In Manila, Xiao Long Bao is often associated with the word expensive. Most restaurants sell six pieces for a price of two value meals in a fast food chain. But what exactly is this Xiao Long Bao all about?
Xiao Long Bao is a ground pork swimming in a hot broth placed inside a delicate, almost transparent dumpling wrapper. My first chance upon this Shanghai delicacy is both an art and a mystery. A soup inside a bun with pleats on it? What sorcery is this?
Turns out that the process of cooking Xiao Long Bao takes time and effort. The broth inside was first in gel form before steaming commences. At first I thought it was injected inside. So maybe that is why it is a bit pricey as compared to your regular Chinese dim sum. To some, paying the price is worth it but to others, finding a cheap alternative that tastes good and matches with their budget is an adventure.
And so, the search ends today.
The Chinese Kitchen, which opened its first branch last July 8 in the newly renovated SM Makati food court, offers Xiao Long Bao for just P32 (2 pcs.).
Contrary to the usual servings of Xiao Long Bao placed in a bamboo steamer, The Chinese Kitchen’s version is served directly in a soup spoon ready to be devoured. They also don’t provide chopsticks but we don’t mind.
A small bite will make the broth gush out so be careful. The taste and size on the other hand, is okay for its price. For a quick Xiao Long Bao fix, this place is okay to those crawling to their next payday.
The Chinese Kitchen also sells Noodles, Rice Toppings, Buchi, and Mango Sago.