The Goonfather discovered this humble eatery in Tanjong Pagar a few weeks ago when he was waiting for me to finish an audition nearby.
A search on Google revealed that this place is already well-known and reviews confirm my opinion that Qun Zhong Eating House serves the best xiao long bao in Singapore. Yes, better than Din Tai Fung.
Of course, I’m not saying that conclusively. It’s quite possible that there are better. But until I find the better ones, this is it.
The menu calls it Little Juicy Steamed Meat Dumplings. And is it ever juicy.
The key characteristics of a good xiao long bao are thin skin and juicy innards.
This XLB does not have an ideally thin skin, but it’s thin enough to not distract from the main selling point: the juicy factor.
The moment you pop it in your mouth and break the skin, your tongue is bathed in sweet meat juice, delighting your taste buds with a flavour that is almost sensuous.
There is a lot more “soup” in this XLB than any other I’ve tried. And it’s good.
This XLB comes with a price tag of $1 a piece, with a set order of seven pieces.
Be careful when you lift the XLB off the tray. Sometimes it sticks to the cloth it’s sitting on and if you yank it too hard, the skin will break and all the precious juice will flow out into nothingness. Quite painful when that happens.
I read that the owner and staff are quite surly, so don’t expect good service. It was quite okay when we visited, apart from a mild incident where the Goonfather wanted to order more food but the waitress ignored him so he got fed up and decided not to order any more.
The wait was rather long, too, even though the eatery is rather small. If I don’t remember wrongly, we waited about 30 minutes for our two sets of XLB.
But I am of the opinion that Singaporeans are veritable food whores. As long as the food is out of the world, service doesn’t matter.
I’d go back again, and soon.
Qun Zhong Eating House
21 Neil Road, Singapore 088814
Tel: 6221 3060 (Reservations not allowed)
Opening hours: 11:30 am to 3 pm / 5:30 pm to 9 pm
Close on every Wednesday