Showing posts with label Chinese Restaurant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chinese Restaurant. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Authentic Hongkong Dining Style at Hap Chan Tea House

December 04, 2019 0
Team dinner at Hap Chan Tea House

Feel the classic oriental vibe at Hap Chan, one of the leading Hongkong Chinese restaurants in the Philippines. 

Despite its expansion from a small tea house in 1997 to a full-blown Chinese restaurant today with contemporary food concepts, Hap Chan remains committed to serving a traditional Hongkong tea house dining style where savory dimsum in xia long bao, rice toppings and light refreshments are the primary fares.  

Yang elements common to Chinese tradition furnished the establishments hemmed through warm interiors, earthly tone and regional Asian embellishments. They served a good selection of savory Chinese dishes that are quite familiar to Filipino tongue.


Hap Chan's concept of dining showcases the superior food quality and friendly neighborhood of a genuine Hongkong Tea house, infusing flavorful oriental cuisine served in traditional Chinese tableware pieces. The distinct flavors let you feel the warmth of the oriental culture.

This is a great place to experience the unique style of dining of a traditional tea house popular in Hongkong with xiao long bao dishes, flavorful toppings and oriental soups as the signature items. Whether you dine solo, or spend lunch with friends, loved ones and colleagues, Hap Chan has every option of meals for discerning diners. 

For a large group, they have party trays and barkada meals in complete sets of Chinese classic favorites and drinks. Its serving is very generous, good for sharing and budget-friendly. There's a wide variety of recipes in the selections to choose for every taste bud.

The rice toppings feature classic favorites familiar to a Filipino palate, sweet and sour pork, buttered chicken, spare ribs and sauteed vegetables. Each topping selection accompanies a free Iced tea.

Assorted cold cuts of five kinds

During our lunch out, we tried the signature dishes - buttered chicken, chop suey and spare ribs toppings. We also ordered the assorted cold cuts of five kinds - century eggs, chinese kikiam, tocino, fried pork and jellyfish with fresh cucumber.

I was intrigued with the jellyfish because I haven't tried it before in a meal. I thought it was a shredded gelatin, but it was fine, not cringey at all.

I also tried the Cachuy dumplings because I love dimsum in xiao long bao. It tasted like Japanese gyoza or the mushroom wonton of Din Tai Fung, soft chewy and flavorful. 

The menu and must-try dishes

Chop suey

Hap Chan offers an authentic Chinese dining experience with food selections popular in Hongkong restaurants. Some of their must-try dishes are the following:

  • Sweet and Sour Pork or chicken fillet
  • Sauteed quail egg with diced chicken and cashew nuts
  • Chopsuey guisado rice toppings
  • Fried spareribs with salt and pepper rice toppings
  • Buttered chicken
  • Fried chicken fillet with lemon sauce
  • Cachuy dumplings
  • Chinese classics like patatim with cuapao
  • Braised chicken with sesame seeds
  • Sauteed beef with broccoli
  • Chilled Taho with Mango and Sago (dessert)

Budget for an individual diner ranges between Php175 to Php500.00 with drinks. Rice toppings are the most affordable, price range is between Php175 to Php190.00 and this has a free iced tea already.

Rice toppings best-sellers are chopsuey guisado, Salt and Pepper spareribs, Buttered chicken, Beef brisket with vegetables, Sweet and Sour Pork. These are available only at its Tea House express type of restaurant.

Sweet and Sour pork

I've learned from Hap Chan's website that they have three kinds of business designs, Seafood Restaurant, Full Restaurant and Tea House. 

Each offers a set of menu depends on the dining concept. For example the rice toppings are only available at Hap Chan's Tea House (like at a branch in SM lightmall in Mandaluyong we visited) and Hotspot selections like Beef Brisket Radish, Lechon kawali with Taufu, Minced pork with eggplant, are available only at its Full Restaurant.

Apart from the plethora of oriental favorites, I like the cozy vibe and quiet atmosphere of Hap Chan at SM Light mall branch in Mandaluyong, no unnecessary noises, no huge crowd. A comfy place to enjoy the classic Chinese-Hongkong style food while soaking into silence.

Monday, February 11, 2019

The World's Best Dumplings! Din Tai Fung: Taiwan-based Michelin Star Restaurant

February 11, 2019 0
Din Tai Fung dinner table

All the goodness of a traditional Chinese cuisine served at this oriental dining place, which is one of the best in the world. 

Din Tai Fung is a Taiwan-based Michelin Star restaurant which opens its door to Filipino gourmanders in 2015. 

It is dubbed as one of the best xiao long bao (steamed bun, soup dumplings) restaurants in the world.

Over the years, it receives numerous accolades for its high quality food, meticulous preparations and scrumptious dimsum dishes, especially the dumplings. 

