Now that hubby is here for a vacation, we’ve been trying out different kinds of cuisine in different restaurants since he arrived. As such, i would be posting much about food and sharing my photos so here goes…
On this culinary journey, we visited Hugs and Kisses i, which is just my funny way to read XOi (pronounced soy) based on the universal acronym XO (meaning hugs and kisses). Well, XOi is in fact, a vietnamese word meaning sticky rice and also the name of the newly opened restaurant at the mall. Its cozy ambiance is highlighted by the red walls printed with white flowers. The interior is contemporary and i love the native woven mats as placemats.
For starter, we ordered mon nuong dac biet which is actually a combination of satay, prawns sugarcane, crispy calamari and crispy rolls. My favorite among these are the crispy rolls, and their tangy, spicy and garlicky dipping sauce really complements it. The satay is also a favorite. Our waiter was kind enough to tell us how to eat them which is wrapping it in lettuce leaves before taking a really big bite.
My son ordered the tom nuong voi mi toi which is grilled prawns served with garlic noodles. Prawns are tender and grilled to perfection.
I ordered pho bo which is rice noodles soup with beef brisket and raw sliced beef. Note: raw beef is so thinly sliced that the hot boiling soup really cooked it perfectly and it tastes good. I added the condiments that goes with it and it tasted even better.
Hubby ordered mi my tho which is egg noodles soup with shrimp, ground pork, and pork slices. This has a little hint of spiciness which packs in more flavor to the soup.
Craving for some veggies, he also ordered bok choy voi nam which is bok choy with mushroom and oyster sauce.
My daughter ordered ganuong ngu vi huong which is grilled five spice chicken with herbs.
The highlight of this culinary adventure is the naked crab served with garlic noodles. The crab is cooked divinely. It is garlicky but sweet. Most of all, since it was ‘naked’, it’s the more that we enjoyed every single bite, tasting the sweetness of the crab meat accompanied by the flavorful garlic noodles. This dish accounted for almost half of our bill. Being shelled and ready to eat, this makes it quite expensive.
For dessert, we had the fried banana drizzled with chocolate syrup served with vanilla icing on top.
As a form of gratitude, the waiter handed us a P50.00 gift certificate which could be used on our next visit. Shall i visit it again? Yes, not only to make use of the gift certificate but also to try their other specialties.