Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Restaurant Love: Lugang Cafe

Lugang has been one of my favorite restaurants in Manila. It fired up my love for xiao long bao made me head over heels crazy with other dishes it has perfected. And when R's parents invited us to join them for dinner at Lugang, we couldn't say no.

Hello, Lugang.
You know that a restaurant is doing remarkably well when it is at an inconvenient location yet packed on a weekday night. Dining at Lugang O'Square branch without reservation is near impossible with its many loyal patrons.

The place was half full when we arrived about 7 p.m. and it was packed half an hour later with big groups. 
We went with the classic Pork Xiao Long Bao (PHP258, 8 pieces), Tofu with Egg (PHP190), Wasabi Mayo Prawns (PHP680), Taiwanese Crispy Chicken (PHP220), Beans with Salted Egg (PHP240) and Beef Turnip Pot (PHP420). For dessert, we went with Bellagio Breeze (PHP290) and Bubble Milk Tea Ice (PHP180). 
As always, Lugang's Xiao Long Bao is love. Piping hot flavorful broth and tender meat, it never fails to put a big grin on my face. Make sure to ask for black vinegar with ginger for that tangy contrast!
Lugang's Tofu with Egg is an excellent starter. Light in flavor yet rich in texture, this dish is a must try. The clean and smooth taste of tofu is beautifully complemented by the salty yet sweet mahu. The century egg on the side gave it extra texture and slight flavor that would further whet your appetite for your next dish!
If you're a fan of Summer Palace's cereal prawns but a bit short on budget, Lugang's Wasabi Mayo Prawn is a good alternative. Though this dish does not come with corn flakes for that addictive crunch, the taste of battered prawns cooked with mayo is very close to our Edsa Shangri-la favorite.
Beans with Salted Egg is a new favorite of mine. It won me over with its delightful garlicky taste and grainy texture of the salted egg bits. I loved it so much that I think I finished half the plate!
I wasn't too crazy with Lugang's Taiwanese Crispy Chicken as I found it a tad too dry for my liking. Or perhaps it was cut too thinly?
If you prefer saucy dishes, give Beef Turnip Pot a try. Beef chunks and tendon swimming in thick sauce, this dish is best enjoyed with rice.

R usually get Bellagio Breeze for dessert as this bang for the buck dish that costs PHP280 is great for 8 persons!
Snow-like ice covered in an assortment of beans, tapioca, candied pineapple and condensed milk, be ready to have a mouthful of sweet grainy goodness!
But if you want something more joint friendly, its Bubble Milk Tea Ice is a lovely option. The tea infused shaved ice paired with tapioca is something non-sweet lovers would enjoy. And for those who want something to tickle their sweet tooth, request for condensed milk and drizzle generously.

Needless to say, I'll be back!

Lugang is located at Ground Floor, O'Square Greenhills, San Juan.

Lugang Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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