Top 10 Hakao in Manila
Hakaw, hakao, har gow-however you like to call it, we just call it...delicious.
(SPOT.ph) Hakao (var. hakaw, har gow) or shrimp dumpling is a staple option on nearly every Chinese-restaurant menu (right beside pork siomai and somewhere above chicken feet). Simple yet sophisticated, the components of this well-loved dim sum are straightforward enough: fresh, plump shrimps encased in a soft dough shell. But there's an art behind it, and enough delicious details to land the No. 34 spot on CNN's World's 50 Most Delicious Foods poll.
The wrapping, for one, is a harmony of starch, salt, and oil. Downy yet sturdy, each bun has seven to 10 pleats forming its signature cockled look. The shrimp is steamed until firm and mellow-flavored (in other words, perfectly cooked). For an added pop, hakao is best partnered with soy sauce.
It looks simple, we can't stress that enough, but not everyone can get it right. We scoured the city’s best Chinese restaurants for ones that knocked this dainty dim sum out of the park, and ones that we haven't, well, recovered from yet. From the freshest shrimps to the fluffiest dough, here, our 10 favorite hakaos.
It’s the perfect formula of fluffiness and crispiness. Click for more.
Note: Quality may vary depending on the restaurant branch. Photos by Sasha Lim Uy and Jason Mariposa.