FairPrice Supplier Buys Famed Bendemeer Hawker Stall S’pore Bao’s Siew Mai & Lor Mai Gai Recipes, Now Sells Them At The Supermarket
The dim sum is offered at a kiosk within FairPrice’s Upper Boon Keng outlet, and branded as SG Bao instead of Singapore Bao.
Update to story (Dec 31): We originally reported that an NTUC FairPrice rep had told us that the siew mai and lor mai gai sold at SG Bao are made at “the original Bendemeer stall and heated up at [the] NTUC FairPrice kiosk”. SG Bao has since clarified that “the stall is not linked to Singapore Bao, it is not another outlet or a subsidiary brand”.
SG Bao also clarified that they had miscommunicated that the food was supplied by the hawker stall: “There were too many people involved and [the] info got lost in translation. The marketing person had to go to the buyer and buyer to outlet manager and manager to supplier.”
But plot twist, you are actually buying Singapore Bao’s dim sum at the FairPrice kiosk… sorta. FairPrice has revealed to 8days.sg that its dim sum supplier, local food service company Far Ocean, has “gotten Singapore Bao’s siew mai and lor mai gai recipes, and they have a mutual agreement to use the recipes to produce the products at Far Ocean's central kitchen and supply them to FairPrice under Far Ocean’s brand SG Bao”. Which is why the kiosk is branded as the same same but different SG Bao (and not Singapore Bao — semantics is important, people).
While Far Ocean declined to reveal how much they paid for the recipes, they disclosed that they had “managed to buy it [because] someone [at] Far Ocean has a close relationship with Singapore Bao”.
Bendemeer residents would be familiar with Singapore Bao, a popular breakfast stall at Bendemeer Market & Food Centre. Despite its name, the charmingly old-school stall doesn’t sell baos. While it started out offering house-made buns, it has since focused on serving only two items: plump, juicy siew mai for 70 cents each and $2 lor mai gai with fragrant glutinous rice.