Must tries – Char siew pau, siew mai, steamed chicken glutinous rice
China and Taiwan are famous for their xiao long bao, while Hong Kong is known for all types of mini dim sum. Isn’t it about time Singapore also promotes its own buns? For that, I would recommend the Teochew handmade buns.
Teochew handmade buns or pau are like regular-sized buns except much smaller in size (about a third of a small bun). You can literally pop a whole pau into your mouth like a snack.
Mini char siew pau
A good place to try these small buns are at Teochew Handmade Pau at Toa Payoh Lorong 1. The stall was started in 1993 by Mr Yeoh Eu and has been enjoying a loyal following since. Expect a long wait as customers normally order by the boxes. Most of the buns are sold out by noon.
The stewed pork, char siew, steamed meat, lotus paste, red bean paste and longevity buns are all sold at an affordable 60 cents per piece. The ‘kong bak’ stewed pork pau are their bestsellers, though I find the stewed pork slightly dry and too lean.
All mini paus are at 60 cent each
My favourite is the char siew pau, its skin was thin and light and the fillings juicy and lip-smacking. Other than the size, the other winning formula has to be its delicate skin, so you really taste the filling inside.
Other must try items are the steamed chicken glutinous rice or luo mai gai ($1.20) and siew mai ($0.60). The taste of the siew mai is quite unique, as they use fish paste instead of prawns for the stuffing.
With so many choices available, deciding what to buy can be hard. My advice: just pick one of everything. After all, they come in such small portions!
Siew mai is filled with fish paste instead of prawns
Teochew Handmade Pau
#02-02, Toa Payoh West Market and Food Court, 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Opening Hours: Tue to Sat: 06:00 - 14:00, Sun: 06:00 - 12:00