Pieces Of A Wunderkind's Mind

Snippets of Life, Love, Food, Travels, Discoveries, and Whatnot

Suzhou Invasion

on November 8, 2010

Yes, Suzhou. Not the prefecture-level city in the province of Jiangsu, China occasionally nicknamed “Venice of China” but that hole-in-the-wall dimsum place along A. Mabini street in Malate. And this time, I, finally, was able to go with Francis. Oh, joy! Smiley

If you don’t look closely, you might drive past this modest Chinese restaurant. Girly bars, for lack of a better term, are all over the place and their neon lights and signage may distract you from locating the spot. Parking would be a breeze IF you’re a pro at parallel. Otherwise, you need to take a few minutes walk from a decent parking area. Parking attendants along Mabini can help you if you think you’ve already missed it. Tip: Suzhou Dimsum is right beside Angel Heart [you guessed right — a girly bar]. Smiley

We had the place to ourselves when we got there. It looked a lot like Hunan Lutong Bahay not just because of the simple wooden chairs and tables, but also because of the table numbers and photos of their dishes pasted on the walls. As always, house tea was served while we scan the menu. A few minutes later, groups of people started to crowd in.

See the leaves?

We came for the house specialty, the xiao long bao [or xiao long pao, as some would say it]. These are a type of dumplings steamed in small bamboo baskets, hence the name. [Xiaolong can be literally translated to “small steaming basket”]. Xiao long bao are commonly referred to as soup dumplings or soupy buns. The buns are dished out in the bamboo baskets in which they are steamed, usually on a bed napa cabbage, or on a woven mat.

Oooh, steamy!

They come with dipping sauces.

Xiao long bao is served piping-hot, which you pick up with your chopsticks. You then dip it in Chinkiang vinegar, a type of black rice vinegar, with fine ginger strips and lay the dumpling in your soup spoon. The next step would be shoving it whole in your mouth. The moment you bite into the dumpling, the soup concealed within it will explode in your mouth, giving you a lovely combination of flavor, heat, texture and allowing the palate to experience pure bliss. [No exaggeration here.] We got two orders [8 pieces] for P180.

There’s the soup! Click to enlarge

We came for merienda so we didn’t want a heavy meal. We got the Tofu with Century Egg and Shredded Pork to match our xiao long bao. It was a cold dish of immaculate, round slices of fresh silken tofu drizzled with a mix of oyster sauce and sesame oil, topped with equally perfect slivers of century egg, pork flakes [a.k.a. floss], and chopped spring onions. It was a visual treat as much as it was a gustatory delight. The silky gorgeousness of the tofu did not disappoint as it also provided a wonderful feeling in the mouth. That, combined with the slight sweetness in the sauce plus the contrast of the egg and pork’s saltiness was a delectable dynamite in the mouth. Just imagine eating chilled taho and taking a combo of sweet-savory stuff with it. Swear, ang sarap!!! Smiley [I don’t know but it really worked for me, well, for us.] It was so worth its P150 value.

We promised to be back for even more unique but scrumptious Chinese. We’ve already made a list of potential-next-orders which includes golden corn biscuits, spicy shrimp wanton soup, shallot oiled pan cake, Taiwan beef noodle soup [I heard their version is exactly like the ones from Taiwan], soy sauce steamed beef, and bamboo spicy shredded pork. But then again, the mere thought of the xiao long bao can easily make us ditch the ones in our list. Suzhou definitely deserves a next visit… and another… and still another. The food is that good!

For those who want to enjoy xiao long bao and the other Suzhou fare in the comforts of their own dining table, frozen dimsum are available. These could double as pasalubong, as well. 🙂

With this post, don’t you just want to “invade” Suzhou too? 😉 Note: If i’m not mistaken, they also have branches in Mandaluyong and in Greenhills.

Suzhou Dimsum
1715 A. Mabini St. Malate Manila
Telephone: 302-4347



6 responses to “Suzhou Invasion

  1. Yuri says:

    lapit lang niyan sa office namin. I usually go there to have breakfast 🙂 My usual order: 台湾牛肉汤面 (Taiwanese beef noodle soup), 小笼包 (xiaolongbao), and a can of 王老吉 (wang lao ji). Yum yum 🙂 There’s also a branch along Masangkay, and another one in GH. 🙂

    • dashashash says:

      you’re lucky to have something like Suzhou near your workplace. 🙂 i would love to try their Taiwan beef noodle soup too. 🙂 regarding naman their canned herbal tea, i like the ones in Hunan Lutong Bahay better… those with the gulaman bits. Suzhou serves plain Wang Lo Kat lang yata eh…

  2. Smarla says:

    wooooow i want to go here! xiao long bao!!

    thanks for sharing this. i love how you described the texture 😀

    you might be interested in this secret chinese resto too: http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2010/01/6404-camia-the-secret-chinese-restaurant.html

  3. Smarla says:

    Cool! im going there tomorrow 🙂 thanks for the link, im reading your entry on it na 🙂

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