Shanghainese

Shanghainese

Featuring Hua Yi Kitchen, Shanghai Fried Xiao Long Bao 小上海生煎小笼包, Shanghai Tan Pan-Fried Bun 上海滩生煎包 (Thomson), Shanghai Tan Pan-fried Buns 上海滩生煎包 (Clementi), Rasapura Marina Bay Sands Foodcourt, BGAIN 442 Xin Peng La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Clementi)
Wilson Foo
Wilson Foo

Must say the pan fried buns were very good. This is the modern un-leavened type with the knot placed at bottom and fried. The dough is therefore just a thin layer and not fluffy like skin of meat buns. Where the knot is fried, it’s very crispy. There’s quite a bit of porcine flavoured gravy in each of these (see video) even though they don’t add lard into the filling. Nonetheless, the pork fillings were so full of flavour because they were fresh and not sweet like some of those you get in Singapore. Just savoury sweet. You need to dip into vinegar/ginger and yummy!

Having stayed more than 5 years in Shanghai, I think I do know a think or two about Pan Fried Buns or Sheng Jian Bao. And in my opinion, this stall has one of the best Pan Fried Buns in Singapore.

The buns are made traditional way of semi-leavened dough and the filling is minced pork. From the size of the bun and the relative lack of “broth” oozing out of the buns, my guess is no broth jelly was added into the pork filling.

What it lacked in size and broth, it more than made up with its fresh tasting fillings and the texture of the buns. Sweet and fluffy with only the pan fried bottom side crispy, they were a joy to bite into.

Besides pan fried buns, they have the whole gamut of noodles, Xiao Long Bao and chilli oil dumplings. Quite sure I’ll be back to try the rest of the items in the menu.

Please note that although they open from 9am, Pan Fried Buns will be available only from 10.30am.

Initially when I saw all the bad reviews about this place in Google and all the good reviews in Xiao Hong Shu, I thought this must be a case of non Chinese nationals disliking authentic Shanghainese flavours. So I decided to give it a try. I was wrong.

First there was the long wait, which is expected for a new restaurant offering Shanghainese food. We were a group of 3 and when it was our turn, we were seated at a table meant for two only. Just make do, we were told. If and when a table frees up, the waiter promised to shift us. Never did, even after more than one table frees up.

Food wise, we ordered the Sheng Jian Bao, Beef Guo Tie, Scallion oil Noodles, Chilli Oil Dumplings, Crab meat dumpling soup and Drunken Chicken. The dumplings, Sheng Jian Bao all tasted sweet without the umami of meat juice coming from steamed fresh meat. Someone in the kitchen took the idea of adding a little sugar, to elevate the taste of the dumpling filling, too far. The scallion oil noodles had too little scallion taste as the noodles was a disproportionately large serving. Only the beef potstickers and drunken chicken impressed, the former because it is a rarity and the latter because it tasted genuinely good. And I should know because I lived in Shanghai for almost 20 years.

Service was polite but inadequate. We were left sitting there to twiddle our thumbs for 10 mins without menu nor means to order using their QR code.

Not coming back anytime soon.

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This hidden gem, a small restaurant with very few tables located in International Building, serves Shanghainese dishes.

We ordered their Egg Fried Rice with Prawns, Pot Stickers, Drunken Chicken and Red Bean Paste Pancake.

And in my humble opinion, every dish tastes better than what you can get from big restaurants like DTF. Almost as good as what I can get in Shanghai where I lived for almost 10 years.

Definitely coming back soon to try their noodles and other dishes. Really cheap and good. Try not to come during weekdays cause the place is really very small.

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Chinese La Mian and Xiao Long Bao stall in Clementi. Ordered the Chicken Chop La Mian and Xiao Long Bao, for $4 each. The chicken chop was sliced into strips, was still crispy on the outside. The la Mian which was made on the spot, tasted very Q. The huge surprise was their Xiao Long Bao. The gravy that oozed out has a strong taste of Shao Xing wine. Goes very well with the fresh tasting pork and vinegar.

I’ll be back to try their Chives Pockets and Chilli Sauce Dumplings.

I personally think the original Ding Tele at Kovan has one of the best Pork Dumplings 生煎包in Singapore. So when I found this outlet in Marina Bay Sands’ Rasapura Foodcourt, I had to try them out. The menu is not exactly the same so my suspicions were raised.

True enough, the dumplings were not as good as those from Kovan Road. The Fried Rice was so dry, Uncle Roger would have failed it immediately.

Not coming back to this outlet. If I need my 生煎包fix, I’ll go to Kovan.

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