I've been seeing Lugang Cafe for quite some time when I was still based in PH but never really gotten the chance to try it. I admit I am not a big fan of Chinese cuisine except when my occasional craving for authentic dimsums strikes, and so thinking that Lugang Cafe is just like any other Chinese restaurant, I don't really pay attention to it whenever I go looking for some place to eat.
Last Monday, after mine and my Mama Wheng's follow-up checkups with our respective doctors, my family and I went to SM The Block to look for a place to have our (late) lunch. It was already past 2 that time and this restaurant was the first that I saw upon entering the mall. My tummy's already growling so I took it as a sign that I don't have much time left before I would start nibbling on somebody. Hahaha! Seriously, I wasn't really expecting a lot when we entered the restaurant. I just knew I need to eat, stat! And boy, I'm glad we did give this place a chance to prove itself.
Right after we seated, I asked the dining attendant what cuisine they offer and he replied, "Taiwanese." I don't remember having tried Taiwanese cuisine in the past so I told myself that it was indeed the right time.
The restaurant's interiors are so modern and elegant. It was so unlike any other Chinese restaurants we've been to in the past. Actually, had I not known that it serves Taiwanese cuisine, I would have thought it's an Italian resto. The place really looks so sosyal and even their dining attendants are dressed neatly. Eto pa, all of them looks good. I mean everybody is either maganda or gwapo. Not sure if it's the restaurant's requirement or just purely coincidence.
My apologies for not being able to take more photos inside the restaurant as the place was pretty much jam-packed at past 2pm. I don't really like taking photos with a lot of people around because I know some consider it as an invasion of their privacy. Not everybody wants to be called a "photobomber" or see their photos on somebody else's post online.
Don't worry if you don't know how to eat with chopsticks, as they also provide spoon and fork.
Baby Napa Cabbage Broth, Php 220
It was way past lunch time and we were already starving, but we decided to have a soup as our starter. We need something to warm our tummies first before digging into the mains. Contrary to my belief about veggie soups, this one is so tasty. I remember finishing almost two bowls! This has bits of chicken too! This small bowl is good for 4-5 servings...sulit!
Pineapple Rice, Php 290
I don't really go for "flavored" rice unless my ulam's something like fried fish but since the others wanted to try this, then we went ahead and got ourselves an order. If you are a heavy rice-eater then I think this will only be good for 2 persons. I'm not sure if I really liked it because for me, it doesn't go well with our ulam. Medyo my tastebuds got confused whether it was the rice or the ulam that was good. It was okay, but not something that I would order again next time. But maybe, if I have pritong galunggong as ulam, this rice would have been such a nice partner.
Stir-Fry Beef with Peppers, Php320
Don't get deceived with the fiery-red peppers, as this dish won't make your tongue feel like burning. It's spicy, yes, but the sweet kind of spicy. The chilis are not labuyo anyway, so it's fine. This was the ulam that I ordered and I was the one who got to finish it too. It was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, plus the tender beef strips.
Stewed Pork, Php360
My Mama Wheng called it Adobo the moment it was served on our table but for me it tasted like Pork Asado. It's good, but it's something I wouldn't order because I know I can have the same thing at home. The fat's so tempting though, and the sweetness of the dish would make you want to eat more rice. LOL!
Stir-fry Broccoli, Php270
I confess, I am a big fan of broccoli. It is the one vegetable that I can eat all day, everyday. Be it steamed, baked or stir-fried. I wasn't expecting the dish to be special because hello, stir-fried nga lang but damn, I couldn't stop eating it. Ako lang halos kumain. I was trying to figure out the spices they used to cook it. Angsaraaaap! I'd surely go back to have this again.
Fried Rice Noodles, Php270
I'm not really a fan of pancit, unless it's one of those kind that you can buy from the palengke. Hahaha. I find those that are too masarap, not really masarap. Hanudaw!? Basta, I prefer the pancit which doesn't have much lasa. My family and friends know this so whenever I would say that the pancit is masarap for me, it actually is not for everybody else. So this one? Not masarap for me. But with my Mama Wheng's expert tastebuds for pancit, this is a winner.
Buco Lychee, Php 130
Fresh Brewed Iced Tea, Php 150
Watermelon Sago Coconut Milk, Php 150
Fresh Fruit Tea, Php 160
Mom always order tea when we eat out and I just usually ignore what she's having. But not this time. I just got too curious about how it looks and well, can you see the apple slices in the cup? Naintriga ako eh, so I gave it a try. Lo and behold, I liked it. No! I super liked it! It's not like any other teas I have tried before.
For dessert, we only ordered one:
Peanut Smoothie, Php 200
It's like Wendy's Frosty but in Peanut Butter flavor. I liked it but I didn't have much. My tummy's left with no space and since I'm still recovering from the wound from the operation, I feel like my tummy's gonna blow if I eat too much. Hopefully that kind of feeling will help me lose weight. (Crossing fingers)
Me, my Mom and my Mama Wheng
Overall, our dining experience was good. Staff is very accommodating and courteous. They check on you often to ask on anything that you might need. The ambience is very conducive to dining either being alone or as a group. The food is not cheap at Lugang Cafe but you do get your money's worth. And besides, their food is good for sharing. Be ready to shell out Php 1000 (or less) for a dining good for 2.
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