Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao – Authentic Handmade Xiao Long Bao in Alexandra Village Food Centre!

Maisie Liu
Maisie Liu
December 11, 2020

Shang Hai La Mian Xiao Long Bao Owner

Zhang You Zu, from Nanjing, China, has 30 years of experience in making Xiao Long Bao. Having moved to Singapore in 1998, Zhang was a dim sum chef at a Toa Payoh yum cha restaurant before opening “Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao” at Alexandra Village Food Centre 10 years ago. He first started out in this F&B industry to earn a living. Now, this family-run business is his passion while his customers’ raving reviews became his main motivation.

Every operating day, without fail, he and his family workers will be preparing pre-ordered Guo Tie (pan-fried dumplings) and Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings aka XLB) even before the stall opens for walk-in orders. Time never seems enough as orders are never-ending. In the past, customers would order when he opened the stall. However, as orders increase exponentially, the waiting time for each customer grew to at least 30 minutes even during non-peak timings. Complaints started to affect the business so Zhang decided to give his contact to customers who want to order in advance to skip the waiting time.

Now, before he even switches on the light of the signboard to signify the opening of the stall, people are already queuing. Can you imagine a small stall packed with 5 staff all busy with different roles? New customers wouldn’t know that they are still settling pre-orders. Only one staff will be noting down new orders from the queue after 11am. You will see that they fulfil orders for both pre-orders and walk-in orders quite efficiently.




As business is so good everyday, by the time they sell out the dumplings at night, they have to prepare the new batch for the next day immediately. Zhang explained that the XLB and other dumplings’ fillings have to be prepared, marinated and kept overnight in the fridge. This process allows the fillings to be of the right texture and moisture, which will not destroy the wrap. He revealed that the broth in his XLB ($5 for 8 pieces) is cooked for 7-8 hours with pig skin and chicken feet jelly daily. Thereafter, the broth is coagulated and mixed with minced pork which will form a juicy yet flavoursome XLB. Each dumpling goes really well with the black vinegar and ginger shreds. Just look at these lovely plump parcels!

Guo Tie 1

Guo Tie 2

When asked which is his favourite dish, Zhang admitted that he loves the Guo Tie. Everyday, he will definitely try a few. Initially, it’s to check its consistency and quality, now it’s purely for personal enjoyment because he has become confident of the standard of his Guo Tie over the years. He shared that steamed Guo Tie are more QQ than pan-fried ones, but I love the pan-fried ones more. I mean who doesn’t like the golden brown crispy edges of a perfectly seared Guo Tie, right? Zhang’s Guo Tie has just the right amount of chives and minced meat.

Hong You Chao Shou

He also excitedly shared about his Spicy Wontons. Both the skins of the Guo Tie and XLB are handmade, but the Spicy Wontons’s skin is taken from a local supplier. Nonetheless, those thin silky wonton skins are to die for. It literally slipped through my chopsticks because it was so smooth, especially after being dipped in the shallow puddle of chilli oil.

One thing which he insists on continuing to make himself is the sauces. The spicy chilli sauce on the wontons is a personal recipe that has been well-received by many customers.

Shang Hai La Mian Xiao Long Bao 1

Shang Hai La Mian Xiao Long Bao 2

Shang Hai La Mian Xiao Long Bao 3

They used to hand-pull their noodles, but now they have outsourced the noodle-making to a manufacturing company that makes the noodles for them based on their recipe. We tried their signature Dan Dan Mian! Zhang was very proud of its sauce – a mix of peanut sauce, special broth and bean paste. The sweet and savoury gravy coated every strand of springy noodles, and every mouthful was full of umami. My colleague became a fan of this dish instantly. She exclaimed that even though she doesn’t stay near Alexandra, she wouldn’t mind coming back here just to eat from Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao again!

You know where to go when you’re craving for authentic Chinese dumplings and noodles now, don’t you? Remember to order in advance!

Shang Hai La Mian Xiao Long Bao Shopfront


Address: 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Alexandra Village Food Centre, #01-56, Singapore 150120

Mobile: 9737 9936

Opening Hours: 11:30am-8:30pm. Closed on Monday & Tuesday.

Cuisine: Chinese made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

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