I heard of this Chinese restaurant from my future brother in law – he said that they also serve Xiao Long Bao. So yesterday – after doing some baby shopping, my friend Selene suggested we go to Shi Lin at the Podium for an early dinner.
I honestly did not know where it was – its has been a while since I was at the Podium, so I was wondering where it was. The restaurant was located on the same floor as Toy Kingdom. When you first see it – you’ll notice that the entrance is quite narrow and that there’s a show window where the cooks are making the Xiao Long Baos manually. This reminded me of Din Tai Fung, one of my favorite restaurants abroad. I was skeptical, I thought – I’m sure the skin of the Xiao Long Bao will be thick, and I said to myself ‘No restaurant can copy the thin skin of DTF!’
So when we sat down – I immediately ordered the Xiao Long Bao – I was excited to see and taste this restarant’s version of the XLB. The menu looked familiar too – the red color, the design of the logo, even the fare – it was so DTF! When the XLB arrived in bamboo steamers – I was quite excited, and then my chopstick caught one – and it didn’t rip – I said to myself ‘PLUS points for Shi Lin!’ and when I bit into the XLB – I was already impressed. The skin of the XLB was just perfect! It was thin enough to hold in the juices and not break easily. I thought to myself – ‘This XLB – coming from a copycat (remember, this is my opinion!) – was very well made!!‘ I mean, look at Suzhou’s, Crystal Jade and Lugang’s – the skin is still thicker than Din Tai Fung’s! 🙂 And since it was a local copycat restaurant, I was more impressed! Think about it – Crystal Jade couldn’t do it – Lugang too! But Shi Lin was able to somehow give us the thinner skinned Xiao Long Bao! 🙂 Shi Lin’s Xiao Long Bao – has got to be THE BEST
I also remembered how good Din Tai Fung’s Noodles with Peanut sauce was so we decided to order Shi Lin’s version with a bit more spice. The dish in general tasted great, my only complaint was that the noodles were not as fine as I was hoping them to be – they were actually unevenly shaped, but nevertheless – I enjoyed eating them whilst sweating out the spicy-ness! I also ordered take-out for my mom to try! And she agrees that its really good!
The Beef Noodle was also good – the soup was very flavorful – and the nice thing was that when I asked for extra soup twice – they didn’t charge me for them! 🙂
As for the Drunken Chicken that we ordered – it was served cold (as it usually is) this was the only complaint of my friend Selene – but my Panget liked it and was used to eating this dish, cold! I didn’t try it because I have this thing of not eating chicken that is steamed or with liquid-y sauce, but there are exceptions! Haha! Yes, I am that maarte when it comes to chicken.
For dessert it was Selene’s request that we order the Taro Dumplings. This friend of mine LOVES taro so much – and true enough – they also tasted yummy. The Taro dumplings dish was a refreshing end to our early dinner – it was not overpowering but it was tasty – the sweetness was just right.
Overall – I enjoyed my dining experience in Shi Lin. I was really really impressed – I don’t know if I was just hungry or what, but I liked everything that I ate there. I am excited to bring my family there to try it out1 I just hope that the skin will be the same – still thin. Hahaha!! 🙂
Kudos to whoever thought of putting up Shi Lin – your Xiao Long Bao has to be THE closest thing to Din Tai Fung that we have here in Manila! No need anymore to buy the expensive franchise anymore! Hahahaha… 🙂 Galeng!