Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand

November 04, 2019 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand
141 Jalan Besar

https://handinhandfood.com/


Xiao Long Bao / Shanghai Pork Dumplings (SGD $5.80 / $8)



Exquisite But Wallet-Friendly Chinese Casual Dining

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 7
Spent about SGD $37 per person.


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Established in March 2004 by Fei Liming, Shou La Shou Beijing Restaurant or Hand In Hand Beijing Restaurant has been consistently drawing in crowds during meal periods, thanks to their wide range of delicious, traditional Chinese dishes at affordable prices. Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand is especially known for their handmade dumplings, noodles, and steamed buns, available in a wide variety from their extensive menu.

Ambience at Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand is Imperial oriental, exuding a classical sophisticated splendour. Sturdy lacquered mahogany wooden furnishings are closely packed in the brightly lit place, while loud conversations lend to the noisy, bustling atmosphere. The parquet tiled floors, open kitchen where chefs make dumplings, and oriental patterns on partitions and lamps, all contribute to the premium feel. Advance reservations are a must during peak dinner periods.

Service at Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand varies. The junior staff performed as instructed. They're able to guide diners on ordering, and are proactive at clearing away finished plates throughout the meal, but their interaction is functional and transactional in nature. The senior staff display a willingness to engage with customers, have good product knowledge, and are quick to solve problems and perform service recovery (while the juniors stand around helplessly). In my case, they mistakenly gave my reserved table to another guest who didn't have a reservation, and to recover, they offered us the private dining room instead.

Food at Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand is traditional Northern Chinese cuisine, focusing on the regions of Beijing, Sichuan, Shanghai, and Shandong. This is evident in the use of cooking techniques (pickling, braising, steaming, sauteeing) and staples such as bread / buns and noodles. Dishes are tasty and bold in flavour, with portions designed for communal sharing. Prices are reasonable, slightly cheaper than a typical restaurant. Budget about SGD $37 per person for a meal here.

Across several visits, we've noticed that quality of dishes can be inconsistent. This is a minor issue, as largely, the majority of dishes are still well executed, though portion sizes, textures, and flavours vary slightly. However, there are a few misses, oddly, their Beijing dishes tend to be poorly executed and terrible. They should just rename their restaurant to prevent setting expectations - do not visit for Beijing cuisine, but for the other cuisines which are done well.


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Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand Exterior
Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand Exterior


Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand Interior
Shou La Shou / Hand In Hand Interior


Menu Cold Dish
Menu Cold Dish


Menu Griddle Cooked Dish
Menu Griddle Cooked Dish


Menu Dim Sum & Soup
Menu Dim Sum & Soup


Menu Dim Sum & Noodles
Menu Dim Sum & Noodles


Menu Specialities
Menu Specialities


Menu Specialities
Menu Specialities


Menu Specialities
Menu Specialities


Menu Rice & Desserts
Menu Rice & Desserts


Menu Beverages
Menu Beverages


Seating Outdoors
Seating Outdoors


Seating Indoors
Seating Indoors


Private Room
Private Room



The Tea Pu'Er (SGD $1.20 Per Pax) is served in a lovely tea pot, and is refillable. It has a bold earthy flavour, nicely calming.

Tea Pu'Er (SGD $1.20 Per Pax)


Tea Pu'Er
Tea Pu'Er



The Salted Peanuts (SGD $2) are served when you're seated, and have a firm crunch with a salty nutty flavour. You can opt to forego this as well.

Salted Peanuts
Salted Peanuts (SGD $2)



The Hot & Sour Soup (SGD $3.80) is warm, thick, gloopy, and rich, with bits of tofu beancurd, black fungus / cloud ear fungus, lily buds, bamboo shoots, and carrots within. These ingredients lend a soft crunch to texture. The overall flavour is boldy sour with a hint of spicy, I felt this was good as you can opt to add more chili oil / chopped red chili to make it more spicy as you wish. However, it's less savoury than I'd hoped. Could be improved.

Hot & Sour Soup (SGD $3.80)


Hot & Sour Soup
Hot & Sour Soup



The Crab & Fish Maw Egg Soup (SGD $23) was good, with its warm, thick, gloopy texture, and delicate sweet savoury earthy salty flavour. Garnished with wispy egg white, spongy fish maw cubes, and bits of tender deshelled crab meat, this was decently tasty. A dash of black vinegar and white pepper make this so appetizing. Worth ordering!

