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Friday, April 26, 2013

Taiwan In My Mouth

One of the kinds of dimsum I truly enjoy is the xiao long bao - those tiny bundles filled with savory pork and soup and dipped in a vinegar soy sauce accentuated by ginger.  I was first introduced to this by my husband Jemy.  He discovered these delights in one of his side trips in our old neighborhood of Mandaluyong.  My sister Kristine, however, found a new place about two years ago that specializes in xiao long bao, and she brought us to Lugang Cafe in the SM Mall of Asia. 
The interiors do not look like your usual Chinese  restaurant.  It was modern and sleek, but quite busy.  It was a welcome change, may I add.  There were already many diners who have settled down in very comfortable cushioned chairs, which are good indications as to what to expect of our meal.
Lugang Cafe serves Taiwanese cuisine, and more specifically the xiao long bao.  The selection is quite lengthy, but we chose only two kinds - the usual pork, and the loofah, or patola, for us Filipinos.  The pork was perfect, meaty and made more succulent as the broth inside was intact.  The loofah tasted of freshness, and spoke for itself.  The dimsum wrapper made all the difference.  It was made on-site, from the freshest ingredients without the feeling of carbs.  The servings were generous too - nine pieces for every order, at cheaper prices compared to other xiao long bao restaurants.  We had repeat orders, of course.

Aside from dimsum, we had the savory Sauteed Beef with Chili Peppers, and the flavorful Fish Fillet with Crispy Taoso.  Both are must-try dishes.  (I don't have a picture of the fish though because I only realized that I needed to take one when it was already gone.  It was that good!) 
There were four of us who dined, and with drinks, only cost us PhP1,300.  Quite a good deal, without feeling heavy afterwards.  Enough room for a sinful dessert and coffee.

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