When everyone else was glued to their TV sets or projected screens or internet streams for the Pacquiao-Bradley boxing match, my friends and i went instead to Taitong Steamers Foods last Sunday.
My friends are very much aware that I am not an über fan of the sport. So if there’s a boxing category in next week’s Trivia Night, my geek-mates would now know (if they don’t already) that I am not exactly the subject matter expert on that, including past UAAP MVPs or their corresponding basketball jersey numbers.
But if you’d ask me where the best siopao is in town, I’d glady point you to Taitong. It is a small yet clean hole-in-wall along AS Fortuna in Mandaue City and is said to be owned/overseen by a chef of Malaysian Chinese descent, which explains the predominantly Asian menu.
Taitong’s buns are a mishmash of delectable goodies – salted egg, plain siomai, asado, chinese sausage and bola-bola. What you get as a result are contrasting flavors and interesting textures. In plain-speak my friends: it is really delicious.
The waitstaff thankfully served our orders of special siopao last that afternoon. Otherwise, we might not be able to finish or appreciate the Claypot Chicken Rice and the dumplings –Japanese siomai and Hakaw.
I haven’t been to Geylang in Singapore so I have no idea what a good claypot rice should taste or look like. But whether Taitong’s version (which was slightly spicy yet still savory) had the right flavors or missed some, we did not care much that afternoon. After a good few minutes, everything, including the burnt portions at the bottom of the pot, was wiped out clean.
The hakaw unfortunately, was a miss here. It looked like it was hurriedly done such that the shrimp-to-everything-else-ratio may have been overlooked in the process.
Halfway through our meal, we noticed that the crowd across the street had already dispersed. From the looks in their faces, we could easily tell that Pacquiao won over Bradley.
By this time too, my friends and I also had a unanimous decision of our own: we’d want to return to Taitong for the special siopao. The white bun does look unassumming at the onset. But make no mistake my friends, because like Pacman, it really packs a lot of punch.