I had been hearing a lot of good buzz about Shi Lin (their xiao long bao in particular) so we decided to check out their branch at The Podium. We took the MRT and walked the rest of the way to the mall so we were starving by the time we got there.
TasteWe ordered the Hot and Sour Soup as appetizer, Mushroom and Vegetable Dumplings, Shrimp and Pork Shaomai, Xiao Long Bao, a plate of rice, Passion Berry Iced Tea and Tropical Plumberry Iced Tea to wash them all down, and Red Bean Dumplings for dessert.
|Hot and Sour Soup - P108|
The Hot and Sour Soup was thicker and a bit spicier than other ones we had tried before. A good way to prep our tummies for the dumplings galore.
|Passion Berry Iced Tea (left) - P60 / Tropical Plumberry Iced Tea (right) - P60|
Both the passion berry and tropical plumberry iced teas were refreshing and had the right kind of sweetness.
The Shrimp and Pork Shaomai looked very cute, with those shrimps peeking out at the tops. The Mushroom and Vegetable Dumplings were okay but I developed taste fatigue before we finished all our food.
|Shrimp and Pork Shaomai - P165|
|Mushroom and Vegetable Dumplings - P148|
Shi Lin had on their table a laminated guide on how to eat Xiao Long Bao. Number 3 on the guide made me expect that the wrapper was very thin. I ended up not following the guide since the wrapper was not as delicate as I thought. The soup was also at the bottom and I did not taste the soup even after I bit the top of the Xiao Long Bao and sipped. So I just dipped the Xiao Long Bao in the sauce then ate the whole piece instead. Having the broth explode inside my mouth was enjoyable.
|Xiao Long Bao (10pcs) - P230|
Before tasting the food, I had really high expectations with the dumplings. The dumplings were good but not rave-worthy in my opinion.
We took the Red Bean Dumplings home and ate them the following morning. They spent hours inside the ref so were not as good as served fresh, admittedly. Still, we regretted buying the Red Bean Dumplings. They didn't taste bad -- we just felt a cognitive dissonance with them being in dumplings form. We were used to dumplings with meat or vegetable fillings, not something sweet. We should have chosen their other desserts or skipped desserts altogether.
|Red Bean Dumplings - P110|
Although not cheap, the food was priced reasonably, considering that the dumplings were a lot more filling than we expected. We could have ordered half and still came out satisfied.
To summarize the prices of the items we ordered:
Hot and Sour Soup - P108
Mushroom and Vegetable Dumplings - P148
Shrimp and Pork Shaomai - P165
Xiao Long Bao (10pcs) - P230
Red Bean Dumplings - P110
Plain Rice - P45
Passion Berry Iced Tea - P60
Tropical Plumberry Iced Tea - P60
I liked Shi Lin's interiors. Colours and lighting were warm, not garish. Chinese music was playing inside the resto (bf did not like the music but I found it a nice touch). The seats were comfy and the restaurant had a relaxed ambiance. Our seats were near the entrance, along a corridor fronting the see-through kitchen.
The place was clean and orderly. Having a glass-walled kitchen was a good idea as it enabled the customers to see how their food was being handled (no stereotypical topless, sweaty guy handling our food!) as well as forced the cooks to strictly follow good practices.
We got good service from Shi Lin's staff. All the staff members who interacted with us were polite and smiling. Since we ordered a lot of food (for two people), some of the food sitting on our table got cold before we could consume them. Halfway through the meal, a female staff approached our table and asked us if we wanted our food reheated. It was our first time to encounter a restaurant that volunteered to reheat our food, and we were very grateful for that. The dumplings were really better consumed piping hot.
3/F The Podium
ADB Ave. Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Tel No. (02) 477-4108