When it comes to masters in Xiao Long Bao (XLB), Shanghai’s Nanxiang Xiao Long Bao has been known for being one of the most authentic with undisputed popularity. Good news for fans of Nanxiang, it has just opened a new branch at Plaza Singapura, after Bugis Junction and City Square Mall.
The strange thing is while Nanxiang is tops in the field of XLB in Shanghai, it has not gathered a reputation like Ding Tai Feng or Crystal Jade in Singapore. Nevertheless, I still think it serves a decent basket of juicy meaty dumpling.
So how does the new branch at Plaza Singapura fare?
I must say I was disappointed if you really want to compare to its branch at Yu Yuan Shanghai. Firstly, the dishes came all in a wrong sequence, with the warmer main dishes arriving before the cold appetizers.
Even if you are not fussy on that, the Crabmeat and Pork Filling Steamed Bun ($9.00 for 6 pieces) committed all XLB faux pas – thick skin, little broth and indelicate meat.
The award-winning King Size Nanxiang Crab Roe Steamed Soup Bun ($6.80 each) with an up-sized straw was equally unsatisfactory. The broth did not have the ‘wow’ factor and with skin dry and stiff.
Lion’s head is a well-known dish in Shanghai, quite uncommon here and therefore I was excited to see it served. It supposedly consisted of giant moist meatballs stewed with cabbage and soaked in red sauce. The braised “Lion’s Head” ($5.80 for 4 pieces) were the size of ping-pong balls, and tasted like ordinary minced pork balls ie something my mum could have made at home.
If you need a recommendation, the Chill Tofu with Century Egg ($4.50) topped with sesame peanut sauce was actually quite heavenly. My favourite Golden Fried Rice ($8.80) with pork floss sprinkled all over the flavourful rice, turned a non-carb eater into a temporary convert.
I certainly think that this could be a result of the new opening and the staff getting into rhythm. The good news is diners at Plaza Sing will be rewarded with a cash voucher worth 50% of your bill for your next visit. I will be back.
Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant, #02-01 Plaza Singapura Tel:+65 6337 7446
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 am – 10:00 pm, Sat – Sun 11:00 am – 10:00 pm