Crab & Fish Maw Egg Soup (SGD $23)


Crab & Fish Maw Egg Soup
Crab & Fish Maw Egg Soup



The Dumplings With Cabbage & Pork (SGD $5), also known as Zheng Jiao Zi or Jiaozi, feature medium thick, chewy wheat dough dumplings stuffed with tender juicy minced pork and crunchy Chinese cabbage / napa cabbage. Bite in, and you get the burst of lovely meat juice, followed by the fillings with vegetal meaty sweet savoury flavour. Pair this with black vinegar, ginger strips, or chili oil for added flavour. Decent and straightforward. Worth ordering!

Dumplings With Cabbage & Pork (SGD $5)


Dumplings With Cabbage & Pork
Dumplings With Cabbage & Pork


Dumplings With Cabbage & Pork



The Dumplings With Fish Meat (SGD $6.80) feature medium thick, chewy wheat dough dumplings stuffed with tender moist pounded mackerel fish meat and crunchy garlic chives. These have a delicate earthy sweet savoury flavour, with a slight herbal touch. Pair this with black vinegar, ginger strips, or chili oil for added flavour. Very enjoyable. Good!

Dumplings With Fish Meat (SGD $6.80)


Dumplings With Fish Meat
Dumplings With Fish Meat


Dumplings With Fish Meat



The Fried Dumplings With Shrimp, Leek & Pork (SGD $7.80) feature medium thick, chewy wheat dough dumplings stuffed with tender juicy minced pork, crisp leeks, and bouncy deshelled prawns / shrimp, then pan-fried. Also known as potsticker dumplings. While slightly oily, these have a crisp outer crust, and a light sweet savoury salty flavour that's very enticing. Pair this with black vinegar, ginger strips, or chili oil for added flavour. Nicely yummy. Good!

Fried Dumplings With Shrimp, Leek & Pork (SGD $7.80)


Fried Dumplings With Shrimp, Leek & Pork


Fried Dumplings With Shrimp, Leek & Pork
Fried Dumplings With Shrimp, Leek & Pork


Fried Dumplings With Shrimp, Leek & Pork



These days, any Xiao Long Bao / Shanghai Pork Dumplings (SGD $5.80 / $8) I eat is compared against the gold standard of Din Tai Fung. These have a medium thin dumpling skin, able to hold together well when lifted, but much too sticky, such that sometimes when you release the utensil, the skin tears. The filling of minced pork is juicy with a small amount of broth, and the flavour is beautifully sweet savoury, with a light bouncy tender chew to texture. Nice, almost on par. Highly recommended!

Xiao Long Bao / Shanghai Pork Dumplings (SGD $5.80 / $8)


Xiao Long Bao / Shanghai Pork Dumplings
Xiao Long Bao / Shanghai Pork Dumplings


Xiao Long Bao / Shanghai Pork Dumplings



The classic Sheng Jian Bao / Pan-Fried Pork Buns (SGD $5) has a thick chewy pan-fried bun, with a crispy base, and a juicy hot filling of tender minced pork, crunchy black fungus / cloud ear fungus, and crisp spring onions. The filling is properly savoury salty sweet earthy in flavour, so yummy. I only wish the bun was slightly thinner, but overall it's still a delicious dish. Good!

Sheng Jian Bao / Pan-Fried Pork Buns (SGD $5)


Sheng Jian Bao / Pan-Fried Pork Buns
Sheng Jian Bao / Pan-Fried Pork Buns


Sheng Jian Bao / Pan-Fried Pork Buns


Sheng Jian Bao / Pan-Fried Pork Buns


Sheng Jian Bao / Pan-Fried Pork Buns



The Beijing Beef Pie (SGD $6.80) is large and meaty, with a firm crisp exterior and a juicy tender warm interior, holding bold savoury salty vegetal sweet earthy flavour. This baked, medium thick, chewy wheat dough bun is essentially a larger version of a potsticker dumpling, with a filling of minced beef, black fungus / cloud ear fungus, and Chinese cabbage / napa cabbage. A common Northern Chinese staple. Worth ordering!

Beijing Beef Pie (SGD $6.80)


Beijing Beef Pie
Beijing Beef Pie


Beijing Beef Pie



Fancy name aside, the Stir-Fried Green Dragon Golden Horse Garlic Chives (SGD $13.80) features crisp strands of garlic chives, with bright vegetal sweet flavour. She mentioned these tasted a day old, but overall, it's still tasty and fairly straightforward. A decent choice of vegetables to accompany a meal.

