If a long history and popularity are indications of quality, 9Goubuli’s fare would definitely hit the mark. The first overseas outpost of traditional Chinese restaurant Goubuli is now open at Marina Bay Sands.

The Goubuli brand dates back to 1858 and is one of China’s most recognised names, with more than 90 outlets across the mainland. It’s famed for its signature Goubuli baozi. The steamed buns are stuffed with juicy minced pork that tastes decadently fatty, with an aroma of spring onions and sesame oil.

The secret 157-year-old recipe has remained unchanged and was preserved through generations of family members who were also chefs. It is named after creator Gao Guiyou, whose nickname was Gouzi, or “little dog”. The buns became so popular that he had no time to talk to customers and, hence, the name Goubuli, or “dog ignores”, stuck.

Today, the restaurant chain also serves other Chinese dishes, from handmade noodles to roast duck. In Singapore, the number nine was added as an auspicious symbol for the brand’s first international foray. It decided to open here as the large number of Chinese tourists form a ready customer base, even as the brand acquaints itself with local diners.

When asked how authenticity is maintained, seventh generation baozi master Wang Chuan Pin says: “All the ingredients are imported from China. The spice mix is also made in a central kitchen in China so the taste is the same.”

Here’s what else she revealed:

Secret Selection
The type of flour used remains a secret but Wang explains that it was chosen as it does not turn soggy from holding such a moist, juicy filling.

No Hard Fillings
Pork trotter, tenderloin and belly were chosen to make up the filling for their soft, fatty, melt-in-the-mouth texture. These cuts are deliberately minced unevenly by hand with a pair of knives, leaving some larger bits for more bite.

On The Spot
Each bun is made on order. It is steamed for just five minutes, as this prevents the filling from being overcooked and ensures the bun doesn’t get soggy.

Juice Up
A broth keeps the filling moist and juicy. It is made from boiling pork bones and san huang chicken – a type of chicken bred in Pudong and known for its soft bones – for over 12 hours.

#B2-02, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.