After dinner at Suntec with the family, I walked past a newly opened shop that caught my attention for its colorful baos that are made with natural ingredients and no artificial coloring. Besides buns, the cafe also sells soups and sliced cakes. The shop looked like it just opened for a few days as there were many congratulatory bouquets around the shop. After sampling the Yam bun given by the friendly staff, we decided to pick more to try for breakfast.
They are soft, but not to the extent of classic white Cantonese baos. In fact, they reminded me of the steamed buns (chuka-man 中華饅) sold in the Japan's convenience stores; the texture is very refined yet compact.
At $1.90 each, they come in assorted flavors and eye-catching looks. The Fruit Cheese is a bamboo charcoal bun filled with green apples cubes, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. The description sounded good but there were too little cream cheese and the filling did not meld well together with the buns. It ended up like a crunchy dried fruit bun instead.
The Dark Brown Sugar bun is another ambitious creation by combining melon seeds to peanut butter. This idea is highly original but the crunchy melon seeds seemed redundant as the peanut butter were already quite gritty and sandy in the first place. The salty peanut butter filling was yummy even though I was expecting a stronger dark brown sugar taste.
The Banana Chocolate bun is somewhat closer to what we are familiar with as it has the predictable gooey chocolate filling. Interestingly, the skin is made with CARROT and not banana.
There's a few savoury buns too and the Sambal which I tried, was a good one. It was filled with onions, ikan billis and sambal chilli that had an addictive spicy kick. My heart gravitated towards this orange bun even though I would usually prefer those with sweet fillings as it boasted a very sharp Assam tang.
Currently, my favourite buns in the sweet category are the Yam Bun and Sweet Potato Bun as both are moist and not cloying. It is highly recommended that you steam the buns at home for 10min before consumption. Otherwise, they also sell steaming hot buns from the multi-decked steam bao warmer (those that you see in traditional bao shops).
Overall, the concept is interesting but I would prefer if the buns contained more filling. Since they are in the early stage of opening, I look forward to return again to try other unique mantou from this shop.
Just Dough @ Suntec City
#B1-169/170, 03 Temasek Boulevard