New York Times hailed it as one of the best top 10 restaurants in the world, while Forbes magazine dubbed it as home of the best dumplings in the world. Michelin Red Guide awarded it with a Michelin-Star rating five times since 2010.

Din Tai Fung branch in SM Megamall

Michelin Star is the highest honorary distinction given to a restaurant or chef around the globe for coming up with high quality dishes considered as the best in the world.

Though Din Tai Fung has been serving the Filipino foodies for quite sometime now, it's only recently that I got a chance to drop by at this restaurant SM Megamall. Making me perhaps the last food blogger to do a Din Tai Fung review.

The ambiance at its megamall branch is a very traditional Chinese restaurant frill. With soft golden lighting, wood tables and oriental ornaments sprucing up the entire place.

But it's usually crowded. Diners will have to sit outside the waiting area and given a number to be called. 

During our visit, we waited for 30 minutes before we were ushered inside. What a sigh of relief because we're already super hungry.

Worth the wait!

But it was worth all the wait! Sumptuous oriental dishes made us all giddy and full. All those xiao long bao goodness. Yum!

We ordered the house specialties: Steamed chicken soup, Mushroom wonton dumplings, baked garlic buns served in xiao long, Stir-fried Chinese kangkong, sweet and sour fish and steamed rice.

Sweet and Sour Pork
The flavorful Stir-fried Chinese kangkong

The scrumptious mushroom wonton dumplings were my favorites among the dishes and the garlic buns. So tasty and flavorful! Authentic oriental cuisine that left me so full and satisfied.

I love the dumplings, so perfect in my taste,  soft and chewy and savory fillings. Its luscious taste is more lip smacking when dip in chilli sauce with a black vinegar and shredded ginger.

Mushroom wonton dumplings
Garlic buns!


I also like the garlic buns. Cooked in precise perfection, the spices blended so well with other ingredients and herbs stuffed in the bun. 

It appears like siopao, pretty close but a lot tastier and flavorful. It tastes heavenly and I like the spicy flavor, sumptuous in every bite.

The house steamed chicken tastes like the regional Filipino tinola but a lot flavorful with some oriental spices in it. 

I also love the Chinese kangkong, freshly cooked, still crisp and appetizing. I also love the white plain rice (Php60.00), so tasty and smells so good.

Satisfied diners! 😃

Overall, my dining experience at Din Tai Fung was excellent and superb. I love the food, customer service and the whole atmosphere. Very relaxing and cool. A typical oriental restaurant ambiance.

Though pricey compared to another Michelin Star restaurant I tried, Tim Ho Wan, Din Tai Fung dishes are worth the value of money. The dumplings are truly the best! It lives up to the hype.


Asking if this restaurant has rice meals? Yes, it has. Price ranges from Php300 to Php450.00 for each rice meal. Prepare a budget of Php600.00 per head when you visit Din Tai Fung.

This restaurant has take-out and food delivery and available in your favorite food delivery app like Grab food and Food panda. 

Don't forget to try Mushroom wonton dumplings, it's truly the best! Forbes magazine once dubbed Dinner Tai Fung as the restaurant that offers the best dumplings in the world! 

Din Tai Fung is a Taiwan based restaurant with several branches in Metro Manila. It has a Michelin star rating which proved its high quality dishes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Tim Ho Wan: Affordable Michelin-Star Rated Restaurant

December 18, 2018 0
Have you ever wondered what is a Michelin Star and how it gives prestige and impact to a restaurant? I've been blogging for almost 10 years now but believed me, it's only recently that I expressed interest to discover more about a Michelin Star-Rated restaurants.

Well, a Michelin Star is often called a hallmark in fine dining with restaurants considered it as the highest achievement in food business. It is a rating, to emphasize more - an honorary grade - granted to a restaurant by food expert reviewers of the Michelin Red Guide, published by a French company for achieving a highest standard in food quality. It is also given to a chef who crafted recipes and cuisine on highest quality.

In the Philippines, there are restaurants that achieved this rating but some of it are quite expensive. And mostly located in hotels. However, there are some exemptions. Though a Michelin Star-rated restaurant is quite a luxury, not all can empty your wallet. Believe me.

Tim Ho Wan, a Hongkong-based dim sum restaurant, is one of the most affordable Michelin Star-rated restaurants in the world. With less than Php200.00 for each of the dishes, including the best-seller soft buns, you would not breaking a bank for taking a regular meal here.

One Sunday, my friend and I dropped by at Tim Ho Wan at SM North for dinner to try its much-hyped baked buns. It was quite late for dinner, almost nine in the evening. Which was good since this restaurant drew a large crowd everyday at meal time.


I chose the Spare ribs rice toppings, my friend chose congee. We chose Jasmine Tea as our beverage. It is a great shame not to include the soft buns in your table when you are at Tim Ho Wan. So we took one order. And yes, it lives up to the hype!

