By Pam Rances
Through these years of having dimsum and noodles around, it’s safe to say that Filipinos have learned to love the taste of Chinese cuisine. Especially dimsum, which is a staple in almost every Chinese restaurant here in the Philippines. Its selection in the Filipino market is quite a handful honestly, but we have to admit that it’s been pretty unexciting for a while. So, in our search to upgrade Manila’s dimsum game, we found a giant Xiao Long Bao – as big as a person’s hand.
The genius behind it? BaiNian Tang Bao. Their name combination literally translates to hundred years(BaiNian) of soup dumpling (Tang Bao)”. They earned their glory by serving authentic Shanghainese cuisine, varying from different kinds of Xiao Long Bao, including the “Giant Tang Bao”. Owners Robert Lim, Paul and Christine Li brought the world-famous restaurant to its Filipino customers last Thursday at UPTown – BGC, making it their first branch ever in the Philippines.
So what makes their Xiao Long Bao stand out? In an interview with Paul Li, he revealed that their secret is in the soup. “It takes about 20 steps and around 12 hours to make an original Xiao Long Bao, and all this is made fresh in our kitchen!”
BaiNian Tang Bao equally takes pride in their other varieties of Xiao Long Bao such as their well-loved Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao, Chicken Soup Pork Xiao Long Bao, Scallops and Pork Xiao Long Bao, and Golden Corn Pork Xiao Long Bao.
We tried some delectable Shanghainese dish that we found on the menu that is not dimsum, particularly the Shanghai Style Fish Fillet. It is a deep-fried Tilapia, bathed in a pleasant shanghai style sauce. It’s definitely a perfect balance between the natural flavors of the fish and the sweetness of the sauce. Also, we can’t get over the crunch!
To wrap up the night, we had to try some of the dessert. We ordered White Fungus Broth because– not going to lie– the name itself got us curious. Its sweet gelatin-like texture, served with sweet Arabian dates syrup is the perfect way to end a yummy story. Mushroom for dessert anyone?
BaiNian Tang Bao is open every Mondays to Thursdays, from 11AM to 10PM; Fridays, from 11AM to 3AM; and Saturays to Sundays, from 11AM to 12MN. You can reach them thru their contact numbers: 09176238260 or 02(838-1716), or via their Facebook and Instagram: @BaiNianTangBaoPH, #BaiNianTangBaoPH, and #IloveBNTB.
This article was first published in Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.