5.068 Stir-Fried Spinach

-Cycle 5, Item 68-
14 (Fri) March 2014

Stir-Fried Spinach


at Lugang Café

-Mall of Asia, Pasay-

with ME, BJ, MK, TL

Flying back to Korea later tonight, I needed to get me some roast duck noodle soup before getting on the plane (see previously 5.046 Seafood Chop Suey...).

Lugang Café is a Chinese restaurant chain.  5 locations throughout Metro Manila, all in shoppings malls, including 1 in Mall of Asia.  Hodgepodge menu, with items ranging in styles from Mandarin, Shanghainese, Taiwanese, Cantonese.  Current ranking on TripAdvisor: 33 of 732 restaurants in Manila.

First time that I've had to wait for a table at any restaurant in Manila.

Alas, while Lugang Café does offer roast duck, Cantonese-style noodle soup didn't appear to be on the menu.  With so many other options available, I didn't bother to ask.  I should've checked the website more closely before I got there.

No matter, because I would've gone anyway.  The place had come recommended from Trinette.  When a Singaporean recommends a restaurant, when a Singaporean of Chinese descent recommends a Chinese restaurant, I'm not one to argue.

A tad on the pricy side, just by about an extra 100 pesos per dish.

If the kitchen were so inclined, they could mix/match various items to make roast duck noodle soup.

Otherwise, the food was okay.  The best dish of the evening was the spinach, stir-fried with garlic, perfectly cooked, perfectly balanced seasonings.  So simple, yet not easy to get it just right, as here.  My only regret is that it was spinach, which I generally find to be a rather pedestrian vegetable; I would've preferred gailan ("Chinese kale") or kangkong ("water spinach"), even broccoli, but they were out of everything else.

Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao (1.5)--the skins were excellent, light and slightly chewy, expertly formed, but the filling was way heavy on the ginger; my personal aversion to ginger aside, it was too much.    

Roasted Duck (1/2) (2.5)--not that great in absolute terms but marginally the best that I've had in Manila thus far.  

Taiwanese Salt & Pepper Shrimp (3.0)--the meal's runner-up best dish.

Fried Rice with Taiwanese Sausage (2.0)--I've never been too fond of Asian sausage.

By coincidence, this meal was almost exactly like the set that I had at Classic Savory in Robinsons Place last month (see generally 5.033 Classic Chicken Combo B4 + Polonchay with Garlic).

See you on the other side.

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