To make up for the hiatus, I decided to introduce a new segment on my blog called Versus. Unlike the traditional featuring of food establishments, Versus focuses on a particular dish/item, finding establishments boasting it as their specialty, and comparing them.
As an initial treat, let’s put Xiao Long Bao on stage!
The Podium, ADB Avenue, Pasig City
Price: P128 (6 pieces); P210 (10 pieces)
|From Shi Lin|
Shi Lin is an inevitable cast in this bout. For someone who first tasted Xiao Long Bao, I actually made a wise decision choosing Shi Lin! First timers must feel secured as Shi Lin provides a guide on eating it! :)
The skin was soft. Be careful in getting the piece. Poring through the skin was easy and enjoyable as the broth oozes out to the ceramic spoon. I found the broth appealing. The meat, on the other hand, was well-prepared. Complement the broth and meat with soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. The debut was indeed good.
Explorers will find delight with the product’s quality and relative cheapness. Sulit, ika nga. But some consumers wanted a larger meatball and thicker coating. Some found it less soupy relative to other Xiao Long Bao.
115 Connecticut St., Northeast Greenhills, San Juan City
Phone: (02) 775-7599
Price: P158 (6 pieces)
|From Lugang Cafe|
One edge Lugang Café has over Shi Lin (and even Crystal Jade) is its more interesting variants of Xiao Long Bao such as Crab Roe and Steamed Angled Loofah with Shrimp Xiao Long Bao. However, its dimsum was as small as Shi Lin’s. The skin was also firm but sticky (which I didn’t like). The broth was just right–not salty, not bland. I also love the meat’s taste and texture.
Lugang’s Xiao Long Bao also received varying comments from food enthusiasts. Some found it bland, just right, and has less soup.
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Unit 117-121 V-Mall, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Greenhills, San Juan City
Phone: (02) 570-6910, 570-6912
Price: P158 (5 pieces)
|From Crystal Jade|
Surprisingly, Crystal Jade’s prices aren’t as expensive as what I thought of. The skin was soft but intact. It wasn’t too sticky. I had a relatively easy time tearing the skin. The soup was rich and flavourful. There was also similarity in meat texture with Lugang and Shi Lin, but Crystal Jade’s tender meat captured my taste buds.
A common denominator among reviewers would be the tendency to compare it with the ones served in Hong Kong or Singapore. Some food bloggers were satisfied as the local branch captured the original flavour, while some think it was good but lacks the lustre of what was served abroad.
For Xiao Long Bao, this is my personal ranking:
Gold: Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Silver: Lugang Café
Bronze: Shi Lin