Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K, Kuala Lumpur

Margaret Elizabeth and Monica Tindall

When you enter Dolly Dim Sum you are definitely going to say “Hello” to Dolly. Dolly is the fictional character that epitomizes the concept of the modern Chinese teahouse. Dolly’s portrait is on the wall and her friendly industrial chic style is carried through perfectly in the designer interior. The blend of textures, colours and interesting objects makes simply sitting in Dolly Dim Sum a joy. I loved the turquoise, Chinese birdcages and was delightfully surprised to realize that some of the lightshades were tastefully constructed from dim sum baskets – clever and trendy.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Dolly Dim Sum

As Dolly Dim Sum is a day to night venue let’s start with cocktails. After much enthusiastic research with family and friends, the team has managed to get that subtle balance between cocktail and food pairing spot on. Pu Er Old Fashioned (RM32), made with Maker’s Mark infused with aged Pu Er tea, came presented in two shot glasses nestled in a bowl of ice. This finely balanced mix paired well with Spicy Szechuan Dumplings, and if we were to continue drinking would merit a repeat order. The Dolly-Tini (RM29) jazzed up the traditional, gin-based martini with a delightful lemongrass twist, and the Chinese Mule (RM32), Dolly’s take on a Moscow Mule, proved refreshing with sake, vodka, ginger ale, coriander, lime, and a parsley garnish. We needed our stamina however for the food menu to come, so switched to a pot of Qi Li Xiang, a delicious Oolong tea, for the rest of the meal.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Puh Er Old Fashioned

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K

Recommended portions are generally two baskets of dim sum per person (usually three pieces in each).  BUT depending upon how hungry or how excited you are, you might like to supplement with rice or noodles.

Crystal Prawn Dumplings immediately won visual appeal. Delicate, thin, dumpling skin tantalizingly stretched over a generous prawn and chive filling had us tucking in right away. I like to dip my dumplings in chilli sauce – there is a special kind for dim sum that I love – so I was very happy that Dolly Dim Sum had one that I favoured.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Crystal Prawn Dumplings

Pan-fried Radish Cake with sun-dried shrimp and dried scallops was another delightful “eat-me-now” presentation. Of course we obliged. The outside of the cake was crispy and caramelized which contrasted tastefully with the inner texture, and the balance of shrimp and scallop to radish was exactly right. For me, a hint of optional chilli sauce raised the level of these mouthfuls beyond the icing on the proverbial cake.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Panfried Radish Cake

“Siew Mai” Dumpling featured tender chicken and prawn filling steamed with mushrooms. Once again the portioning was generous with the stuffing peeping out at us, looking just as luscious and succulent as it tasted. For those who usually would have “siew mai” with pork, I promise you that you will not miss it in Dolly Dim Sum’s version of this tasty dumpling.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Siew Mai Dumplings

Spicy Szechuan Dumplings with chicken and prawns drizzled in a spicy, tangy sauce proved the one to fight over. Delicate casing and a moreish sauce caught Monica’s attention and I think she found her favourite dish in the line-up with this item. I enjoyed these with my Pu Er Old Fashioned cocktail as the whisky and spicy tones balanced each other.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Spicy Szechuan Dumplings

Dolly’s Mini Cupcakes are a special kind of fluffy sweet sponge known as “ma lai goh” in Cantonese. I have not seen them often in Kuala Lumpur and have been missing them so I was very happy to find them here. Not surprisingly this slightly caramel flavoured sponge topped with sunflower seeds, a Dolly tweak on the original, tasted delicious and I know my children will love them. No wonder they’re a best seller.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Mini Dolly Cupcakes

Upon Mon’s eager request we secured Egg Custard Buns. I had never eaten one of these before and as every foodie knows there is nothing better than discovering a new affection. These signature steamed white buns with flowing salted egg yolk custard were so delightful that I could have danced on the table. Breaking open the outer bun, a golden river flowed onto the plate. The scent of the filling wafted agreeably in the air and the texture was creamy and satisfyingly gooey evoking happy memories of childhood treats. The taste is a harmonious juxtaposition of salty and sweet – a must-try dish.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Egg Custard Bun

Next it was my turn to insist on a favourite, Roasted BBQ Buns. In this case chicken replaced the customary pork. Once again the outer bun was gleaming white, light and fluffy. The signature honey sauce used in these buns did not disappoint. Another classic, and made with Penang yams (which are said to be the best), were the Yam Croquettes. Wonderfully pasty within and coated within a delicate crispy lace, these too are worth repeat orders.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Yam Croquettes

Just in case those geometric bites left gaps in our stomachs, the Royal Golden Fried Rice with prawns, egg and ebiko was guaranteed to fill any last crevice. The mixing of this Japanese style orange roe with Chinese style fried rice is quintessentially Dolly, embracing all cultures to experience happiness.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Royal Golden Fried Rice

And so we neared the end of our glorious repast with one final sweet treat. Sesame Mochi Balls were a triumph of texture, aroma and taste. The hot mochi ball covering was crisp and chewy, and breaking it open a rich peanut aroma wafted out foreshadowing the rich, finely ground peanut center.

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Sesame Mochi Ball

We left with stomachs content and in high spirits following such a heartening experience. Overall, Dolly Dim Sum has a varied menu featuring many of the most-endeared classics, a chic setting, quality produce, and is good value for money. We’ll be back!

Dolly Dim Sum, Avenue K
Lots of Natural Light

Reasons to visit: bright cheery setting with lots of natural light; Spicy Szechuan Dumplings; Roasted BBQ Buns; Egg Custard Bun; Pu Er Old Fashioned cocktail; Sesame Mochi Balls.

Dolly Dim Sum
Lot G9 Ground Floor, Avenue K
156 Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(opposite KLCC)
+6 03 2181 3830
*Open 11am to 10pm daily
** Pork-free
*** Dim sum dishes vary in price from RM6.50 to RM10.50

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  1. Yum! Yum!!! Now I am feeling like going for some this morning. This one is obviously halal, eh? Pork free.
    Hah! That’s Dolly, eh? Streisand sure did not look like that when she was Dolly. And wasn’t there a celebrated sheep by that name? LOL!!!

    • Monica Tindall

      Yes pork free. Just about everyone can find something they’ll be able to eat here. There are even a few veggie options. Oh dear, too many Dolly associations this morning. 😉

  2. What a lovely and delightful ambiance! Tea….yes! The egg custard bun looks interesting. I love fried rice! Their light fixtures are attractive and creative!

    • Monica Tindall

      The floor to ceilings windows really let in some nice natural light and the bright images on the wall and lighting makes it a very cheery space.

  3. It seems like Avenue K has a lot of exciting eateries

  4. Nooo!!! You’re not supposed to let the custard flow onto the plate! They’re supposed to flow into your mouth, all of them! What a waste!

    • Monica Tindall

      Ha, ha… some sacrifices had to be made for the camera! The rest, I assure you all went directly into the mouth.

  5. I love the look of the Royal Golden Fried Rice (with a bit of Japanese fusion) plated beautifully on blue and white porcelain! 🙂

  6. The interior is inviting and the colours are cool and nothing screams at me in the photos.
    Will try the fried rice.

  7. Halal dim sum is actually very, very rare in London!
    Don’t think I have been to any yet.
    Definetely going to try their chicken siew mai. 🙂
    Har gow looks nice too.

  8. A great place to enjoy dim sum and pu erh tea. I spotted my favourite yam croquettes and the golden royal fried rice looks good!

  9. Pingback: Interview with Meng Jan Lim, Dolly Dim Sum, Kuala Lumpur – The Yum List

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