Compared to my history with Teck Kee Tanglin Pau, I had only discovered the wondrousness of Tiong Bahru Pau about two years ago. We had been visiting Tiong Bahru Food Centre for its pig stomach soup, chwee kueh, oyster omelette, nonya dumplings, desserts and so on, and one day my mother decided to take-away some char siew pau from Tiong Bahru Pau to snack on the next day.
The next day when I came home from work, my mother was excited to tell me that the pau she had eaten was surprisingly good. She said that it tasted different from Teck Kee Tanglin Pau, and that there were bits of vegetables inside too. Hah! I could not help but tear open a Tiong Bahru pau to try it for myself.
As you can see from the picture above, the pau is stuffed with marinated meat. There are no gaps filled with extra sauce, unlike Teck Kee's pau. And unlike Teck Kee's lean meat pau, the pork in Tiong Bahru's have fatty bits, all of which carry a lovely charcoal BBQ flavour. Mixed with the pork are thin, long strands of vegetables, which are probably spring onions.
Tiong Bahru Pau's pau is ont he left, and Teck Kee Tanglin Pau's pau is on the right. You can probably guess from the picture, and you would be right to say, that the Tiong Bahru pau contains about 35% more meat than the Teck Kee pau. Both have about equally thick skins though, which I (and I think everyone in general) dislike.
Again, Tiong Bahru Pau's pau is on the left - the one with the little orange dot. Teck Kee Tanglin Pau's pau is on the right.
Verdict: Even though my family and I have a history with Teck Kee Tanglin Pau, its taste and deliciousness factor have faded to the point that Tiong Bahru Pau is now our favourite. Even though its skin is thick like Teck Kee's, Tiong Bahru Pau has the charcoal BBQ flavoured pork and is meaty compared to Teck Kee. We wish we discovered Tiong Bahru Pau earlier!
Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre
Stall No. #02-18/19
30 Seng Poh Road
(More locations can be found on the image of its plastic bag)