Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Back at Lugang Cafe in Manila

Every time we fly home, Paul and I would go over our growing list of restaurants to try in Manila. I tell you, it has really been a challenge to keep up as there's just too many new restaurants and only a couple of visiting days available. As much as we love trying new restaurants, we also take this opportunity to re-visit our favorites. I'd say we get better in planning our itinerary through time.

Take this recent visit for example, this is finally the only trip where we got to spend a lot of time with both families. Spending lunches with my in laws and dinners with my side, we took a break from our crazy back-to-back schedule to have quiet meals at home, long hours catching up or dining at our favorite places.

So, for our first dinner in Manila, Mommy suggested that we go to Lugang Cafe. This has been one of my family's favorite restaurants as we are all fans of xiao long bao (steamed soupy dumplings) and Lugang Cafe makes one of the best in town. I'm so happy that we were complete! Even my sister's fiance, E, was able to join us for dinner that evening. Yay!

lugang cafe 1
Of course, dinner began with a big steam basket of Pork Xiao Long Bao. I love how perfect the wrapper is. It's firm enough to hold a generous amount of pork ball and soup that it breaks only when we bite into it. The best way to enjoy this is to dip it into a soy sauce - vinegar - shredded ginger mixture.

lugang cafe 3
We also tried the Vegetarian Dumplings with Truffle Oil. This sadly paled in comparison to the Xiao Long Bao but I wanted to try it after seeing that it has truffle oil. The flavor was okay, I actually liked it but I could hardly detect the truffle oil said to be included in it. Where oh where was that precious truffle oil?



lugang cafe 4
Mommy and Paul bought enjoyed the Claypot Eggplant with Minced Pork. Sadly, I'm not a fan of this but judging how the claypot was quickly emptied out, it seems to be a pretty yummy one.

lugang cafe 2
Another Lugang Cafe favorite of mine is the Chicken topped with Scallions and Ginger Oil. It's closely similar to our favorite local hawker dish -- Hainanese Chicken but here's my tip, take a spoonful of that chopped scallions and ginger oil and generous top your rice with it. Mix well and enjoy! It will change your life and you'll surely want to have more of that. No visit to Lugang Cafe will ever be complete without ordering this.

We also had the Stir-Fried Ee-Fu Noodles with Mushroom which was really yummy! Aside from this, I also recommend the Stir-Fried Beef with Chinese Crullers. The crunchy crullers give an interesting angle to this traditional stir-fried dish.

It was so nice to re-visit an old favorite and I'm really happy to see that they have maintained the same delicious flavor and the good service even after all these years.

Lugang Cafe is located at 115 Connecticut Street, North East Greenhills, San Juan City. They also have branches in SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM Aura Premier, Glorietta 2 and SM North EDSA (The Block). The restaurant easily gets filled up so I highly recommend that you call first to make a reservation

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