Ju Hao – That Xiao Long Bao From Lavender Food Square? It Has Returned At Novena Square 2
Remember Ju Hao Xiao Long Bao 聚豪拉面小笼包 from Lavender Food Square? After the New Century Food Paradise gave way to a new office space, many of its stalls have moved to further away locations, while some stayed around but lost their previous former glories. *cough cough*
Ju Hao was one of the popular stalls that disappeared without a trace.
I remember first writing about the stall back then when it opened in 2010, and was delighted that a food stall could serve restaurant quality Northern Chinese cuisine. (Time really flies)
Now it has resurfaced again, scaled up as a full-fledged restaurant at Novena Square 2.
That was not the most surprising. The stall used to be known for their Shanghainese Xiao Long Bao and The Beijing Zha Jiang La Mian, has worked in collaboration with Ministry of Food MOF – better known for their Japanese chain of restaurants.
I was told to try their 4 Heavenly Kings – the Original Xiao Long Bao ($5.80 for 5 pieces, $8 for 8 pieces), Pan Fried Guo Tie ($6.00 for 6 pieces, $9.40 for 10 pieces) Steamed Cabbage Dumpling ($6.00 for 6 pieces, $9.50 for 10 pieces) and Egg Fried Rice ($6.80).
The comparison to some of its competitors, like well… DTF, is inevitable.
When the basket Xiao Long Bao was served, I was surprised at the size though. I remembered those at Lavender were plump and rustic looking, but these were a lot daintier, looking similar to DTF’s.
I liked the freshness of the pork and the savoury taste of the soup broth within. However, the skin was a tad thick away from perfection. Size do matters, I preferred the larger ones.
The Egg Fried Rice ($6.80) came in versions topped with Prawn ($11.80), Chicken Cutlet ($11.80) and Pork Cutlet ($11.80).
The chicken cutlet had a respectable crispy outer layer, with meat adequately marinated and tender enough. The rice lacked that touch of aroma and wok-hei though.
Perhaps the best thing I had that meal, other than the Stir-Fried Nai Bai ($8.00) which was surprisingly appetizing, was the Red Bean Pancake ($6.80).
It arrived hot as it should be, with not-too-sweet soft red bean paste flanked by almost paper-thin crepe-like skin. You know, almost like the ones I tried in Shanghai. Quite awesome.
As Ju Hao is still in its opening days, the kitchen still may need some time to fine-tune, and staff to increase in supply to handle a busier crowd.
There is no stopping for Ju Hao. I hear that it will be further expanding to Paya Lebar Square, Serangoon NEX, AMK Hub and Suntec City. Wah.
Ju Hao Xiao Long Bao 聚豪拉面小笼包
Novena Square 2 #01-47, 10 Sinaran Drive Singapore 307506 (Novena MRT)
Tel: +65 6352 0082
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
Other Related Entries
Kok Kee Wanton Mee (Lavender Food Hub)
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Holland Village)
Lukyu Teahouse & Restaurant (Chinatown Point)
Crystal Jade Prestige (MBFC)
Bao Today (Hotel Rendezvous)
* Disclosure: Daniel’s Food Diary was given a treat for this meal.