What to try at Xiu, standing in former Lugang Greenhills space
MANILA, Philippines – The old Lugang on Connecticut Street, Greenhills, is now Xiù, or as the owners say they would like to call it, "Hong Kong in Connecticut."
While Lugang is looking for a new space to set up shop in the neighborhood, Xiù is definitely a must-try. It's a fine dining establishment that features Cantonese cooking and promises to bring the experience of Hong Kong's gastronomic delights much closer to home. (READ: What happened to the Lugang Cafe Greenhills branch?)
The restaurant was set up with key people from the Hong Kong culinary scene, including Lawrence Koo of the famous West Villa restaurant chain, and its executive chef, David Cheung, a seasoned professional who has worked in the kitchens of West Villa and Lei Garden.
From all-time favorites to quirky dishes, we got to sample a private tasting menu that consists of the following:
Honey-glazed prime cut char siu (P680)
The sumptuous feast starts right away with barbecued pork called char siu (or asado) with just a right hint of sweetness.
Cantonese-style crispy pork belly (P680)
A thin layer of crispy skin crackles as you bite into a little cube of pork belly. The meat, meanwhile, is tender and almost melt-in-your-mouth. Dab it with a little bit of the spicy mustard sauce.
Double boiled fish maw and almond soup (P3880/large; P1980/small)
To cleanse the palate of the rich appetizers, this fish maw (or air bladder) soup is "double boiled."
The ingredients – including pig's lung; chicken meat and feet; and gingko biloba –are simmered in a ceramic pot, which is then placed in boiling water. This means that the ingredients never get in contact with boiling water, allowing the soup to be delicate yet flavorful.
Baked stuffed sea conch, French style (P480)
It's almost like eating shepherd's pie inside a conch shell. Scoop out conch meat, chicken, bacon, and cheese from it.
Stewed US beef short ribs (P2280)
This stewed short ribs are so tender, they almost melt in your mouth. There's a good balance of meat and fat in this dish, while the natural taste of the premium beef is allowed to shine.
Baked tiger lobster with cheese (Seasonal price/100g)
The lobster is enormous, but don't let it intimidate you. The whole dish is oozing with several kinds (kept secret) of cheese – a crowd-pleaser
Steamed Lapu-Lapu, traditional style (Seasonal price/100g)
Tender and delicate, the steamed lapu-lapu is a welcome respite from the previous rich dishes.
Premium soy sauce HK chicken in clay pot (P1880/whole; P980/half)
It seems simple, but the star of this the soy chicken is the sauce with its nice hint of sweetness – unfortunately, this is kept as a secret recipe.
Sweet and sour pork (P480)
Sweet and sour pork can be said to be a staple in every Chinese restaurant, but Xiù's version doesn't disappoint. Neither too sweet nor too sour, the distinct red sauce coats every crispy bit of pork.
Chinese lettuce with shrimp paste in clay pot (P480)
This pot of Chinese lettuce seems to be pretty straightforward, but it's deceptively simple. Bagoong gives it that salty, tasty edge.
It's cooked near your table, so the enticing aroma wafts across the room.
Wok-fried crab with garlic, 'typhoon shelter' style (Seasonal price/100g)
Sprinkled with a lot of garlic bits, the "typhoon shelter" style crab (i.e. believed to have originated from Hong Kong's typhoon shelters) is dish commonly found in Hong Kong restaurants.
As you open the shellfish with a cracker provided, you'll find the tender, white crab meat ready to devour with the rich taste of garlic.
Baked black ink rice with seafood in clay pot (P580)
Chinese meals usually end with noodles or rice, but this baked black ink rice is so packed with flavor, you would want to pair it with ulam or another dish.
Longevity ball (P28/piece, minimum order of 6)
These longevity balls are light as a feather yet crispy and firm outside. Rip one apart to munch on its glutinous shell.
Hot red bean soup (P480/portion; P130/bowl)
The hot red bean soup has a balance of sweet and earthy flavors – a wonderful cap to a filling meal.
Wash down with a refreshing glass of this sweet (but never cloying) drinks:
Fruit iced tea (P148)
Pineapple coconut shake (P148)
What do you think of these dishes? Which one would you like to try? Let us know in the comments. – Rappler.com
Xiù is located at 115 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills, San Juan City. Contact 650-7189 or 0947-707-0228 for more information.