9Goubuli – Tianjin Bun Restaurant at MBS
The irony was our least favourite dish happened to be the signature Goubuli buns themselves.
The Tianjin delicacy Goubuli buns are said to be founded in 1858, and the 9 added to this restaurant at Marina Bay Sands represented a sign of auspiciousness. Other than these buns, a selection of Northern and Southern Chinese cuisines was also available.
Goubuli literally means “dogs don’t pay attention”. The story goes that these buns were created by a boy called Gouzi, using half leaven dough with meat and soupy fillings. When Gouzi became too popular and busy, he started ignoring customers, and thus the name ‘gou bu li’ whereby ‘bu li’ would mean ‘ignore’.
These ‘dog-ignoring’ buns were available in 4 varieties, with meat filling ($2.30), vegetable ($1.90), meat and vegetable ($2.60), and wagyu with vegetable ($3.50) for one.
The rather large buns had a soft yet chewy texture, but we couldn’t see how they had “richly flavoured meat and delicious soupy filling” as the website claimed. Fillings were little in proportion to the outer dough, and hardly soupy, especially if we would take a good xiao lao bao as a point of reference.
Singapore has quite a number of good dim sum and xiao long bao makers. Let’s just say this restaurant did not happen to be one of them. The Steamed Xiao Long Bao dish ($8.50 for 6 pieces, $4.50 for 3 pieces) was average at best, and needed thinner skin and more soup for their dumplings.
To be fair to the restaurant, we did not try a spectrum of dishes and only a few which were recommended by the waiter.
As a suggestion, the menu should indicate some of the signature dishes with an icon as better reference for the customer.
The Beef Horfun ($18) was decent, though the Vegetable with 3 Kinds of Eggs ($18.00) was overly watery, and we remembered enjoying a better rendition at the usual zhi char stall as days before.
Our favourite dish was the Teapot Soup Of The Day ($12) where chicken soup cooked with herbs was poured out to a teacup, meant to be appreciated sip by sip.
Service was excellent. Food wasn’t that bad, just that we would probably get better fare at some of the known Chinese restaurants in Singapore. We are indeed, quite fortunate.
2 Bayfront Avenue, #B2-02, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972
Tel: +65 66887799
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm Daily
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