Nice to look at but wasn’t real nice to eat I think.
Their char siew baos are really nice with a good skin to filling ratio. Not to mention the mantou dough outside is really nice.
And the liu sha bao which everyone loved. Look how gooey it is. I’m not a fan of liu sha bao but I tried a little of this and it was good.
We also had the cempedak scallops, which I wouldn’t really recommend because the batter is too thick and extremely filling and the scallops didn’t seem particularly fresh (since they were being deep fried anyway).
Most of the dishes here are really nice though, especially the dim sum, and you should definitely check it out if you ever get the opportunity.