Stir-Fried Green Dragon Golden Horse Garlic Chives (SGD $13.80)


Stir-Fried Green Dragon Golden Horse Garlic Chives
Stir-Fried Green Dragon Golden Horse Garlic Chives



The house signature dish, the Broccoli With Egg White, Scallop & Crab Meat (SGD $15.80) is delicious, and is among our favourite dishes here. The tender florets of vegetal sweet broccoli form the base. Over this, a heaping mixture of warm, wobbly soft egg white, deshelled crab meat, and shredded dried scallop is placed. Finished with a single molten egg yolk, orange slices, and a drizzle of orange juice. Splash a little black vinegar over, and mix before serving. This has a lovely delicate fruity eggy sweet savoury sour flavour that is delicious, making you crave more. Pairs nicely with white rice, like a gravy, and with most other dishes (except spicy dishes). Highly recommended!

Broccoli With Egg White, Scallop & Crab Meat (SGD $15.80)


Broccoli With Egg White, Scallop & Crab Meat
Broccoli With Egg White, Scallop & Crab Meat



Loved the Mapo Tofu (SGD $10.80), with its soft cubes of silken tofu beancurd tossed with tender minced pork and crunchy scallions in a fiery fermented broad bean and chili paste sauce. Bright and robust burst of sharp spicy flavour, followed by deep savoury salty notes. Appetizing and addictive, best paired with white rice. Highly recommended!

Mapo Tofu (SGD $10.80)


Mapo Tofu
Mapo Tofu



The Roast Beijing Duck Wrap (SGD $28.80 Half) was terrible, completely not up to standard. The roasted duck was stringy and dry, with a dense chew, though it had decent savoury salty meaty flavour. The sticks of cucumber and spring onions were juicy and crunchy, with good vegetal sweet flavour. The wheat wrap is medium thick, holding the filling well without tearing, and has a light chew with bready sweet flavour. But overall, the dish is a disappointment, and her sister kept complaining about it, saying they shouldn't call themselves a 'Beijing restaurant'. We even saw another table send it back. Skip this.

Roast Beijing Duck Wrap (SGD $28.80 Half)


Roast Beijing Duck
Roast Beijing Duck


Cucumber & Spring Onions
Cucumber & Spring Onions


Wheat Wrap
Wheat Wrap


Roast Beijing Duck Wrap
Roast Beijing Duck Wrap



The Poached Catfish In Hot Chili Oil (SGD $29.80) was delicious, with its fiery numbing spicy broth. The slices of catfish were tender and soft, but held up well without breaking, and the flavour is devoid of any muddy taste, instead carrying the infusion of sweet spicy notes. The portion is huge though, and suitable for sharing between 4 people. Good!

Poached Catfish In Hot Chili Oil (SGD $29.80)


Poached Catfish In Hot Chili Oil
Poached Catfish In Hot Chili Oil


Poached Catfish In Hot Chili Oil



The Egg Fried Rice (SGD $7) is an afterthought, lacking any smoky aroma or sweetness of egg. I ended up dousing this with sauce to make it palatable. Could be improved.

Egg Fried Rice (SGD $7)


Egg Fried Rice
Egg Fried Rice



By contrast, although the Seafood Fried Rice (SGD $8) also lacked any smoky aroma, at least it had fresh, bouncy, juicy sweet deshelled prawns / shrimp, and the light crunch of cabbage with vegetal sweet flavour. Average enough to pass.

Seafood Fried Rice (SGD $8)


Seafood Fried Rice
Seafood Fried Rice



The Taro Coated In Hot Toffee (SGD $12) is a showpiece dessert that is well executed and delicious. Part performance art, this features chunks of yam / taro, coated in extremely hot, molten toffee syrup. Presented tableside, staff then separate each piece and dunk them into ice cold water, creating a crystalised shell around the yam / taro chunks. Bite in, and you get a warm crunch of the sticky honeyed sweet shell, followed by the tender bite of the yam / taro, releasing its earthy sweet flavour. Because this dessert can only be made to order, there's a lengthy preparation time of about 15 minutes; best to call for it just before you finish your last dish. Highly recommended!

Taro Coated In Hot Toffee (SGD $12)


Taro Coated In Hot Toffee


Taro Coated In Hot Toffee
Taro Coated In Hot Toffee


Taro Coated In Hot Toffee


Preparing



A seasonal platter of Fresh Cut Fruits (SGD $Complimentary), served because our dessert took longer than usual to prepare, so staff brought this while we waited. Fresh juicy sweet fruits, including orange, watermelon, seeded red grapes, and cherry tomatoes. I enjoyed this after a meal with heavier flavours.

Fresh Cut Fruits (SGD $Complimentary)


Fresh Cut Fruits
Fresh Cut Fruits



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