Efficiency is the name of the game at Zilver Restaurant. This long-standing first floor establishment is quick to seat you, quick to serve you and you can pay at any time by heading up to the counter – that must be why there’s more than a handful of business lunches happening around us. Service is especially quick if you’re near the kitchen – we experience full trolley gridlock at one point with two steamer trolleys, a fried cart and a Chinese broccoli station, which is serves of pre-cooked green bales under plastic lids, not the hot pots that they plunge the veg into as you wait.
Opt for the sweet barbecue pork buns over the fried pork buns, that are so full of piping hot juice they’re a public safety issue, and sweet tacky prawn dumplings get the prize over the snowpea editions whose skins lack the structural integrity to ferry the filling from steamer to mouth. Keep you eyes out for specials, like steamed king prawn dumplings in what look like silky wonton wrappers; hail down the duck pancakes that do not skimp on the crisp, bronze skin; and save room for extra fat mango pancakes.
Unless you specify oolong you may end up with a floral, almost lemony Chrysanthemum tea (an acceptable substitute). It’s packed even on a weekday, so you’ll want to get in early on weekends when the dumplings are extra fresh.