This stall sees a good queue during lunch and dinner time. I think the reason for this is that they serve reasonably good food at reasonable prices.
Their bestselling item is probably their xiao long bao 小笼包 (I see people ordering this by the stack).
For hawker standards (please don’t compare to restaurants like Din Tai Fung, different league here), this is pretty good. The skin, while not super thin, is not too thick nor too chewy. Good skin-to-filling ratio here. The pork filling is also satisfyingly juicy and flavorful. However, taste-wise it tips towards the sweet side. I would prefer it less sweet and a little more savoury for a better balance.
Flavor-wise, I think the meat filling for the guo tie 锅贴 a.k.a. potstickers has a better savory-sweet balance. The minced pork is mixed with a generous amount of chives, making the filling explosively juicy.
And I really appreciate that they cook their guo tie the proper way, i.e. brown the bottom of the dumpling, then add water and cover to steam-cook the top of the dumpling. This way, each dumpling has a crisp bottom and soft top — a yummy combination of contrasting textures. Really hate it when I come across some versions that are deep-fried.
In addition, do you see a crispy paper-thin layer on the guo tie above? They add a starch mixture when frying so that it forms a crispy film at the bottom of the dumplings. Can you say “Mmmm…”?
At $5.50 for 10 generously-sized dumplings, the guo tie is mighty good value. But they were a tad greasy, so I might opt for the boiled dumplings if I’m feeling healthy.
While I wouldn’t make a special trip all the way to Alexandra Village for this stall (operated by a Mainland Chinese couple), I certainly wouldn’t mind coming back if I’m nearby and craving for some northern Chinese dumplings.
Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao 上海拉面小笼包
Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-56 Alexandra Village Food Centre
Open: 11.30am to 8.30pm, closed on Mondays.