Fall In Love with Xiao Long Bao

Friday, March 17, 2006

When talk about Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Steamed Pork Dumpling, 小籠包), the name Din Tai Fung must come to people's mind. Din Tai Fung is originated from Taiwan and today, they have opened up branches in USA, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. Their Xiao Long Bao is superb, no one should doubt about it.

In Malaysia, nice "Xiao Long Bao" only available in Klang Valley in this couple of years. A nice Xiao Long Bao must full of soup in the dumpling, soup and stuffing must be tasty and and dumpling skin must be thin yet flexible enough. The dumpling skin should not break when pickup by chopstick. Traditionally each Xiao Long Bao make of 18 folds.

Most of the places in KL serve normal pork Xiao Long Bao only, it could due to Xiao Long Bao still a new to here. There are more varieties overseas where you can find Xiao Long Bao in pork with crabmeat/crab roe, Xiao Long Bao with pork and shrimp.

I’ve fall in love in first sight with this Xiao Long Bao in 3 or 4 years back at Crystal Jade Singapore (Din Tai Fung haven’t open in SG at that time), till now, I still can’t resist of this little one; I’ve visited Crystal Jade @ Lot 10 for x number of time since they open on May 2005 just because of this little one.

There are other places in Klang Valley serve decent Xiao Long Bao, I listed the names I know by my personal ranking:

  1. Shanghai Restaurant at JW Marriot, Bukit Bintang (I don’t go often due to pricy)
  2. Crystal Jade at Lot 10, Bukit Bintang
  3. Dragon-I at Cititel KL and One Utama PJ
  4. Chuai Heng at Jalan Imbi
  5. Chef Loong at SS2 (open from evening until midnight)

I would appreciate if you could suggest for any other places serve nice Xiao Long Bao. These are the places SHOULD NOT go for Xiao Long Bao, rank from the worst:
  1. Esquire Kitchen
  2. Shanghai Ding Tai Feng at SS2 (this is not the real Din Tai Fung)
  3. Jogoya Kuala Lumpur
  4. Su Zhou Noodle House at Citrus Park, Plaza OUG
  5. Xin Shanghai at Jalan Sultan Ismail
I've been to Crystal Jade yesterday and these are the Xiao Long Bao together with other foods we ordered:

Normal pork Xiao Long Bao(RM7 for 4)

This is a fusion one, pork Xiao Long Bao with French goose liver (RM9 for 3)

Pan fried pork Dumpling, quite nice. (RM6 for 3)

Radish Pastries (Edit on 18/3/2006)

"La Mian" with Boneless Beef Tender"

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*Disclaimer: Tasting is very individual preference, I did not receive any benefits from any restaurants mentioned above. Thus, it's fine if you do not agreed on what I've written up there.

Posted by whistler at 12:17 PM  


i like eating siow long bao with "chou" or vinegar :/

Alicia said...
3/17/2006 3:01 PM  

aiyo i simply lurrrve xiao long bao, but you are right, good ones are hard to come by in KL!

I shall try out the restaurants on your 'decent' xiao long bao list. Thanks!

all-aboard! said...
3/17/2006 3:15 PM  

alicia: so am I, normally I drink the soup first, then dip with ginger vinegar plus little bit of soy souce, taste wonderful.
h-l: tell me how do u feel after trying.. cox I didn't been to some of the restaurant for quite sometime, not sure if they still keep the quality.

whistler said...
3/17/2006 3:21 PM  

HAHAHAHA, i love the way esquire is ranked no 1 as worst siew loong pau, coz i have a friend who orders it without fail there. love your pics, making me drool, was telling HL that i have a sudden craving for rich choc cake.(from the bayou post)

fatboybakes said...
3/17/2006 3:25 PM  

Dragon-I xiao long bao was crappy, I will be doing a series on xiao long bao soon, as I love them too!

Best ones I ever had so far was in Penang.

ShaolinTiger said...
3/17/2006 3:27 PM  

shaolintiger: Do you still remember where is the place in Penang? I should try that when I go Penang next time.

whistler said...
3/17/2006 3:32 PM  

Hey! you're really hv great passion on food huh? for me, i love eating also but not so 'detail' as u... i like the way u share with us the proper steps enjoying foods, the recommendation for good restaurants n even the reminder for bad restaurants not to go, hehe! I hate to walk in 'black shop' becoming 'water fish', served with disgusting food then need to pay for an unreasonable price somemore!!! The pics u took also very nice and the food all look so so so yummies oh! Ganbanteh yoh :)

Rachel said...
3/18/2006 8:26 PM  

rachel: thanks for the complement ;)

whistler said...
3/18/2006 9:57 PM  

Wow, very comprehensive list abt xiao long baos. Recently everyone is so into them esp with all the Shanghainese restaurants opening.

I'm no expert but I do like the ones in Crystal Jade and Shanghai. Shaolin Tiger is right - Dragon-i's xiao long bao is crap.

boo_licious said...
3/19/2006 3:30 AM  

I visited the Dragon-i when they first open in Cititel, maybe I'll need to re-visit them once again since boo_licious and ShaolinTiger think otherwise.

whistler said...
3/20/2006 2:39 PM  

The Art of Eating Xiao Long Bao....I am based in Hong Kong and has been hooked on this since stepping foot here 1X years ago!. I would recommend the following method for tackling Xiao Long Bao..

1) Use your chopstick to lift a Xiao Long Bao carefully (without "breaking" and causing the soup to leak) on to a sauce plate.;

2) Bring the Xiao Long Bao (with the sauce plate as support- just in case it breaks..adjust the distant between the sauce dish and Xiao Long Bao as appropriate)... and bit the edge of it and suck out the soup;

3) After having sucked out all the soup, dip the Xiao Long Bao to a dish and vinegar/ginger. I would recommend that you pick up some ginger and eat the Xiao Long Bao together;

4) Eat the Xiao Long Bao while it is hot. Otherwise you will not be able to transfer the Xiao Long Bao to your sauce plate ..without breaking it!


LuXhan said...
4/20/2006 2:23 PM  

orangcina: Err.. I don't call it an "art".. as most of the people eat xiao long bao in this way, drink the soup then only eat the bao with ginger vinegar.

In fact, pouring the soup to sauce plate is too troublesome, most of the people use simpler way, ie lift the bao to a spoon, break the skin, let the soup leak out and drink the soup. Simple rite? you can do it next time :p

whistler said...
4/20/2006 2:43 PM  


Spoon is too small to hold the Xiao Long Bao..completely. Please do not get it wrong...I didn't say pour the soup to the plate. The main purpose of the small sauce plate is to hold the Xiao Long Bao "properly" ...ensuring that it does not "break". I am sure you would agree with me that the real fun is "sucking the soup" directly from the Xiao Long Bao.

How often did you managed to suck out all the soup without any "loss"?

Try out my method ....

LuXhan said...
4/20/2006 3:41 PM  

you need skill for that :D

whistler said...
4/20/2006 3:57 PM  

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