My Birthday Celebrations at Lugang Cafe

tofu with mushroom in abalone sauce 480
Last September  I celebrated my birthday.  Last September I ate at Lugang Cafe three times. Why?  I wanted my friends to try the new dishes as well as my favorites at Lugang Cafe.

The first time was lunch with my Ateneo buddies. Only Len Len had previously eaten at Lugang. It was Tes and Rizette’s first time. Rizette just came from a vacation in China and still had a Chinese food hangover so I hoped she would like the food I ordered.
Ateneo buddies

All three times I ordered my all-time favorite dishes in Lugang Cafe. Everyone loved these. I urge you to order this. You really must!!!
must order at Lugang Cafe
beef w/ Chinese crullers P290, xiao long bao P188,
Taiwanese stewed minced pork P180

This dish is going to be a new favorite. Soft fish cakes with golden mushroom in tasty broth.
enoki mushroom
enoki mushroom (new dish) P420

If you don’t mind eating dory fish then you will like this dish. Fried fish fillet and tofu in a rich, garlicky sauce.
garlic fish fillet in clay pot
spicy garlic fish fillet in clay pot P320

I needed my green veggies so I ordered this simple but well cooked spinach.
sauteed spinach
sautéed spinach P250

The sago pudding tasted just like panna cotta. Really delicious!
mango sago pudding
mango sago pudding P140

Ordering shaved ice for dessert is a must when dining at Lugang.
mango shaved ice
mango shaved ice P160

We were intrigued with the new tea and coffee machines so we tried one of each.
Lugang Cafe new tea & coffee menu
Lugang Cafe’s new tea & coffee menu

This coffee gadget worked like a syphon. When the water is hot it transfers to the ground coffee to steep for a few seconds then it goes back to the container.
Lugang Cafe's traditional Arabian coffee
traditional Arabian coffee (new) P220

Considering how fast the coffee steeped the end product was pretty strong and full bodied. It made for two full cups of coffee only. We asked for more water and repeated the brewing so we were able to stretch the coffee to three cups. It still tasted good!
Lugang Cafe's traditional Arabian coffee-1
Belgium Royal 4C Cafe Balance Syphon Coffee Maker
I’ve never seen fructose served with coffee before. I didn’t use it though.
coffee cream & liquid fructose

We did the same for the fruit tea. We brewed it twice too. It was fruity and quite yummy.
Lugang Cafe's fruit tea
fruit tea (new) P220

Part two was dinner with my bffs Rochelle, Db, Chris and Ariel who came all the way from San Francisco just for my birthday. Well it happened to be his mom’s birthday too.

Since Db was a vegetarian I had to order food she can eat.
vegetarian dumplings with truffle oil 248
vegetarian dumplings with truffle oil (new) P248

I was surprised at how good this meatless dumpling was. The filling was made with carrots, spinach and tofu. Although I didn’t taste the truffle oil it was still very tasty. Even non-vegetarians will enjoy these dumplings.
vegetarian dumplings with truffle oil 248 -1

Of ALL the new dishes this tofu is our favorite. The tofu wasn’t just plain tofu. It tasted like egg custard mixed with tofu. The abalone sauce was just like the one served with abalone. The owner told me that it takes them hours to cook the sauce that’s why this dish is quite expensive. You MUST try this!
tofu with mushroom in abalone sauce 480-1
tofu with mushroom in abalone sauce (new) P480

Tauso is fried crispy soy beans. This dish is commonly found in Chinese restaurants and now Lugang has it too. This classic dish was very well cooked.
steamed lapu lapu with crispy tauso
steamed lapu lapu with crispy tauso (new) – market price

steamed lapu lapu with crispy tauso-1

Because of a misunderstanding with the order taker (her fault) we ended up with two green beans dishes. I’m not particularly fond of green beans but both dishes were simply awesome.

These string beans were fried dry and a little crisp. It didn’t have any sauce but it was surprisingly flavorful when mixed with the minced pork.
stir fried string beans with minced pork 280
stir fried string beans with minced pork P280

This version was strangely fabulous too. The salted egg added an unusual twist and taste to the green beans. Not your usual pairing but it worked.
green beans with salted egg 220
green beans with salted egg 220

Db brought an assortment of little cakes from Cake2Go.
Cake2Go desserts

I tried a teeny weenie bite of each one and like the turtle pie the best. It wasn’t too sweet and it was very chocolatey.
Cake2Go desserts-1
moccachino,  angel gabriel mousse, turtle pie

A funny break from overstuffing ourselves.

The third time was actually lunch with a friend who came from Sydney, Australia. This time we tried a single serving of lionhead meatball soup. The giant pork meatball was really tender and the soup was very rich and flavorful.
lionhead meatball soup 180
lionhead meatball soup 180

A cheaper option to the lapu lapu is to order dory fish fillet with crispy tauso.
steamed fish fillet with crispy tauso
steamed fish fillet with crispy tauso P380

I finally got to see the 3rd floor and rooftop of Lugang Cafe. The mural was different from the dragon mural on the 2nd floor.
3rd floor of Lugang Cafe

3rd floor of Lugang Cafe-3

The outdoor rooftop dining was really nice and cozy. Too bad our weather is hot otherwise I would love to have coffee and dessert here.
3rd floor of Lugang Cafe-1

3rd floor of Lugang Cafe-2

As usual the food in Lugang Cafe never fails to impress me and my guests. Some people tell me that the food there is nothing great. I always reply, “it’s a matter of ordering the right dishes.” Like any restaurant not all dishes are good and if you happen to order one of those then you will definitely not appreciate Lugang Cafe. After trying many of their dishes I only order old and new favorites that’s why we are always satisfied.

This post is the reason I barely lost any weight in September. Bad, bad, bad for my diet. 😀

My other entries on Lugang Cafe here and here.

Lugang Cafe
116 Connecticut St.
Northeast Greenhills, San Juan
Metro Manila
telephone: 721-9100, 570-9011

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