Singapore Bao doesn’t sell buns but a good lo mai gai and an excellent siew mai. They’re rather elusive and available only between 7am – 9am at Bendemeer
Market & Food Centre. I only managed to get a taste of these on my third visit.
The first time I came to stalk Bendemeer Food Centre, I missed Singapore Bao because it was already closed (sold out).
Singapore Bao was opened on my second visit but I hiao hiao (act cool) went to survey the whole hawker centre instead of joining the queue right away. When I came back after making one round around the centre, Singapore Bao had already closed (sold out) 😭
Today, I came here at 8am and
was third time lucky didn’t try to be too smart again (kuai kuai obediently queued up like a good boy).
Singapore Bao has no bao (bun) but only lo mai gai and siew mai. (They used to sell various dim sum but pared down to only these two due to lack of manpower.)
I ordered one lo mai gai ($2) and originally only wanted one siew mai to taste (saving stomach space to try other stalls). But, seeing everyone ordering three, I also went for the threesome ($2) to see what it was all about.
The lo mai gai is good – the glutinous rice is tender-firm, slightly sticky, chewy-nutty to the bite. Not overly greasy, the sweet rice is balanced with savouriness from infused sauces. The humble Cantonese staple is topped with stewed mushroom and tiny pieces of tender, savoury-sweet chicken.
I helped myself to the chili sauce, flooding the styrofoam plate out of habit (that’s how I eat lo mai gai since childhood). The chili sauce was nice – salty, spicy, sweet with an underlying tangy taste.
To me, they are like large, oversize “open top” wantons. It is a pork ball of fat and lean meat the size of a table tennis ball wrapped in wanton skin, and cooked by steaming.
The pork ball (that is what it is) was soft-tender, very juicy and rich with well balanced sweet savoury flavours. It was so enjoyable, I was glad I ordered three instead of one.
When you are at Bendemeer Market & Food Centre, and lucky enough to catch Singapore Bao open, quickly line up for some siew mai – do not hesitate.
Enjoy your siew mai with whatever else you are eating.
You are welcome.