Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lugang Cafe

My love affair with Xiao Long Bao (steamed soup dumplings) started a decade ago on a trip to Singapore.  People were raving about Din Tai Fung's amazing Xiao Long Bao and I just had to try them out for myself.  Let me tell you, the moment I put that entire soupy dumpling in my mouth and the entire contents burst inside, I knew.  I will be eating this forever.  Over the years, I've tried numerous versions of Xiao Long Bao in different restaurants here and abroad, but nothing compared to my first encounter.  As they say, you'll always remember your first. *wink* 

If it's your first time trying out the Xiao Long Bao, let me share to you the secrets of what makes a good Xiao Long Bao.  First, let's start with the wrapper.  The wrapper must be extremely thin, but not so thin as to puncture the dumpling.  Then, the number of folds must be equal in size.  After that, there must always be soup inside when you bit into the dumpling.  I've tried bad ones that had no soup and I tell you, it makes a huge difference.

Ok done with the short 411 on what makes a good Xiao Long Bao.  Now let's move on.  There's good news and bad news, and I'll start with the bad.  The bad news is that Din Tai Fung is only available in our neighboring Asian countries (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc).  But the good news is, there's a pretty good alternative to Din Tai Fung here in our country!  Any guesses?  If you say Lugang Cafe, then you're wrong.  Kidding!  Of course it's Lugang Cafe!  And as good as good news goes, I have another one:  for this month of June, they're having their "Feast All You Can" promo!  Yes, you've read that right!  Not only can you savor the goodness of authentic Xiao Long Bao, you can also consume as much as you can!  They actually had this promo last May, and I'm so glad they decided to extend the promo this June!

List of promo items


Ok ok, enough with the blabbing, here's what we had:

Steamed Angled Loofah with Shrimp Xiao Long Bao

Pork Wontons in Spicy Chili Oil

Steamed Vegetable and Pork Dumplings

Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings with Truffle Oil

Steamed Chicken Xiao Long Bao

Steamed Kimchi Xiao Long Bao

Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao

Steamed Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao

And since the promo allows one order of house specialty for each person, and there's three of us, here's what we had:

Hainan Boneless Chicken

Wasabi Mayonnaise Prawns

Sate Beef with Spinach

Nom nom nom... so good!  Another great thing is that they don't scrimp on their ingredients even if it's a promo.  You get the exact same great tasting Xiao Long Baos that you'd normally order ala carte.  Must have eaten something like 2 dozen pieces of those during the meal (oops!).  But trust me when I say they're really delicious!  Service was a bit slow though, and sometimes they mix up our orders but who cares right?  4.5 out of 5 stars!

Hungry yet?  No problem!  Go book yourself, your family and your friends a table at Lugang Cafe and start popping those mini pieces of heaven in your mouth!  Remember, promo is only good for this month of June.  So if I were you, I'd go there now.  Yes, NOW.  Stop reading! GO!!!

Lugang Cafe is at 116 Connecticut St. Greenhills, San Juan

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