Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant




[Media Review] Many must have heard of Nanxiang Steamed Bun Xiao Long Bao, or at least can recognize this King-Sized Crab Roe Soup Bun (below), its iconic signature dish that was even featured in Anthony Bourdain's show.



As with my previous try, the crab soup broth was robust with a subtle taste of crab roe. But this time, I plucked off the bun to taste it out of curiosity even though one should not eat it because the buns are made thicker just to hold the soup. Indeed, the bun tasted bland and extremely tough, but certainly edible.




 红烧狮子头 Braised lion head: I like the version of lion head as it contains water chestnuts and carrots that inserted a delightful crunch to an otherwise dull lump of meat. Also, the gravy is likely to be toned down in terms of richness and savouriness for local palates.



Their Signature 蟹黄小笼包Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao ($13.80 for 6) might not offer the thinnest skin but the pork and crab filling was juicy and soft to each bite. The wooden plate named with that particular flavor of XLB is useful to help differentiate between the varieties of XLB there.
 


Popular Shanghainese Cuisine includes the Nanxiang Drunken Chicken 南翔醉鸡$8.50 and the Sour and spicy soup 上海酸辣汤($8.50). Classified as a Shanghai instead of Sichuan cuisine here, this fairly appetizing thickened broth is tangy but not fiery enough.

 
I wondered if it is because of the popular Shanghai Hairy crab that explains why Nanxiang  uses crab roe in many dishes such as The Stir fried Crab Roe Green Bean Noodle 蟹黄粉条($12.80) and the Crab Roe Mee Sua 蟹黄面线 picture below($12.80). Both types of carbohydrates, drowned in a neutral-tasting stock, are best savoured with splashes of black vinegar. The springy fen tiao that went down the throat smoothly reminded me of the Japanese konnyaku noodles.


The revisit here has changed my impression of Shanghai fare that are typically characterized by the use of heavy and highly-flavored sauce. Thankfully, they are also not too greasy, saving one from an churning stomach after the meal.

This is the 3rd Station of Bugis Food Trail 2013. Click here for first and the second station or visit the main FOOD map with all 10 listings.
Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant
#02-53 Bugis Junction
Tel: 6835 7577




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