Lunch at Lugang Cafe

by - October 13, 2014

With the lustrous and classy interiors of Lugang Cafe, one can be intimidated to enter and dine in there. Honestly, I wasn't interested in this restaurant before. For me, it was just another expensive, commonplace restaurant in town. And besides, their name doesn't sound so appetizing to the ear. (Please tell me you agree.) I didn't know until yesterday that they serve the BEST Xiao Long Bao ever at a very reasonable price. (The BEST that I tasted so far.)

We were actually supposed to dine in at Tim Ho Wan. But apparently, we have no time to wait in their very longggg queue, so my friend dragged us to Lugang Cafe instead.

The first basket that came to our table was their best selling Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao.

Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao, Php 248.00

Xiao long bao is also known as soup dumplings that typically contains pork. Other fillings would be vegetables and seafood. At Lugang Cafe, they also serve kimchi-filled and chocolate-filled xiao long baos.

Even by just sucking in the broth, you could taste how their xiao long bao is oozing with flavors. The wrapper was a little sticky though (or maybe it was because of the wooden chopstick) but it was dense enough to compliment the pork filling. We all can't help but say "Ang sarapppp!!". Other customers were probably laughing at us, but who cares anyway. LOL.

I'm not an avid fan of Chinese food, but did you know that there's a proper way of eating Xiao Long Bao or any dumpling soup there is? Yeah, you read it right! You can't just put it in your mouth wholly or have it bit by bit. If you would really want to savor the taste of this famous delicacy, then I highly recommend for you to follow the steps below (as taught by an ever reliable friend):
  1. Gently pick up the Xiao Long Bao using your chopsticks. Hold it in the middle so you won't break the skin or else the broth inside will spill out.
  2. You can use your spoon as a support.
  3. Slightly dip it in the vinegar with shredded ginger, then put it on your spoon.
  4. Take a tiny bite into the Xiao Long Bao wrapper (mostly at the bottom).
  5. Let it cool for a few seconds, then sip out all the soup/broth.
  6. Add more vinegar and ginger, then chow down the rest of the dumpling.
Tadaaa! The above steps will definitely give you a delicious and delectable experience on eating xiao long bao, saving you from staining your shirt or scalding your tongue with the hot broth.

Then came the second basket, Shrimp and Pork Siomai! I am a seafood lover so I really like how the siomai was presented with the shrimp at the top. I was also surprised that it has broth in it just like the xiao long bao. But I think it was a little pricy for 288.00.

Shrimp and Pork Shiao Mai, Php 288.00

Pork Wantons in Spicy Chili Oil came next. The slightly sweet and spicy oil complimented the pork wantons. Honestly, it reminds me of the sweet & spicy taste of that well known Filipino instant pancit canton. LOL For my friend, this is her second best among the four viands that we ordered, but I would choose the siomai as the second best.

Pork Wantons in Spicy Chili Oil 190.00

The final dish was the Pan-fried Pork Dumplings. Upon seeing it first, I didn't know that it was another dumpling until it was flipped over. Turned out that the seven pieces dumplings were bound together and fried as one. They actually were bigger than average dumplings. Another "ang sarap" moment! It was perfect with the red vinegar and a little chili.

Pan-fried Pork Dumplings, Php 220.00

Aside from their delicious meals, I'm also pleased with how the staff was accommodating. But apparently, the Megamall branch only has one common restroom, thus long lines for customers.

Awarded as one of the best restaurants in the Philippines last year, you should really try Lugang Cafe if you're looking for dainty gastronomic treats for your palate.

Lugang Café
3rd Level, Mega Fashion Hall
SM Megamall
Mandaluyong City

Other branches are in Greenhills, SM Mall of Asia, SM Aura, SM North Edsa and Glorietta 2.

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