Kowloon House

My brother-in-law (hubbyÕs youngest brother) will be returning to Lebanon after a Christmas vacation in the Philippines with his family. Last Sunday, he treated the family to dinner at Kowloon House along West Avenue in Quezon City. Because we had a million things to do, we were 15 minutes late. In my husbandÕs family, the moment the food hits the dinner table, pandemonium breaks out. Okay, so I was not able to take photos. Too bad because it was a Chinese lauriat.

Anyway, we had the usual plate of assorted cold chicken, smoked pork, hamonado, century eggs and sea weeds; deep-fried chicken; chow mein; fried rice; beef tenderloin with baby corn; sweet and sour whole fish; two shrimp dishes I did not touch; and for dessert, almond jelly and buchi (ground glutinous rice balls filled with sweet mongo bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds then deep fried).

Kowloon House is not a premium Chinese restaurant. The prices are reasonable but the restaurant is clean and the food is reasonably good. Many of its customers are children and grandchildren of its first customers. ItÕs just been there forever. I remember going there as a child with my parents and brother. I remember going there with friends when I was in college. Then, years later, with my husband and kids. 

casaveneracion.com siopao (steamed buns) and egg tarts (or custard pie)But Kowloon House is probably more famous for its take-out dimsum counter. Open 24 hours a day, they sell steaming hot siopao (pork asado, chicken bola-bola, chinese sausage and jumbo), chicken curry pie and egg tarts. When I was pregnant with my older daughter, my husband would go out most nights when I craved for Kowloon siopao. There are many outlets but it is still best to buy from West Avenue where they are cooked. Those available in franchised outlets are merely delivered and, often, youÕd get siopao that just doesnÕt taste right. West Avenue in Quezon City is too far away from where we live now and those Kowloon siopao binges have become fewer and far between. So, last Sunday, right after dinner, I told my kids weÕd buy siopao that they could take to school the following day. My 11-year-old took one look at the display on the glass counter and asked if we could buy egg tarts too. I said sure although I would have preferred to buy egg tarts from The Portuguese Egg Tart Factory where the crust is flakier. But it would have been closed already at that hour.

In the photo, the pork asado siopao and egg tarts after reheating. The siopao was steamed; the egg tarts were reheated in the oven. To make sure that the siopao remains fresh, wrap in cling film then freeze. Thaw before steaming to reheat. The egg tarts cannot stand freezing. It will keep for a day or two in the fridge but not longer.