I’m a true blue dimsum and bao girl. So the headboard of Bao Today (包今天) couldn’t have been less of a blinking beacon to me. And unless you were born in the 21st Century, the pun of the name surely can’t have slipped pass you. It isn’t the first time I’ve bought something from Bao Today, but it’s the first time I’ve actually sit in their restaurant to order. Previous few times were all takeaways from their counter at Vivocity’s Food Republic, which were all pretty good they piqued my interest in the restaurant.
They offer a much more extensive dining menu at their Marina Square restaurant which includes (of course) all-day dimsum, rice dishes, noodle dishes and beverages. While I didn’t order any noodles or rice cause my focus was on the dimsum, some items did seem rather interesting. Their claypot porridge and bamboo rice are but two of the few.
My friends ordered this XO Sauce Think Think Noodles. 3 orders in fact. When I asked them why they would pay to eat instant noodles in dark soy sauce, which they can easily cook up at home under $5, they all said it’s a Hong Kong Cafe thing. And that most importantly it’s nice. I’ve never fancied them though so I can’t really comment on how delish they are.
Seeing the pace my friends were ungraciously slurping up the noodles I believe Bao Today’s rendition must have been pretty good, or at least passable. What I liked was the presentation which made the dish look nice and appetizing, a cut up from the usual mishmash of its competitors.
Of course the highlight of the meal weren’t the noodles, but these pretty babies. Oh my baby luscious Steamed Creamy Custard Baos. Before I go on about how they actually taste, let the pictures speak first.
Absolute food porn.
I can’t claim to be a professional on custard buns cause I’ve not had much experience with them, but Bao Today’s custard bao is definitely one of the better ones I’ve tasted. Firstly they have the flowy-custard-wow factor which is absolutely essential. If it ain’t flowing, it ain’t custard buns. The buns arrived steaming hot, and the buns were extremely soft. The green tinge is not simply for show and you can actually taste a slight pandan fragrance biting into the bun. The custard itself was nothing short of amazing. It was burning hot, not oily at all, and most importantly it nailed the balance of salty and sweet. Unlike most commercial custard buns, which are more of the sweet custard, Bao Today’s custard buns were both salty and sweet at the same time. With its pandan bun and delish custard, this is one custard bun that definitely stands out from the crowd for good.
They say that Victor’s Kitchen has the best custard buns ever, so I guess with all the custz bun love now I’ll go check that out soon!
Ming Ha Gok in Cantonese, these were really nice. Hot, crispy, and they were very generous with the prawn fillings.
The Fried Radish Cake was well executed too. It had a really crispy exterior, with a slightly charred taste that helped prevent it from getting super jelak. The radish cake was very soft and really hot too.
I can’t remember the names of this dish, but it was some scallop and prawn dumpling thing. I must say Bao Today uses really good ingredients. The scallops were real sweet and the wonderfully huge prawns were plump and fresh. The skin wasn’t too thick so it was quite good on the whole.
We also ordered their Shanghai Xiao Longbao. Sadly it was the worst xiao longbao I’ve ever eaten. The minced meat did not hold together when encased by the skin, so it felt like I was eating some random scattered minced meat. It was too fatty and it lacked the nice dumpling texture.
Out of the many dim sum dishes we ordered, their Har Gao/Steamed Prawn Dumplings deserve a special mention. Each dumpling had a really huge, plump and sweet prawn. The dumpling skin was also not overly thick, and together it was a superb dish.
However all the steamed dim sum dishes have to be eaten steaming hot, because all the skins of the dumplings started to stick to the wax paper at the bottom of the bamboo steamer after awhile. I got extremely annoyed trying to separate the dumplings from the wax paper, and eventually I gave up and scraped up the encased dishes to eat. Bao Today will definitely have to improve the quality of their dumpling skins.
That being said, Bao Today’s dim sum was on the whole extremely well made, and I enjoyed this meal tremendously. I’d definitely return for more of those wonderful prawn dumplings, steamed buns (like the oh-so-awesome sesame bun and sesame chicken bun), and of course my favourite custard buns.
6 Raffles Boulevard
#02-234-236 Marina Square