Saturday, April 7, 2018

That Humongous Xiao Long Bao at Bai Nian Tang Bao

 XLB - A Brief Glimpse into the Past
Xiao Long Bao  popularly known as broth or soup dumpling originated from China  in the Yuan Dynasty some 600 years back in Shanghai.

Legend has it that the people of  Long Pao Town in  Jiangsu prepared for the visit of  their emperor by making their specialty Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao to pay tribute to their beloved leader.

The Emperor loved Crab Roe Xiao  Long Bao also known as Xie Huang Tang Bao that it became part of the Emperor's Menu. It was intended to be enjoyed only by the  Emperor and his well-heeled guests.

Fast forward to the present,  thanks to   Bai Nian Tang Bao   which opened its pilot restaurant at the Ground Floor Uptown Parade 9th Avenue corner 38th Street Taguig,  even non-royals like us can now taste the famous XLB at any time of the day.  You can even watch how the Chefs make it from the restaurant's open kitchen.

Fun Trivia : Bai Nian Tang Bao  literally means hundred years (Bai Nian) and famous soup dumpling (Tang Bao)

The Making of Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao
It was engrossing  to watch the step by step procedure for creating this delicious snack. Did you know  that it takes a total of 20 steps to make one Xiao Long Bao?
Check out the last few steps here :
Step 1 : 
Get the prepared dough and shape into flat thin round discs.
Step 2 :  
Put  a dollop of  crab roe paste right smack in the center of the disc

Note that this soup took 12 hours to cook. Wow!

Step 3
Deposit a prepared broth in soft jelly form on top of the crab roe

Step 4 :  
Fold the thin dough around the broth and crab roe until both crab and roe  are sealed inside the dough ball

Step 5 : 

Garnish the huge xiao long bao with crab roe on top

Step 6:  
Steam and serve with straw.  Be sure to wait a little bit to sip the soup from the straw to avoid scalding. Enjoy your Xiao Long Bao .

Giant Tang Bao with straw P258

Sipping Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao through a straw is definitely a novel experience one must try soon


Special Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao P288  
Chicken Soup Pork Xiao Long Bao P158  
Scallops and Pork Xiao Long Bao P238 and  Corn XLB

The common base among all 4 variants is the minced pork inside. The classic variant is all pork and was delicious. Actually all 4 variants were scrumptious. The problem is I can not tell one from the other except for the corn variant which  is easily identifiable taste-wise. But that's just me. Try it yourself and tell me what you think.

Stewed Pork with Pork Steak P228
Stewed Pork with Beef Steak P238
Stewed Pork with Chicken Steak P218

Shanghai Golden Sheng  Jian Bao P138 4 pcs

Shanghai Special Braised Pork P329
By its appearance and taste,  you can almost mistake it for our local pork adobo and I mean that in a good way.

Bok Choy with Mushroom P199
I love greens and 'shrooms so this dish was a hit with me. It helps that the bokchoy was fresh , crisp and verdant green. The shitake mushroom provided the  "protein" component with its  meaty texture. I loved how the two ingredients complemented each other visually and palate-wise
Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Ribs P279
The flavor was spot on. It looked delicious with its rich brown color. My only issue was it could need a few more minutes to make it fall off the bone. But that's just my personal preference.

Summary :

Foodie Mom 

It was an exciting day for this foodie mom. Watching how that giant XLB was made  then drinking the soup from the straw was a novel experience everyone must try.

Lest I forget, the other items  in BNTB's menu were nothing to be sneezed at too . My favorites were the Bokchoy and Mushroom, the Wonton soups,  the different kinds of rice and the rice toppings. It was just sad that I was not able to taste everything because I had to leave early. Oh well more reason for me to return with the family.

Imagine 20 steps for just one XLB. Wow!  It would be amazing if I can replicate it at home.  The stunned look on the handsome hubby and piggery's faces will be worth all the trouble, that is assuming Im successful hahaha.  Ma-research nga. Ambisyosa lang.

Inner Geek
XLB's  riveting history as told by Bai Nian Tang Bao fascinated my inner geek..What a pedigreed snack this XLB is turning out to be. It makes me want to delve deeper to find out more about its origins.

Budget Conscious 
From a budget-conscious mom's point of view,  Bai Nian Tang Bao  is value for money. I loved that all the dishes that were served to us were  quality ingredients and generally tasty.  I noticed  that the pricing is very competitive. They were mostly below P300. I found that  a delightful surprise considering its prime location in Uptown Parade.

All in all,  what a productive foodie meet up it was.  Thank you for having us Bai Nian Tang Bao  and for the invite ZomatoPH. This foodie mom, cook-wanna-be, inner-history-buff  and  "practical" mom (read Makunat na nanay  hehe) is replete.

Definitely returning here with the piggery in tow .

Bai Nian Tang Bao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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