What do you think about Holland Village? It’s one of those first places everyone mentions when you first arrive in Singapore. I expected a quaint English village based on the name and was hugely disappointed to discover that this ‘village’ was in fact full of chain restaurants and pubs with sticky floors. So much so that I wrote about Holland Village in my first published article about Living Abroad in Singapore.
Since then not much has changed. I was pleasantly surprised to discover 2am: dessertbar last year but since then I’ve found no reason to visit. Not long after arriving back from Australia earlier this year, and having become addicted to acai bowls, my ‘on it’ friend M announced an acai shop had opened in Holland Village. That was exciting until we rocked up to try them one morning and discovered they didn’t open until 11.30am. Less helpful for breakfast food but that’s the way it rolls in Singapore.
Next up came news of bao. The Full of Luck Club was all over instagram with pictures of Chinese buns leading up to their opening in May. Bao for lunch and acai for dessert sounded like a pretty great combo so off we went.
The super cute space is good for lunch or a supper or casual get together with friends. Lots of modern furniture and bright colours. Service was fine on our visit, nothing to rave about but nothing bad. I was envisaging a primarily bao based menu with lots of puffy white rice buns and different fillings. In fact the menu is extensive and includes dumplings, large plates of char siew, lamb racks, clay pot rice and loads more. You could fully do a banquet here with a big group but as far as I can work out they don’t take bookings. Anyway, we had come for bao so that’s what we focussed on.
There are five savoury bao listed on the menu, Kung Pao Fried Chicken, Salted Egg Yolk Prawn, Braised Pork Belly, Portugese Pork Chop and Panko crusted Portobello ($9.80++ for 2 or $6++ each). All the bao are served hamburger style, not like a traditional char siew bao (which is kind of what I’d envisaged). We tried all but the pork chop, sharing each bun between us so we got to sample them all. I started with the Portobello which was a mistake, but I’d wanted to see how the veggie option was. Basically a bit flavourless and for some reason they decided to include pineapple which, for me, was a total no go. There were three more to come though so I still had hope <img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/72x72/1f609.png" alt="