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The word siopao was actually a localized term coined after the Chinese dimsum called "bao-zi." It may be translated as "hot buns" in the Chinese dialect Hokkien. This popular snack is best enjoyed hot, right after it's taken out of the steamer.
Pinoys love asado siopao, as well as those which use quality meat with a little fat and delicious fillers. While most stores in Binondo may dominate the list, we've found the top spots for siopao places outside Chinatown:
10. Suzhou Dumplings
Address: Ground floor Food Court, Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
Tel. No. 744-3546 (Promenade)
Operating Hours: 10 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Price: P25 (Regular Asado Siopao)
Suzhou Dumplings is known for its Xiao Long Pao, their Asado Siopao makes for a wonderful afternoon treat. The pork asado chunks are bigger than usual and the bread has a nice chewy texture. The filling is amde of pure pork with very little fat, making it a good choice for the health-conscious. They also have mini asado paos that the kids and kid-at-heart would love.
9. Emerald Garden
Address: 1170 Roxas Boulevard, Manila
Tel. No. 523-8510 to 14
Operating Hours: 7 a.m.- 2 p.m., 6p.m.- 10 p.m.
Price: P99 (Tai Pao)
This is one siopao that's worth the travel and the wait. Emerald Garden staff will tell you to order your Tai Pao in advance as it can go really fast. One order of the huge and heavy Tai Pao is generously filled with asado, chicken, meatball, chorizo, and salted egg. It comes with a very tasty sauce that makes you feel like you're enjoying a main dish instead of a steamed dimsum. Their bun is also very fluffy and soft.