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Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包) @ Chinatown Complex Food Centre (Closed)

Chinatown Complex Food Centre is a hawker centre known for its wide selection of cheap and good food, which attracts locals and tourists alike. A very popular stall there is Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao.

Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包) @ Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Chinatown Complex Food Centre

Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, which is the first hawker stall in the world to be awarded a Michelin star in 2016, is perhaps the most well known stall in Chinatown Complex Food Centre. However, the large food centre with its own official Facebook page has many other popular food stalls – such as Ann Chin Popiah, Jia Ji Mei Shi 超鷄美味, Lian He Ben Ji Claypot and Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu, just to name a few.

Chinatown Complex Food Centre

One of the stalls in Chinatown Complex Food Centre which always have a long queue of customers waiting patiently in line is Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包).

Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包)

Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao @ Chinatown Complex Food Centre

The stall is opened by Chef Jiang who had many years of experience as a dim sum chef at well-established restaurant chains in Singapore, including at Crystal Jade. Just opened in mid 2022, Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao quickly built up a big fan base. Long queues can be seen at the stall almost at any time of the day.

Menu of Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包)

It sells Fried Xiao Long Bao (or Shen Jian Bao) – with pork filling or prawn filling. The stall also offers steamed xiao long bao (XLB), as well as noodles and dumpling soup.

We visited Chinatown Complex Food Centre in the late morning on a weekday recently. The queue at Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao was not too long. We joined the queue which moved quite quickly. When we reached the front of the queue after about 10 minutes, our orders were taken and a buzzer was given to us. We were told that we should expect to wait for about 10 minutes for our food to be prepared.

We ordered the original Fried Xiao Long Bao with pork filling (3 for $4) and the prawn filling version (3 for $5), as well as the steamed XLB ($6 for a basket of 6 dumplings).

Fried Xiao Long Bao (生煎包)

Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包)

The freshly hand-made Fried Xiao Long Baos were served piping hot. They did not look as fancy as the fried buns we had seen in grand Chinese restaurants. However, they tasted as good as, if not better than, those we had tried in fine dining Chinese restaurants.

The buns were soft and fluffy with the bottoms crusty. The broth inside the buns was tasty. The pork filling was flavourful, without any hint of porkiness, and had a nice texture. The prawn filling had a more complex flavour with natural seafood sweetness. The sesame seeds topping added a different layer of flavour which complemented the taste of the bun and also gave a subtle crunch to the texture.

We would happily stand in line for 10 minutes and wait a further 15 minutes again so as to enjoy the fried buns at Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao. They were delicious and great value at the current prices.

Shang Hai Sheng Jian Bao (上海生煎小笼包)

Xiao Long Bao (小笼包)

Xiao Long Bao (小笼包)

The Xiao Long Baos looked very much like those we had seen at places like Crystal Jade or Din Tai Fung. The skin was smooth and soft. Each of the dumplings contained a good volume of broth which was tasty. The meat filling met all our expectations. Again, we thought the XLB were enjoyable and the prices were really reasonable.

Xiao Long Baos at Chinatown Complex

Cheap & Good Food

With good quality Fried Xiao Long Baos which are delicious and affordably priced, Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包) @ Chinatown Complex Food Centre is a dream destination for ordinary patrons looking for cheap and good food in the current inflationary environment. It gets even better – you can use your CDC Vouchers there.

Shang Hai Fried Xiao Long Bao (上海生煎小笼包)
Chinatown Complex Food Centre
Blk 335 Smith Street #02-104
Singapore 050336

Opening Hours: 10.30 am – 3.30 pm, 5.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Closed on Wed

Nearby MRT Station: Chinatown, Outram


The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog

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