Sunday, June 1, 2014

Xiao Long Bao Heaven: Lugang Café

When eating out, Chinese restaurants are hardly top of mind for me as I prefer Japanese food. (Go blame my anime addiction turned I-want-to-be-Japanese-but-it’s-impossible-so-I’ll-just-eat-everything-Japanese nature.) This is the reason why for the longest time, I have never tried Lugang Café. It’s not Japanese. *turns away* But F has been raving about Lugang Café’s coffee and was very nice of him not to tempt me during Lent season as I sacrificed coffee for 40 (long) days. Come end of Lent, we finally went to Lugang to try that F-recommended coffee.

Hello, Lugang Café!
It wasn’t exactly my first time here as I visited the same branch with my friend A. But I just had a drink then as I was too full to eat anything else. This time though was different as I came from work and famished.

F was already inside when I came in and I let him order for me as I have no idea which ones are good. He ordered the following: Steamed Xiao Long Bao (PHP248), Taiwanese Steamed Minced Pork (PHP220), Stir-fried Beef Noodles with Taiwanese Barbecue Sauce (PHP280), Aweto Flower, Mushroom and Jelly Fish (PHP290) and a pot of Arabian Coffee (PHP240).

In less than 15 minutes, our xiao long bao was served. It was served hot and I found out from F how to eat it the right way. [Dip it in the sauce, place it on the spoon, and then nibble a bit of the dumpling and sip the juice then eat the whole thing.]
The warm xiao long bao sure hit the grumpy spot. It made my tummy happy. The pork was rich in flavor and I just love that it was really juicy.
The Taiwanese Steamed Minced Pork was rather soupy but it was yummy too. The bits of pork were slightly sweet and salty at the same time. It somehow reminded me of pork adobo but minced and saucy.
The stir-fried noodles on the other hand somehow reminded me of Thuk Thai’s noodles. The sweet barbecue sauce made it hard for me not to have a forkful after another. The tender beef bits added texture to the dish making this a winner plate.
The Aweto flower dish was rather interesting. F asked if I was grossed out by it but I actually found it yummy. He mentioned that the taste of this dish is something that requires getting used to. That statement made me wonder though if I just gulped down the whole thing before I could taste it or simply because I love food.  Anyway, the dish was slightly tangy and the texture was quite unique. It had some rough parts and it was rather gummy as well. Overall though, it was a great dish.

Now for the awaited Arabian Coffee…

It comes with this cute antique-looking contraption and when the water boils, magic happens. Okay, fine, I was exaggerating. But it sure made my small eyes bigger.

It was like watching a laboratory experiment. The coffee somehow evaporates and gets transferred to the other pot and then when you turn the tap, the coffee returns to the glass pot and *tada* coffee~ <3
I am not a coffee expert but I did enjoy the sweet aroma. It wasn’t too strong too as I fell sound asleep after 2 hours.

It was a pleasant dining experience. Interestingly, my friend A’s birthday dinner was scheduled the day after this dinner and guess where? Yes, Lugang Café again.

Lugang Café is located at 3rd Floor, Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

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