Suzhou Dimsum – A Xiao Long Bao Favorite No More?


For the longest time, Suzhou Dimsum is our favorite for its Xiao Long Bao. Depending on where we are close to, we either hit the Malate or Mandaluyong branch when we want our Xiao Long Bao fix. We like to eat at the original Malate hole-in-the-wall branch where the dimsums are actually made. However, after eating at Crystal Jade, could it be that there’s a new favorite Xiao Long Bao in town? So we went back to Suzhou and see how this old favorite really compare.

Suzhou Dumpling, A. Mabini, Malate
Menu A-1 Dimsum | Menu A-2 Noodle & Rice | Menu B-1 | Menu B-2
(Tip: enlarge the menu in Flickr by clicking Action button and View All Sizes)

Most of the foodies prefer the hole-in-the-wall charm of the original branch. Most of the time you’ll see Chinese people enjoying lunch or having meetings here. 

Suzhou Dumpling, A.Mabini in Mandaluyong: Menu Front | Menu Back
(Tip: enlarge the menu in Flickr by clicking Action button and View All Sizes)

The Mandaluyong branch also is cozy and has a distinct homey appeal. 

Xiao Long Bao (P90 in Malate, P100 in Mabini). Pork Dimsum with Pork soup inside.  

The Xiao Long Bao in this resto is much cheaper than Crystal Jade. I would say that the dimsum itself is much bigger. The issue here, and this is really a personal preference, you can’t eat their dimsum in one bite because the skin is thicker. The soup taste  doesn’t have depth too. 

Spicy Shrimp Pork Wanton (P120).

We still love the dimsum wanton soup combinations of Suzhou specially the spicy ones 🙂

Soy Sauce Steamed Beef (P260). Thin slices of beef with chili on top. 

This is Rache’s favorite in the Malate branch. Just order rice with this and you are solved. 

Frozen Xiao Long Bao (P130). Other Frozen Dimsum Items Available

Every time we eat in Malate, we would order these frozen dimsum for pasalubong to friends/ family. 

Suzhou Dimsum, Mandaluyong City
837 A. Mabini St. cor. Araullo St.Mandaluyong City, 
Telephone: +632 721-6105

Although Crystal Jade’s Xiao Long Bao edges Suzhou in the taste category, we will still go  back to Suzhou’s hole-in-the-wall comfort food experience once in a while.

Suzhou Dimsum, Malate
A. Mabini St. Malate Manila,
Telephone: +632 302-4347

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Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals and we are connected with the owners in any way.  


11 thoughts on “Suzhou Dimsum – A Xiao Long Bao Favorite No More?

  1. you are right, the skin is thick…..we have tried crystal jade at greenhills, i think it doesnt have the aroma….even the fried siopao is ordinary as well as their yangchow fried rice is not good…I think suzhou mandaluyong branch taste better than mabini branch. as for crystal jade, i think it is still best to go to Hongkong and taste the original dimsum….everything is fresh…more power to you…

  2. i haven’t tried crystal jade in greenhills yet but based on the reviews, you can find better food daw at gloria maris or choi garden. (i will still try it out though.) my mom and i have been long-time patrons of suzhou at mabini, what lacks in ambiance is made up for by the taste and affordable price =)

  3. My wife and I never liked the Suzhou Xiao Long Bao when we tried it a few years back in their Mandaluyong restaurant. If I recall, parang oily chicken soup lang ang dating ng laman, the ginger was overwhelming and unbalanced. She’s also tried that of Mongkok and she said it wasn’t very good. The first real good Xiao Long Bao we really had was at Crystal Jade. I don’t think there’s any comparison.
    I’ve seen that many eat xiao long bao by putting a piece on a soup spoon then piercing the skin, letting the soup out into the spoon. I think this method is a waste of the xiao long bao experience. I’ve figured that the best way to enjoy (a good) xiao long bao is to pierce a little hole on top to let the steam out and the let the soup cool down a bit. Test the temperature of the contents with your tongue, and when it’s not piping hot anymore, put the whole dumpling in your mouth and chew. Or you can just let the dumplings cool down for a while so you don’t have to pierce it at all. In any case, I find that eating xiao long bao whole and letting the soup flavors explode in your mouth as you chew is the best way to enjoy it. Eating them any other way would feel just like eating ordinary dumplings in soup.

  4. Sorry, I disagree. Crystal Jade’s siaolong pao wasn’t that good compared to the Szu Zhou in Mabini Mandaluyong. Skin was thick! It wasn’t worth the bucks and wait. . I am addicted to siao long paos and have tried almost all restos that have it nationwide but so far, nothing beats to the siaolong pao in Szu Zhou 😉

  5. Anton, you might want to look at your disclaimer: “Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals and we are connected with the owners in any way.”
    Haven’t tried XLB from Crystal Jade in Greenhills. I was supposed to go there last Tuesday but got turned off by the long line. So my XLB craving was satisfied by Szu Zhou in Promenade Mall hehe.

  6. I’m one of those people who endured the long lines just to eat at Crystal Jade and try their xiao log bao. After the build up of anticipation of being able to eat at what is supposedly one of the best chinese restaurants to finally open in the Philippines I walked away dissatisfied and very disappointed. As soon as I tried the xiao long bao only one thought came to mind… Suzhou’s is waaaaaaaay better! I say skip the long waiting line and just head over to Suzhou, can’t beat value for your money!

  7. Hi Robby,
    Thanks for sharing this tip! This is how I want to enjoy my Xiao Long Bao as well 🙂
    I didn't now there was a best practice on how to enjoy the Xiao Long Bao. Thanks for sharing with us and OAP readers 🙂

  8. It’s interesting that there’s a wide range of opinions of Suzhou’s xiao long bao. Maybe it depends on how freshly-made they were? I remember I ate the ones I didn’t like at night, and they just weren’t very good. I was dining with a group of 8 people who also tried them and none of them liked it.
    Maybe we ought to find out what time they’re freshly made, and try them then.

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