Sunday, June 24, 2007

Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant

Happened to be at Bugis Junction with my gf and chanced upon this Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant. Actually it was the only restaurant that didn't have a queue at 730pm on a weekday evening. They are supposedly a very well known outfit in Shanghai, so expectations were rather high.


The interior was rather cramp, evidently with the restaurant trying to squeeze as many tables as possible in the relatively small room, resulting in a less than comfortable boxy looking dining area. I could easily overhear the adjourning table's conversation, not that I wanted to though. I guess that gives you an idea how close the tables were.

Pork Rib Noodle

Have you ever tried pork rib noodles that were sweet? I for one, have not. Thats why Nanxiang's rendition came as quite a surprise (or was it shock?). The broth was sweet, not the MSG kind of sweet but literally sugar sweet. The pork ribs were sweet as well, which was rather weird, considering that I had expected the entire dish to be salty. The noodles were rather springy though and appeared to be the only thing that was "normal". Sorry but sweet broth and pork ribs just don't cut it for me.

Yang Zhou Fried Rice

For $8.50, I had expected better. The Yang Zhou Fried Rice was a joke and I'm not kidding. Served in a rounded symmetrical form, the rice looked like it had been pre-prepared and scooped from a container using a bowl (I'm just guessing). The de facto Char Siew was replaced by luncheon meat which is a poor substitute in my humble opinion. The rice lacked taste and came across as rather bland. Probably the only thing that I liked about this dish was the homogeneity of colours.

Fried Prawns with Salted Egg

This dish came piping hot, with the gravy still bubbling and frothing. The relatively fresh prawns were of average size and overall tasted decent with the gravy buttery and a little coarse, probably due to the bits of egg yolk. However, this dish is best eaten hot as the gravy tends to harden as it cools and things get really gross from there.

Baked Mini Puff with Pork, Mushroom & Bamboo filling

The baked mini puffs looked like your normal curry puff, but break it open to find pork, mushroom and bamboo. Supposedly of course. Truth is, I only found pathetic bits of mushroom in it with what seemed to be scrap morsels of minced meat. It was like eating the pastry more than anything else. Not that it tasted good by the way.

Steamed Soup Bun with Crab Roe and Pork Filling

Purportedly Nanxiang's signature dish - the Xiao Long Bao (XLB). I honestly wasn't the least bit impressed. The skin was way too thick and I had to literally tear it apart before I could take a snapshot of the filling. And there is something about the QC of their XLB. Some had loads of fluids contained within, some had minimal. Talk about consistency.

Pan Fried Pumpkin Cake

I have never tried Pan Fried Pumpkin Cake before and I don't think I ever want to try it again, at least not at Nanxiang. The cake was soaking in oil but tasted decent though, a little sweet and crispy on the outside.


$59 for such mediocre quality food is plain absurd. The only redeeming factor was the reasonably good service but I don't think thats enough to make me go back.

Likes: Reasonably good service
Dislikes: Mediocre food

Final Verdict:

Value for money:6/10


Address: #02-53 Bugis Junction

Contact: 6835 7577


R said...

hello fp! is this restaurant a chinese-national based establishment? i honestly don't mean to be offensive though. perhaps i'm just biased but i somehow believe it makes a difference to the food and its quality. hoho... :p

fatpig said...

Haha. Not too sure if its chinese national based cause the person who took my order seemed local. The chefs do seem to be from china though.

Anonymous said...

i find nanxiang's food not as bad as you described? i actually thought some of their dishes were pretty good.i have been there a few times and i always ordered their golden fried rice (huang jin chao fan), its really good and i bet you don't find this dish anywhere else in singapore. and one of another must-eat dish would be the white chicken in rice wine.(cant exactly remember the name) their amount of chicken is double of what you can get in crystal jade when only costing 6 bucks. these two will definitely be the must-haves when i drop by the next time :) maybe you should give it another chance and you will find that they actually do serve pretty decent food :)
but, well...each to his own.

fatpig said...

I think the initial impression is enough to put me off from returning, especially when I tried quite a few of their recommended dishes. Honestly, even my gf, who isn't a picky eater, was quite turned off by what we ordered. Thanks for comment though! =)

R said...

imo, better off with din tai fung. (: the food is not good-good but reliable-good. i have never been disappointed by their fried rice, may get slightly dry occasionally but never disappointing. they may have several chains but QC is apparently very strict and near-immaculate. i say near- because i once had a xiao long bao with a "construction defect" and i couldn't suck out the meat juice through the top like i usually do with all of din tai fung's xiao long baos. but i'm just nit-picking. elsewhere, sucking the meat juice through the top doesn't work because they don't make the xiao long bao intricate enough to maintain a miniscule opening around the little pleats. lol. the rocket science of xiao long baos.

R said...

anyways, Anonymous mentioned crystal jade and boy, does it make my blood boil. crystal jade is terribly inconsistent. NEVER visit heartland outlets! they tend to cost-cut alot and the QC is just non-existent. a plate of fried rice would never lie to you. lol! the ones in city are much more reliable. ngee ann city or paragon is a good place to have crystal jade for non-picky people. (:

fatpig said...

Wow what an analysis on XLBs. lol. For me I don't really nit pick that much. I just eat unless its really terrible. Frankly, I've never tried crystal jade in the heartlands except for the one at TPY which was pretty ok the last time I ate there. But then again, I'm not exactly a fan of CJ.

Anonymous said...

Nanxiang xiao long bao!! i had the authentic when i went to Shanghai couple weeks ago.

Cool, didn't know they have a branch in Singapore too! But from yr review doesn't seems too good. haha

R said...

(pardon irrelevance) i suppose i'm not a CJ fan either but it's one of those better mediocre zhi-char places to go to when having occasional family dinners, for fear of truly bad zhi-char places. XD maybe the other heartland ones aren't THAT bad, but the tampines mall outlet is a huge nono. haha... just a random warning to everyone.