Xiao long bao originated from China. It's a small bun/dumpling with a thin skin that is filled with ground pork. What makes these special is the soup inside. The soup is usually from broth of pork or mixed with chicken, jellified, and mixed with the stuffing. The best ones have the most flavorful broth that burst out when you take a bite.
In Singapore, there is a restaurant called Din Tai Fung. It's a restaurant from Taiwan that has become so successful that it has branches all over Asia and in other western countries as well. I was scheduled to leave Singapore on Easter Sunday so I woke up early to have brunch at the restaurant.
I had an order of xiao long bao and a bowl of sesame noodles. The xiao long bao here is one of the best! The skin is so thin, and the juice is so clear and full of flavor. I just wish they had more! The meat is also good; tender, moist, and well seasoned.
The way I enjoy it is, I usually take a small bite of the skin, just to pierce it, then get all the juice out into my spoon. I eat the bun and when the soup is a little cooler, I sip all the soup from the spoon. Before swallowing, take a moment and just enjoy it, the flavor of the hot soup in your mouth....ahhh.....so good! Then go for the next one.
I met this guy in the restaurant who came in after me...also eating by himself and also addicted to these heavenly buns. I think he might be more serious about it than I am. I say this because he placed one of the buns on his plate and I hate it when people waste the juice, so I advised him to put it on his spoon or the soup might spill. His reply was not for me to worry because he pops the whole bun in his mouth!! He doesn't even need to cool down the soup! I was amazed.
This was one of the best meals I've had in Singapore. It's not a Singaporean specialty, but it's not something we have in the Philippines so I had to go. I've been to Din Tai Fung in Taiwan, Shanghai, and Japan. It's all been a good experience and the food has been consistent no matter where you are. It's definitely a place that cares about the quality of their food. I wish they would open one in the Philippines!