Jing Hua Xiao Chi was originally setup as an eating house by the Han family in Singapore’s China Town in 1989. Since the beginning, they proved very popular with locals and foreigners alike and have since expanded to include eateries in Bugis and Orchard in Singapore as well as several venues across Japan. Jing Hua Xiao Chi serve dumplings, noodles and other snacks based on Northern Chinese recipes. Their signature dish is bao soup dumplings however the best sellers are the pan-fried pork and prawn dumplings and Chinese pizza.
Flossy’s rating: ★★★★
Most foreigners will be more familiar with the Hong Kong style of dumpling, which are typically filled with seasoned prawn, pork and vegetables and encased in semi-translucent rice paper. Northern Chinese dumplings differ because the dough is made of rice flour, water and salt and have a pork filling. Jing Hua Xiao Chi’s menu does have a Singaporean influence as seen in their popular pan-fried dumplings. These are stuffed with pork as well as prawns and chives and are encased in thick dough. They are only lightly pan fried so they do not taste oily. The filling is very simple and apart from the chives, there aren’t additional herbs or spices added making pork taste really stand out. You can dip them in the side dish of soy sauce and shredded ginger to enhance the flavour. These would taste even better with a touch of hot chilli but unfortunately the restaurant only stocks a very mild chilli paste that tastes more sweet than hot.
The most interesting menu item at Jing Hua Xiao Chi is their Chinese pizza. This is a unique recipe developed by the Han family and is like a round crispy pie. Fried bread envelopes the minced pork and prawn meat, the same as is used to fill the dumplings, and cut into wedges. It can be a little messy to eat as the pork juices ooze out when you bite into it. The bread, which is fried until crispy brown, works well as an alternative to dumpling dough and offers an interesting spin on a Chinese classic.
Between 11.30am and 3pm everyday Jing Hua Xiao Chi have a special lunch menu that is great value for money. For $12 you receive a customised set that includes a choice of one soup, one variety of dumpling and a side dish. When I went there for lunch I ordered the sliced pork soup, bao dumplings and Chinese broccoli. I appreciated the serving size was just right and the clear pork broth was extremely tasty and not watered down like so many other cheap eateries do. It was full of hand made thick white noodles, slices of braised pork and strips of some sort of pickled vegetable.
The bao dumplings, which are this eateries specialty, are filled with pork and a spoonful of soup. To eat them, you place the dumpling on a soup spoon and pierce the dough with your chopstick so the juices ooze out. You can then add some soy sauce before slurping up the dumpling from your spoon.
Jing Hua Xiao Chi is a great place to visit on occasion to sample some Northern Chinese bites. Go for lunch or share a variety of snacks with a group. Jing Hua Xiao Chi will particularly appeal to meat lovers as almost every dish contains pork. All the dumplings, including the Chinese pizza, contain the same minced pork and chive mixture which can can get a little boring. However the quality of the food is very good, the pork is succulent and juicy, and the service is attentive making it a reliable eating house in Singapore.
The Original Shophouse
21 Neil Road
Nearest MRT: China Town
159 Rochor Road
Nearest MRT: Bugis
390 Orchard Road, #B1-04/05
Nearest MRT: Orchard