Best dumplings in Singapore: Where to find great xiao long baos, gyozas, and wontons
Bundle of joy
Singapore has always been a great dumpling town, with tons of restaurants offering fantastic dough pouches across cultures — from XLBs (xiao long baos) and gyozas to raviolis and empanadas. So, to round them all up in one list — even if we're only shortlisting the ones we truly, truly love — is like going down the rabbit hole. Which is why this guide — in the spirit of keeping things digestible — only points to the plumpest, juiciest, and the most explosive Asian dumplings on our shores. Read on, and be mindful not to burn your tongue.
Arguably the hippest dumpling specialist in town, to date, this cool hideout of a restaurant serves bite-sized pouches that reference the many incarnations around the world: Nepal's momo curry, Korea's veggie mandu and the Eastern European fried pierogi. The star of the show is The Original Dumpling — pillowy soft skin with a crisp-brown bottom that encases a soupy minced pork and napa cabbage filling. Don't leave without ordering their little warm poached pear parcels.
44 Amoy Street Tel: 8223 9249
Opening hours: 11:30am - 3pm, 6pm - 10:30pm
The ubiquitous prawn dumpling is dressed up in different looks here — steamed half-moons with pleats (jiaozi); with translucent skin (har kau); and in the shape of a pretty little goldfish, which is more uncommon and totally worth ordering. Other ace dumplings on the menu to try: an XL XLB (read: a supersize crabmeat xiao long bao served with a straw), and the pan-fried pork gyoza that comes with a phial of vinegar to inject into the pouches before popping them into your mouth.
7A and 7B Dempsey Road, Tel: 6774 0122
Opening hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm
Keisuke Gyoza King
Where there is ramen, there are usually gyozas. But ramen hotshot Keisuke decided that the pan-fried and steamed Japanese potstickers deserve a restaurant on their own. At this tiny 18-seater two doors down from the perpertually-packed Tonkotsu King, you get to choose from three types of gyoza (pork, chicken, and prawn and chicken) to go with a selection of sides, soup and rice. Each one of these moreish packages boasts a juicy richness that comes from the infusion of Keisuke's signature ramen broths. And for ramen die-hards like us, this is music to our ears.
#01-15 Orchid Hotel, 1 Tras Link, Tel: 6604 6674
Opening hours: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm
XLBs are something of an architectural marvel. Inside a delicate dough wrapper is a little meatball swimming in clear, flavoursome soup. Balance is paramount in making a XLB — the skin should be thin but sturdy to hold all of its contents; meatball should be tender but with bite; and the soup, though clear, should yield a depth of flavour. The ones at have smooth skins, and comes in different flavours (i.e, foie gras, ginseng, black truffle, crab roe).
#01-18 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road, Tel: 6219 3931
Opening hours: 11am-10pm (Mon-Fri); 10:30am-10pm (Sat, Sun and PHs)
If you want all the dumplings typically found in a dim sum menu — har kau, guotie, jiaozi, wantons, XLBs —the all-time-favourite Swee Choon is as reliable as it gets. Wrapped goodies that always find their way into our order sheet: the crispy, deep-fried prawn dumpling with mayonnaise that we'll never be sick of eating, and the invigorating Sichuan chilli oil smooth wantons, and the delightful pan-fried pork dumpling.
191 Jalan Besar, Tel: 6225 7788
Opening hours: 11am-2:30pm, 6pm-6am (Mon-Sat); 10am-3pm, 6pm-6am (Sun and PHs)