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Reviews for D'bun (Joo Chiat Rd) (利满)

4.1

Eatability rating

5 reviews

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AsianChinese
Address: 358 Joo Chiat Road, 427603
20 Mar 2011
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Fabulous char siew buns!

I went to D'bun last week for the first time and had a difficult time deciding what to buy as they did not have a menu clearly listing what they had for sale in the store.

I had actually gone there to purchase roast pork n charsiew bun but it was no longer in production. I am not sure WHY though. A trusted blog I read said that it was super yummy!

I seldom buy baos because most have lots of the 'bread' part and rather articificial fillings! However, I bought Yuan Yang bao, mini char siew bun and some char siew dumplings. The yuan yang bao was pretty decent with its salted yolk and lotus paste filling. I really really loved the char siew bun though. It's roasted in house and was brimming with flavour.

Price wise, I found it slightly pricey that a small bun just over an inch wide was 70cents and the bigger baos like chicken/yuan yang/da bao were $1.50 (their so-called big buns are a bit smaller than the ones sold elsewhere too). Perhaps they can charge a premium because they have good quality fillings and great taste compared to other places?

Their kueh lapis was also rather unique in that it had only 4-5 THICK layers rather than the 35-30 thin ones in other bakeries elsewhere. The aunties keep telling me that their kueh lapis was very good but I did not feel like paying over $30 for such thick layers or $4 for a piece just over an inch wide, barely over an inch tall and 4 inches long.. After all, isn't the whole point of kueh lapis to have many many labour-intensive layers?!? Why else am I paying so much for it?

I would definitely go back again next time!
Must Tries
Char siew Bao
Average Spend
$25 for 1 pax
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Tasty buns you must try!

I first met Mimi, the boss of D'bun, at a church event. When she found out about my food blog, she got really excited and started sharing with me her new ideas. A couple of days later I was at her shop in Joo Chiat to try out some of her new creations.


While I was there, I got a chance to sink my teeth into the paus (buns) and they were yummy! The curry pau, which was selling quite well a few years ago but ceased production during the crisis with Malaysian pork, was back on the menu again. The curry was very mild, so even the kids could eat it. I think this could be even better if they could give the curry a bit more of an umami kick. Perhaps a nice creamy beef rendang might do the trick (4/5).


The chui pi toufu (crispy skin tofu) was basically egg tofu with lots of other ingredients wrapped in bean curd skin. It was quite light but very tasty and I couldn't stop eating it. It went really well with sweet chilli sauce (4.25/5). I am glad that they sell the yuan yang pau here as well (buns with double filling). Not readily available nowadays, the yuan yang pau is made from red bean paste, lotus paste and salted egg yolk. Here, they used a special layered skin for this pau which I felt was a tad too thick. Otherwise, the red bean and lotus paste were good (3.75/5). I haven't had a great char siew pau in a long time and their char siew pau really hit the spot for me. I think the char siew filling is one of the best ones around (4.5/5).

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Yummy buns!

Setting - easy to get to if you can catch the no. 16 bus. Or a taxi. They stop right in front of the shop on Joo Chiat Rd.

Value - it's very expensive because the Lotus buns and the Red Bean Paste buns were VERY small. You could swallow each one it in one gulp! The Yuan Yang buns with the egg in it is double the size of the Lotus and Bean Paste buns - and it costs more of course.

Service - quite polite, fast and friendly. No complaints here. You ask them something, they give you an honest, quick answer without fuss or drama or attitude.

Food - EXCELLENT! The steamed bun pastry is soooooo good! No weird bleached flour taste or ammonia or whatever artificial crap. Best steamed bun pastry - ever! That's the starting point. Soft, pure, right texture, tasty and no awful aftertaste. The filling is great! Not overly sweet at all. Very smooth and very pure flavour. No artificial additives or crap either. Lotus tastes like lotus and red bean tastes like red bean. No gritty bits. I like a rougher texture, but these ones are so silky, it's fantastic!

Highly recommended, except for the price.
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Char Siew Bao

D’bun specialises in hand-made traditonal bao . This bao shop is quite popular in Joo Chiat road but have since opened up a few outlets in the town area. A must try is their popular mini char siew bao which cost $0.70/ea.

Mini Char siew Bao($0.70)

This is the mini char siew bao I am referring to… it is really mini and you could just pop it into your mouth. $0.70 may seem a little ex but there are many people who are willing to pay for it and buy them at dozens. The meat is well-marinated and the pork wasn’t too fatty.

Tapioca with Durian

When I enter the shop, I could smell the strong and pungent smell of durian. The smell actually came from this Tapioca kueh with durian(a new product). Even though i was not a fan of durian, I was still tempted to buy it for my parents to try. The smell is really quite strong and I could smell it even on the bus and luckily no one finds it smelly or digusting.

According to my parent’s tastebuds, the durian pulp is a little on the sweet side. The tapioca taste like pancake rather than tapioca. They are not really impress with this…. perhaps they are not into durian stuffs. But, durian lovers may have a try.

The recommended are the Charsiew and Big bao which are my parent’s fav but taste may be subjective. Try it and let me know.
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Cute mini bun!

We were heading for lunch when we passed by this cute little shop. We just couldn't resist the temptation of the cute mini buns calling out to us on the display!

Mini Char Siew Bun ($0.70)

The char siew filling has a nice charred flavour which you can't find in many normal machine-made char siew bun. It's so tiny that you can finish it in just 2 mouthfuls! However, it was a pity that the bun was not soft and fluffy enough.

A & J's rating: 3/5

Yuan Yang Bun ($1.50)

The person who came up with the marriage of red bean paste and lotus paste is really ingenious! The paste in this bun was smooth and good. However, the salted yolk was tad too hard. It was the soft, thin layered bun that stood out! We prefer this over the char siew bun. Delightful indeed!

(J: Actually, i don't really appreciate my bun to be layered in this manner. The layers peeled off easily. Give me my thin, fluffy soft bun and I'll be happy :))

A & J's rating: 4/5

For full write up, visit http://sistafood.blogspot.com/2009/10/dbun-super-mini-char-siew-bun.html