Xiu Fine Cantonese Dining is the new concept by the group behind Lugang, Dessert Kitchen and TuanTuan. It takes over the space of the first Lugang branch in Connecticut St., Greenhills. Xiu is a collaboration between the Lugang group and West Villa of Hong Kong and kitchens manned by a group of highly trained Chinese chefs.
They’ve spruced the place up, very chic and modern with little touches here and there that remind you that it is a Chinese restaurant. We had a little preview dinner before they formally opened to the public last July 29, 2016.
Cantonese Style Crispy Pork Belly (P680/order). 12 pcs arranged in blocks of 4 and served with a light mustard sauce. Nice alternating layers of meat, fat and skin. I could not get enough of this one.
Honey Glazed Prime Cut Char Siu (P680/order). Visually, it had a nice charring and glistening red color and a sweet smoky aroma. This was a bit of a let down as it was not as tender as I expected it to be except for the ones that had a greater ratio of fat to meat. Local Chinese diners like their char siu on the lean side similar to how my parents order them but in Hong Kong the optimal is 1:1 fat to meat ratio. I also felt each piece was sliced too thick.
Double Boiled Fish Maw and Almond Soup (P3880/large, P1980/small). Silky, fresh and tasty chicken and pork offal broth with a hint of almond. The fish maw is specially imported from HK and gives a chewy counter to the soup.
Baked Stuffed Sea Conch, French Style (P480/piece). This stunning dish is not a common sight locally but popular in other Asian countries. Sea conch meat is similar to a clam or calamari, I’ve eaten a whole one in Cebu and the mat looks like something from outer space. The chefs at Xiu has chopped it and mixed with chicken and cheese and baked in its shell and served with a little salad on the side. A very enjoyable dish.
Baked Lobster with Cheese and E-Fu Noodles (market price). I’ve always seen this in HK Chinese restaurants but never had it before and don’t recall any place serving it locally. It’s a sea of impressive yellow sauce that comes with the wafting aroma of melted cheese. Taste wise, I felt it was too heavy for my tastes, I ate 3 pieces and had no desire for more. I’d still get a fresh lobster cooked in superior broth any day over the cheese but kids and cheese lovers would enjoy this more than I do.
Stewed US Beef Short Ribs (P2280/portion). This is a large dish that comers with a big piece of beef bone for presentation. The beef pieces were very tender and the accompanying sauce screams for bowls of rice.
Sweet and Sour Pork (P480/portion). Our other dining companions enjoyed this version but I personally felt is was better than most but still falls short of my local benchmarks. The sauce was also more sour, knocking the flavor off balance. The meat has a crunchy coating but that was it.
Chinese Lettuce with Shrimp Paste (P480/portion). Finished off table side with the staff mixing in the shrimp paste releasing lots of aroma. I love Chinese vegetable dishes and this one was no different. Crisp vegetables accented with the strong shrimp paste flavors.
Premium Soy Sauced Chicken in Clay Pot (P1880/whole, P980/half).
Steamed Lapu Lapu with Light Soy (market price).
Wok Fried Crabs,Typhoon Shelter style (market price). If you’ve eaten at Under Bridge Spicy Crab, you’ll know what to expect if not it’s fried crab with a heaping amount of garlic and chili. Immensely enjoyable because the chili flavor is tempered compared to the mouth burning one I had in HK. If you like spicy better ask them to add more when ordering. A must order at Xiu.
Baked Black Ink Rice with Seafood (P580/portion). Loved this colored ending to the savory dishes, packed with lots of umami flavors.
Longevity Balls (P28/piece, min of 6). I’m never been a fan of buchi but these hollow buchi like puffs are a different thing. The texture as you bite and chew is similar to ham suy kok but dotted with sesame seeds. It’s hollow so you don’t feel it when you’ve wolfed down a few already.
There was a mix bag of hits and misses on my first taste of Xiu but there was enough interesting items the menu I want to try on a future visit.
Xiu Fine Cantonese Dining115 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills
San Juan City, Philippines
Contact No.: (632)650-7189
Facebook Page: Xiu Fine Cantonese Dining
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Dokes Nilo says
Thank you for your no-holds-barred review of Xiu.
Regarding the Char Siu that wasn’t as tender as you’d liked (due to the fat:meat ratio) and may have been too thick, would you kindly share your recommendations for (in your opinion) the best Char Siu in the metro? (Back story: our family used to live in Taipe and HK during the 70s and 80s, and my mom is always searching for local Char Siu that is as good as the ones she ate in those cities.)
Regarding the Sweet & Sour Pork that “still falls short of [your] local benchmarks,” would you also kindly share which restaurants serve Sweet & Sour Pork that serve as your local benchmark?
Thanks in advance,
Thanks. My pick for char shiu is from Choi Garden. For sweet and sour pork, it’s still Century Seafood but the recent one from China Blue I had was pretty good also.
Dokes Nilo says
Many thanks for your reply.
Haven’t tried these dishes at the restaurants you mentioned, so I’ll be sure to do so.
Keep up the blogging!