If Gung Fu was fine dining the Xiao Long Bao is Wing Chun
We were here in Singapore just after Hari Raya and thought to make a round trip through the best Sze Quan dining across the island and with one goal in mind… sample as many soup dumplings as possible.
In all varieties and all shapes and all sizes they came. The classics did work best but I tell you what: some stood out just for sheer creativity alone. From coloured dumplings to vegetarian fillings, all had a unique quality but manage to share a common bond. Two words… simply delicious!
Once spent we would shuffle through the crowds on the MRT arriving at one location to the next in hopes of finding the next big thing through the eyes of the dumpling king. We were lost in it all but one thing remained; proper etiquette and manners exercised to the utmost degree became necessity. Sure we shoveled them into our mouths one by one, but when speaking in the proper manner of things done well and all things worth doing we goggled the proper manner by which to consume said delicacy and an increased desire to, “get it right,” became apparent — vinegar at the bottom of your soup spoon(but not too much), a single dumpling nestled carefully atop the sauce, and to finish just a little chopped ginger as the cherry on the top. Next you bite gently into the skin and allow for the soup to gently ooze out of the dumpling in a timely fashion, as you scoop the dumpling into your gaping orifice.
Lush, delicate, hearty and fine, the xiao long bao is truly all that rules the land!
I was not exactly going to draw you a road map of the road less travelled but in this case, being as we do not have time for a full scale illustration, here is a list of places you may want to visit in the case you are thinking of trying to same thing: Paradise Dynasty, Ding Tai Fung, Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao, Four Seasons, Dragon-I, Crystal Jade Kitchen, Imperial Treasure, Jing Hua Xiao Chi, Shanghai Ren Jia, Shin Yeh and Ye Chun Xiao Jiang Nan.
Seriously map the route out for yourself, it is part of the experience, is a whole lot of fun and incredibly fulfilling. To xiao long bao and beyond. Really… in the end, what a day!?