Best Char Siew Bao in Singapore! That's the opinion of my 2-man household which is not statistically accurate by any measure but definitely proven, by our happy tummies and nodding heads. The char siew is tender and coated in a thick, sweet sauce. The bao part is fluffy and soft, such a delicious package that you can eat at least 2 at 1 go. They are priced reasonably, at 3 for $2.30 and they are not the super small 2-bite size types typically found in the bao chains; these are at least 5 bites for a girl, somewhat similar to a child's fist in size.
These are baos from "Hong Kong Mongkok Dim Sum", a stall found on the 2nd floor of Chinatown Complex Market. It's a stall where it's specialty is Char Siew Baos, much raved about from many food bloggers. They only sell 6 items, which are pictured clearly on the top, below the signboard. It's a clear case of quality over quantity. Thumbs up!
It's opened from 11am; hubby and I were there at 1030am hoping they will open early. No luck. We then observed others picking up these number cards from their stall though the metal gate is still half down. So while we were probably the earliest, 3 others picked up a card before we decided to follow suit.
Aaaah, we understood the reason when the stall finally opened, at 1110am. There's a number system and you order your food when your number blinks. The auntie will then serve your food immediately before the system calls the next number. Kind of fast food concept style. Very efficient and very fast!
The baos are best eaten on the spot as the 3 baos get a little squished in the styrofoam box and they get a little lopsided so the filling leaks out when steamed again at home. Having said that, do pack a few home for breakfast the next day, you wouldn't get sick of this and a little leakage and flat baos do not deflate the enjoyment index much at all.
Other than the drool-worthy char siew baos, we tried both the prawn chee chiong fun and char siew chee chiong fun. The prawns were generously found through the whole rolls and the rice rolls themselves were slightly chewy and very smooth, very nice! The char siew here is a tad on the dry side though.
If only they have a chilli with more kick, that would have completed our mini dim sum meal just nicely. By the way, I dabao 9 char siew baos and all were happily gobbled up by the family!
335 Smith Street
Chinatown Complex Market
From 11am onwards