I’m loving MBS’s spate of (relatively) affordable restaurants, Long Chim, Adrift, and now, 9Goubuli. (Later, Gordon Ramsay’s Bread St Kitchen.) It is said that in 1858, the bunmaker named Ah Gou was so busy he couldn’t talk to the customers. Tsk, no customer service since 1858.
Deep-fried taro dumplings ($4.80)
Talking about service, it was good at first. We didn’t have to pour tea ourselves. But later, when it got busy, the wait staff couldn’t handle, especially with 3 private rooms of VIPs. We non-VIPs sitting outside in the main hall were neglected to the point that our siew mai didn’t come although we had finished our meal, and asked them to check with the kitchen 4 times. “Wait 5 minutes,” was their canned response. In the end, we canceled the order. Chiobu was mad, and they gave us a 10% discount, ending up with a bill of $95 for three persons. Money solves everything.
Crispy pork belly ($20) – Lei Garden‘s siew yuk is better and cheaper
The menu is long and confusing, and there isn’t any recommended dishes. When we asked the waiter what their signatures are, he in turned asked us what we wanted to eat. *face palm. Just recommend us the signatures! We eat everything! Why can’t he just say, “We are good at X, Y, Z dishes.”
Of course we got the dog-don’t-care buns. There are only four flavors: pork ($2.20/pc), pork-veg ($2.60/pc), veg ($1.90/pc), and wagyu beef ($3.50/pc). They were nice, thin-skinned, but Chiobu said it best, “They are like xiao long bao but in a bun form. I might as well eat xiao long bao. Carbs are not fashionable anymore.”
Our least favorite dish was the radish cake ($4.80), which we mistakenly thought was the usual dim sum item. It is shredded radish covered in pastry. So bland I didn’t understand this dish at all.
Our favorite was dan dan noodles ($7.80): basically, homemade noodles in spicy, vinegary peanut sauce. But even the best dish couldn’t compare to the one at Shisen Hanten.
Granny’s pork in brown sauce ($8)
US Beef with Onions ($24)
The rest of the dishes fell in the mediocre range. Chiobu said, “Crystal Jade is better.” I should add, Imperial Treasure, Canton Paradise, Dian Xiao Er, Soup Restaurant, and all the major Chinese chain restaurants in Singapore are better than 9Goubuli. I wonder if this outlet is true to the tastes in Tianjin’s flagship store. But I guess at this price point at MBS, I shouldn’t complain.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.