The much hyped baked buns in pork barbeque sauce.
Soft, fluffy and super yummy! Only Php158.00 (the 3 pieces)

Super luscious!! The buns, soft and fluffy outside to the point of crumbling the texture when you take a bite, appears to be very willowy but super tasty and really scrumptious. The pork barbecue sauce balances the sweet and spicy taste and it compliments the mild flavor of the soft buns.

Super luscious!! The buns, soft and fluffy outside to the point of crumbling the texture when you take a bite, appears to be very willowy but super tasty and really scrumptious. The pork barbecue sauce balances the sweet and spicy taste and it compliments the mild flavor of the soft buns.

Spare ribs 170.00

I would also recommend the spare ribs rice, it suits the Filipino palate. Savory, with a tasty sauce coating of spices and oriental flavors. Compared to typical ribs recipes, this special dish is so meaty and cooked to perfection as textures are so tender.

Other must-try at Tim Ho Wan are Steamed egg cake, Beancurd skin roll and shrimp, Pork dumpling with shrimp, Beef brisket and tendon noodles, Prawn dumplings, Vermecilli roll with shrimp.

All these dishes per order is less than Php200.00, making Tim Ho Wan an ideal place to hold a family or team gathering. You can have a sumptuous, high quality food without ruining your budget.

Tim Ho Wan has six branches in the Philippines. In SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, Glorietta, Uptown Mall, Mall of Asia and Ayala Center, Makati. The atmosphere of the restaurant is in a typical oriental setting, earth interior, homey and minimalist.


Just stretch the fiber of your presence when you dine at Tim Ho Wan. It gets crowded at meal time with some are lining outside waiting for a vacant table. But it's worth the wait and the value of your money! Remember, this is a Michelin-Star rated restaurant.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Team Dinner At Tim Ho Wan: The World's Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant

July 30, 2018 0

A special dinner for a team that's about to change the routine. And part ways. Though this set-up is temporary, it still drew a sore kick in the gut.

Saying goodbye is always difficult, after all.

There's always a dark hue of sadness spewing the horizon. A gloomy pattern of blues. But we got to deal with it. In part, because it is necessary. 

Waiting for our turn to be served

So last Thursday, the 30th of January, we had a dinner one last time as an intact team in our shift. It was special because it was the first and last time we gathered as a complete bunch. It was also the birthday of our team lead. So the moment was a bit surreal.

Looking for a dining place where to hold our food bonding was not really a challenging decision making. I knew then which place suits the honor. Where else but at a special dining place where food selections are rated as world's best.

Tim Ho Wan is a Hongkong-based Michelin Star-rated restaurant where dim sum is the specialty, and cooked into perfection. So there was nothing more special that evening than held our last dinner together as a team at this prestigious oriental restaurant. 

Stir-fried noodles

By the way, Michelin Star is an international accolade given to a restaurant that offers high quality food as reviewed by the Michelin Red Guide food reviewers. In food and restaurant industry, to earn a Michelin Star rating is an ultimate quest.

Only few restaurants earned this honorary distinction. Tim Ho Wan, which has six branches in the Philippines, achieved the honor through its dim sum selections. But despite its prestigious status in the restaurant industry, Tim Ho Wan remains affordable. And to date considered as one of the world's cheapest Michelin Star-rated restaurants.

Dumplings

It was my second time dining at Tim Ho Wan. Last December, I dropped by at the SM North Edsa branch with a friend for our late dinner. I sampled the spareribs rice toppings during that food trip, and I love it. Flavorful and a little spicy. The sauce has just the right amount of thickness with succulent taste in every bite. It was so good I recommended it to my colleagues.

In this latest visit, at last I tried Prawn Dumplings, one of the items in the savory array of dim sum where this resto earned its Michelin Star status. Cooked in precision and distinct quality, this dim sum selection is extra awesome with an ultra sumptious blending of spices and flavors. I like the texture of dumplings, silky and smooth but firmer inside. Extra savory when drizzled with chilli oil. Insanely scrumptious!

We also tried the Chow Mien Stir-fried noodles and the Beancurd skin roll with Pork and Shrimp, part of the four heavenly kings due to its heavenly spicy and palatable flavors. I like the taste, not too spicy. Trickled with thick sauce and spices, the taste so rich and delectable. The Chow Mien Stir-fried noodle is another must-try recipe. Distinctively Asian, the oriental spices perfectly coated each strand of the noodles, making it extra flavorful. 

Other selections in the menu that should not be missed are fish cake laksa noodle soup, vermecilli roll selections, steamed egg cake, rice toppings with a variety choices of dish such as chicken and mushroom or spareribs or pork.

