So how apt for me to do a post about one of China's greatest inventions. The dumpling. Although Nanxiang seems to have done the literal translation of 包 which is bun. I guess they do buns too.
I try and avoid Chinese food when I visit Singapore since I always feel that I can get much better in Hong Kong, where I live, and for greater value too. I also try to avoid Bugis Junction since the parking is horrendous. So on this very odd occasion when the 2 no-nos met, Mom and I found ourselves at Nanxiang.
It's a fairly comfortable place to eat at - bright (read stark white and made even brighter with natural lighting in the day). First time - so we limit our order to "chef favorites".
To start, we got the Homemade Tofu. It was surprisingly very firm - almost bouncy - from the abundance of meat and seafood infused into the tofu. So it was really a slab of meat/seafood roll infused with tofu. Served with a sweet chili dip, it was pretty tasty - most deep-fried things are. Personally, I would have preferred the presence of more tofu and a softer texture though.
The Bean Sauce Minced Pork Noodle (炸酱面) was mediocre if you have had the same in Beijing. This is a less oily version but while the mince was salty enough to give the noodles a little bit of lift, it was a pretty flat taste. Hardly a hint of anything else to allow the eater to think about what else went in to make the sauce. The noodles were borderline firm enough, and the julienned cucumbers were a tad soggy even if chilled.
The stir-fried string beans (干煸四季豆）were pretty addictive though. Well fried to still retain a good juicy crunch, even if this ain't the most healthy way to eat vegetables, it sure is tasty. There was just enough minced pork to give the beans a salty and smoky flavor, they did not overpower. Would be nice with steamed rice but not too salty to have on its own.
Overall verdict: if you happen to be stuck in the area, it's ok to grab a quick one here. There are definitely noticeable differences in standards from its home in Shanghai, and I think you can probably get better ones, even in Singapore. Besides, the price point at Nanxiang isn't low enough for that to even be a consideration.
200 Victoria Street
#02-53 Bugis Junction