Discover Where To Eat The Best Sweet And Sour Pork In The City

5 months ago

Steamed crab with glutinous rice H

Of all the Chinese cuisines, Cantonese is perhaps the most popular and most widely served all over the world, thanks to the sheer number of emigrants from Guangdong (formerly Canton). While this has led to a greater appreciation and worldwide recognition of the cuisine, the price of ubiquity can be a hefty one: Authenticity is often compromised.

If you want to go to a place that serves the best and most authentic, hop on a plane to Hong Kong, a city hailed as a “Gourmet Paradise” where Cantonese cuisine flourishes. But if you’re stuck in Manila and hankering for a taste of Hong Kong, take a drive instead to XIÙ Fine Cantonese dining, a restaurant in Greenhills, San Juan, that masterfully captures the flair and flavor of authentic Cantonese cuisine.

The elegant and refined interiors of XIÙ

The elegant and refined interiors of XIÙ

XIÙ, which means elegance, embodies the essence of Cantonese cuisine which lies in the preservation of the food’s natural flavors. Spices are used sparingly, never overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients. The quality of ingredients becomes crucial; they must be carefully selected and properly handled and prepared.

Here are eight XIÙ dishes that represent some of the best that Hong Kong has to offer:


Honey-glazed Prime Cut Char Siu H

Honey-glazed Prime Cut Char Siu
Char Siu (or BBQ pork) is one of the most popular roasted specialties that Hong Kong is known for. The most striking feature of a great Hong Kong Char Siu is thick but tender cuts. This calls for using only prime cuts of pork with perfect marbling to achieve tenderness and juiciness in every bite. XIÙ uphold this with their version, which insists on using only the pork collar for that ideal fat-meat ratio. Combined with perfect marination and a precise roasting technique, this is heralded as XIÙ’s signature dish.


Double-boiled sparerib soup with mixed herbs H

Double-Boiled Soups
Double-boiling is an integral part of Cantonese cooking culture. This technique is a slow and gentle process of extracting maximum flavor from the ingredients. To accomplish this, the ingredients are placed in a ceramic jar then submerged in boiling water for several hours. In this process, the flavors are elegantly coaxed. Because there is no direct contact with water, the ingredients are kept intact, leaving the soup’s flavor pure and the texture uncompromised.

XIÙ has many double-boiled soups, each with its own unique flavor and health benefits. The traditional Double-boiled almond soup with fish maw improves weak lungs, invigorates blood circulation, and helps maintain radiant skin. The new offering Double-boiled spare rib soup with Chinese herbs boosts energy and revitalizes the body.


Steamed elephant clams H

Steamed Elephant Clams with Garlic and Vermicelli
For this dish, the quality of ingredients takes center stage. Live clams are best enjoyed when they are steamed at the peak of their freshness, and then just lightly seasoned with soy sauce and garlic. They are nestled in their own shells with vermicelli that adds texture and soaks up all the flavors. XIÙ offers it two ways: local clams or imported ones flown all the way from Hong Kong, though you need to request the latter option in advance.


Lettuce with shrimp paste 02

Lettuce with Shrimp Paste in Clay Pot
“Fine” food does not necessarily mean expensive ingredients and prices. Often, it alludes to the careful selection of appropriate ingredients, method of cooking, and graceful execution.

The recipe for this dish is simple and straightforward, but it isn’t one of XIÙ’s house specials for nothing. The mouthwatering aroma is just a prelude to a mild but delightful attack on the palate. The shrimp paste from Hong Kong isn’t as pungent as our local version; it is just salty enough to tease the taste buds and goes quite well with sizzling and crunchy lettuce.

Sweet and sour pork H

Sweet and Sour Pork
For some respected Hong Kong chefs, Sweet and Sour Pork is the one dish that they order to take the measure of the kitchen. It reveals the skill level of the chef because the execution makes or breaks the dish.[1] XIÙ gives justice to this all-time favorite–crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and lightly coated with the right balance of tangy flavor.We can confidently say that it’s the best Sweet and Sour Pork dish–ever.


Steamed lapu-lapu with spring onion 02

Steamed Lapu-Lapu with Spring Onion
Steamed lapu-lapu is a shining example of the elegance of authentic Cantonese cooking. It calls for using fresh, high-quality ingredients along with precise methods of cooking that allows the natural flavors to flourish. The result is perfectly steamed, delicate, and tender flesh with all its natural sweetness enhanced by light seasoning. In the hands of XIÙ’s capable chefs, eating a conventional dish can be an amazing experience.


Soy sauce chicken V

Soy Sauce Chicken in Clay Pot
When speaking of this dish, Hong Kongers all over the world are hit with a wave of nostalgia as it reminds them of home-cooked meals lovingly prepared by their moms and grandmothers. XIÙ’s recreation of this classic dish features imported, top of the range yellow chicken from Hong Kong that is plumper, more succulent, and more flavorful. The sauce is a feat on its own–a secret recipe that is a perfect blend of sweet and savory.


Steamed crab with glutinous rice V

Steamed Crab with Glutinous Rice
While crab can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, this dish best exemplifies the hallmark of Cantonese cooking that is anchored on high-quality live seafood combined with light flavors to retain and highlight the natural taste. The crab is the star of the dish, but the glutinous rice is just as outstanding. Each grain is coated with the distinct, delicate, and sweet flavors of fresh crab with makes it quite irresistible.

Suddenly, Hong Kong just got a little closer to home.


XIÙ. 115 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills, San Juan City Call (02) 650-7189, 650 8428, (0947) 707-0228

Photos courtesy of XIÙ Fine Cantonese

[1] A new understanding of your childhood cliche – sweet and sour pork.
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