Tim Ho Wan is always an ideal place to whisk the evening away for a sumptious dinner. An affordable place to grab a bite of high quality Asian dishes. And a perfect place to chill with the team and mark some special bonding. We had a great night sharing dinner over laughter and fun and relaxed conversation. A surreal moment to remember. Now that reality sinks, we can only look back at the memories and reminisce the happy times.

Until then.

Thanks to our TL, Sir Daryl Ballarta, for the group pictures I grabbed from the Fb album 😀 and one photo from Mits 😊








Monday, May 28, 2018

Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles

May 28, 2018 0
Ayala Fairview Terraces in Fairview, Quezon City has a very relaxing atmosphere complete with some elements of nature - verdant trees, rolling garden, green landscape, something which all the Ayala establishments are  popularly known for. 

Not overly crowded, even at noon time, Ayala Terraces' surrounding is covered with lush tropical trees and a landscape of plants and flowers, the atmosphere is naturally breezy and relaxing. 

It makes me breath comfortably. It has an outdoor garden and sky garden where mall goers can stroll around and marvel at the tranquil atmosphere.

So today, while looking for something unique to spend my late lunch, and to feed my blog for a new food trip, I dropped by here and started scouting for a unique restaurant. 

My choice is always oriental, so I narrowed my hopping  to Japanese, Korean and Chinese food establishments. After an hour of wandering around, I went to the second floor of the garden area and noticed this beautiful place set in an all-glass walling.


Cool and homey, with some oriental details on its interior, it immediately caught my attention. While peering at the huge poster outside the door, someone greeted me with a smile and with a very cordial approach. I looked at him nodding. 

I am always fascinated with restaurant staff manifesting courtesy. It added value to the products and services of the establishments. So I followed him inside. He ushered me to a table with a perfect view of the garden.


Initially, I thought Kanzhu is a Japanese restaurant. Food selections in the menu are oriental dishes typical to Japanese restos, and the staff's cordial approach is reminiscent to a Japanese hospitality. I was wrong. When I looked around, I saw a huge printed paragraphs expounding the origin and history of Kanzhu. It was only then that I knew Kanzhu is a Chinese restaurant 😄😁

Kanzhu hand-pulled noodles, according to its history, originally came from Northern China where Kanzhu chef, Kevin Yu, came from. The ethos of Kanzhu is to have the dough twirled in the air by its chef to create a firm hand-pulled noodles. This ritual is often done in the resto's open kitchen so that diners can take a peek on how things are done. Unfortunately, I was not able to witness this spectacle. I don't know why. Perhaps, I was a bit hungry when I dropped by and forgot to peer at the open kitchen.



This restaurant has varieties of noodles in the menu. But I was not in a mood for some  noodles adventure. My appetite was looking for some seafood, so I settled for a rice toppings of mixed seafood in satay sauce with chive dumplings. And I was a little surprised because with Php185.00 price tag, the set meal was so huge for a single person. A lot cheaper compared to other oriental restaurants' set of meals. This mixed seafood set has a very generous serving, with rice that is already good for three persons! This combo meal pack composed of rice, seafood in satay sauce, chive dumplings, crispy wonton appetizer and a glass of blend Iced tea. I like the chive dumplings because each piece is stuffed with what it tasted like green vegetables, perhaps Chinese pechay or spinach. The crispy wonton appetizer, served before the main course, is terrific. I like how it was fried into perfection.

I wrapped my meal with a dessert. Azuki Green Tea Cheese cake which tasted like tiramisu in a heavy cream 😄😁 Price tag is Php 95.00.

Azuki Green Tea Cheese Cake Php95.00

But what really pleased me with this food trip was the hospitality of the staff. Everyone was so courteous and accommodating. They made sure diners felt comfortable at every turn and all needs have been served and catered. While having an interlude for a few minutes, because I have to post several photos in my instagram haha! Someone dashed towards me and asked me, in a very courteous manner, if I would like the dessert to be served at that moment. Wheew!

The staff of this restaurant perhaps have been trained so well on excellent restaurant etiquette. Both are subtle with their actions and very attentive.

Mixed seafood set meal. Consists of rice and seafood in satay sauce. 

This restaurant is worth of your visit. Not only their oriental food selections are very affordable. Each has a generous serving per set. I have a full tummy when I left my seat. And I was not able to finish off the rice. Felt like I would throw up if I'll force myself to gorge the remaining food. It's not that I disliked the taste, but the serving was so huge my meal set seemed to be good for three.

Another excellent point of this restaurant at its Ayala Terraces branch is the homey, very oriental interior and atmosphere. It has a direct view of the garden, and everything is just relaxing to the senses, the greenery, the transparent wall, the homey interior. Everything. 

Homey, oriental interior

This is a good place to spend lunch or dinner with friends and loved ones especially during intense summer heat. Cool, warmth, comfortable, everything you want for a relaxing lunch out is definitely served at this restaurant.

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