Eat Singapore XLB at Chinatown’s Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao
What took you so long?
There’s a line of course…
Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao
- CLOSED on Mondays AND Tuesdays
- Plenty of Dumplings
- There Might Be a Line
- It’s Worth It
Xiao long bao! The soup dumpling is delicious! IT’s one of the many dishes that has piqued my interest in the bigger culinary world of international ethnic cuisine.
And wouldn’t you know it… one of the first things I ever ate in Singapore was a crash course in hawker food eats! A friend of mine brought us out and during the course of eating our first meal, he disappeared to get another dish. We waited and waited….
- 5 minutes passed
- 10 minutes passed
- 25 minutes passed
He finally comes back with a stack of steam trays. Apparently he was in line this whole time for these delicious steamed pouches of umami goodness. If I had only known!?!?!
Rules of the Eating
- Carefully place XLB dumpling in soup spoon
- Bite the top of XLB dumpling pouch
- Slurp out soup of XLB dumpling
- Add condiments if you want
- Wash and Repeat
What is It
Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao is a hawker that sells a lot of different dishes. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only had a fraction of their available menu. To be fair, it’s not my fault that I don’t have enough stomach space to try it all…
I’ll try them all one day!
I go there primarily for their soup dumplings, pan fried dumpling, dumpling dumplings (I made that one up) and their spicy wontons!
Good or bad, I just found out that this humble hawker that I’ve been going to for years is now decorated with a Michelin honorable mention. Now that means that the lines have gotten considerably longer. It’s worth it to get here early when they open to avoid that line.
Where is It
On the 2nd floor of the Chinatown Complex, not to be confused with touristy Chinatown hawker food found on the street level, a couple stores down from the Michelin starred soy sauce chicken rice hawker is this family run Xiao Long Bao stall, Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao.
What to Do There
If you’re early then you simply order and go eat.
If you’re late, then get in line and wait to order and then go eat.
As for what to order…. I always go for the holy trinity of dumplings:
- Spicy wontons
- Pan Fried Dumplings
- Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings)
Don’t forget to get a little dish of ginger, soy and vinegar to satisfy your demanding palate.
Be prepared though if you order multiple orders… Each order of XLB are served in 2 steam trays! So if you ask for 4 orders of XLB then you’re getting a stack of 8 steam trays. The height adds up rather quickly and becomes all the more precarious the farther away your table is.