Thursday, December 07, 2006

Flat buns ain't bad buns


Chinatown is one area where you can find loads of gastronomic delights and one such place nestled in the heart of Chinatown is People's Park Food Centre. This newly renovated food centre is brightly lit and spanking clean and has quite a number of good stalls such as Tiong Bahru Pau, Maecy Bakery and of course Tian Jin Fong Kee.

To go into details, Fong Kee pioneered the sale of chinese dumplings in Singapore and was previously selling it's delectable dumplings at Old Market Rd. After the revamp though, it shifted to People's Park and to date has 4 outlets around sunny Singapore.

The outlet in People's Park Food Centre is split into two stores. One sells the dumplings as well as zha jiang mian and stir-fry nian gao while the other sells xiao long bao and a variety of noodles.

Well, I never really liked jiao zi before because of it's starchy skin but walking along Chinatown at night, Qin and I had a sudden craving for dumplings dipped in black vinegar. Mmmmmm...

Which brought me to a quite hilarious yet awkward experience. You see, I was standing there innocently trying to take a decent picture of the stallfront (which I couldn't cause a guy kept blocking my view!) when a particular aunty started asking me a number of questions with a suspicious look in her eye. And after that, she asked me what I was taking the photo for! So of course I said that I was taking the photos just to introduce the food to friends but she kept on asking! Oh man, and that's not all. After that, she walked up and look at my handphone to look at the picture I took!

Omg, it was hilarious!

But while it was kind of funny, it also made me feel a little weird. I mean, it made me feel like I'm a weirdo taking pics of food and the stalls etc. But I guess that's the tag we sometimes carry as food bloggers and not everyone understands what we are doing. Often, the tag we carry when we try to take a picture is either 1) we're food journalist or 2) we're somehow trying to steal their culinary secrets and I guess with my mobile phone I usually fall into category number 2.

Oh well, let's put the unpleasantness aside and talk about the food shall we? Firstly, the pan-fried dumplings were good but nothing to shout about. The filling was good and tasty but I felt that the skin were a little too hard and starchy (which reconfirmed my fear of jiao zi). I also didn't like the greasiness around my mouth after eating it so I think I would've prefered the boiled ones.



The xiao long bao, however, was a totally different matter. When Qin first saw them she said "ee, why so flat one?" and I said "yah lor, like pong chek like that". But when we bit into that xiao long bao, all we could do were stared wide-eyed at each other and go "Mmmmmphh.........." They were THAT good.



It's unlike Crystal Jade's xiao long bao (which are also good) which has a good stock contained in it with a "meatball", thus giving you a certain bite. When you bite into this xiao long bao all you get is an explosion of a large amount of darn good stock and scattered pieces of minced pork. For someone who loves all things soft, this was like heaven. Even Qin who likes a bite in her food said that it was super good.



It was akin to biting into a water bomb. However, this water bomb contained a loosely held piece of minced pork meat and fat which scattered upon biting and made the flavours disperse in your mouth oh-so-easily. There was also a high fat to meat ratio which made the "juice" very, very flavoursome and nice. Total savoury goodness.

Mmm, really good. This is by far the best xiao long bao I have eaten in my life and you ought to try it. Just don't try to take any pictures of the stall.



Address:
Tian Jin Fong Kee
1 Park Road
People's Park Food Centre
#01-100

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Know what? The dumplings remind me of my trip to Shanghai where I first tasted of xiao long bao. Looks like you have had a great meal. Anyway the wkend is here! Happy food hunting..keep up the postings. Enjoy reading them while I take breaks from mugging? :P

the yUmMie dUmMieS said...

Hello lav! Hai... weekend is here but I'm doing duty in camp! haha, glad tt you like my posts!

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