The Asian Kitchen—La Mian Xiao Long Bao

This auspiciously colored eatery is part of hive@RP, the food court at Republic Plaza. One really cannot miss The Asian Kitchen—it is centrally located right near the escalators, it’s bright red and at mid-week lunchtimes, it’s always teeming with hungry office workers who pack the noisy tables or queue patiently for a seat.

Curiosity peaked, we decided to join the throngs to see what all the fuss is about. If you’re after a quiet, romantic meal, forget about it; this is bustling waiters, steaming bowls of food moving at a rapid pace and everything is turned over quick to suit the pace of the lunchtime crowd. Our food came fast and furious and everything was well-cooked and piping hot. Regulars recommend the mushroom duck noodle soup, the pork chop la mian and the pork dumplings (six pieces), but we also found the veggie wonton mian and the stir fried dou miao pretty tasty too.

Our only complaint was when our fried coconut ice cream had to be sent back because it came to the table completely melted—further proof that this joint relies on food delivered fast. For reliable dumplings, noodle soups and rice dishes where the food is fast and plentiful, this is not a bad choice.