We walked to Zhongshan Road because we wanted to try the famous steamed buns at Gongzheng Baozi (公正包子店), which many people had raved about on Google. When we arrived, we were surprised to find no queue at the shop, but rather a very long queue at the next-door Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings (周家蒸餃). The line stretched from outside the shop down Gongzheng Street (which surrounds Gongzheng Baozi) and onto Zhongshan Road. So we changed our minds and joined the queue as well, lol.
Most locals prefer Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings
I began chatting with some of the locals who were in the same line as us. They claimed that Gongzheng Baozi and Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings sell the same items and that tourists prefer the former while locals prefer the latter. The long line proved their point but I’m sure each brand has its own set of fans and supporters.
Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings used to be open 24 hours a day and was a popular late-night and early-morning eating place for many locals. However, due to COVID, they are now only open until 2 a.m. daily.
Wow, NT$5-6 for a xiao long bao!
I could see why Gongzheng Baozi and Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings were so popular, especially since their xiao long bao (steamed bun) was only NT$5 when I last visited. While Gongzheng Baozi maintained the same price, Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings increased the price by NT$1, making each bun NT$6. However, the difference is minor, as NT$1 is only equivalent to S$0.044.
Zhou Jia Steamed Dumplings also serves soups, noodles, and rice dishes in addition to xiao long bao. To name a few, there’s fish ball soup, hot and sour soup, braised meat rice, and meat paste noodles.
Prices here range from NT$6 for a steamed bun to NT$90 for a big bowl of mixed balls soup. Nothing costs more than NT$90, so a meal with your family here won’t break the bank.
Xiao Long Bao 小籠包
The xiao long bao here is not like other xiao long bao we’ve had, such as those from Din Tai Fung. These buns are similar to regular ‘pau,’ but they are the size of a small child’s fist. Each xiao long bao was easily finished in two bites.
The bun’s skin was thick but soft and fluffy. Because the bun skin has absorbed the broth of the meat filling, you won’t get the same ‘bursting juices’ effect when eating these buns. As the broth had oozed out from the inside, we could see wet patches on the outside of the buns.
A basket of ten xiao long bao can easily fill you up, so share with others.
Steamed Dumplings 蒸餃
We picked the pork dumplings, which were plump and meaty. The skin was thin, and the filling was dense.
It was a little bland, so it would need to be paired with their special dipping sauce, which tasted quite garlicky.
Overall, we thought Zhou Jia was a little overrated. The flavours of the xiao long bao and steamed dumplings were on the lighter side. Probably best for those with milder tastes, but they didn’t wow us. They were nothing special. Given how much other people had raved about this place, we were expecting more. But if I’m a local, I’ll probably go there once in a while because the prices are reasonable and the food is still quite homey and comforting.
I regret not having tried Gongzheng Baozi so that there could be a comparison. Wait till next time!
8.00am to 2.00am Sat-Sun
+886 3 835 0006