Near the corner of Malvar and Mabini Streets and right across the Pan Pacific Hotel in Malate, Manila is a Chinese restaurant that serves Cantonese and Singaporean food. It is a large restaurant, there are private function rooms but, I tell you, make a reservation if you plan on dining there. We went there on a Sunday evening and the place was packed with a long queue outside. Yes, the food is that good. Good thing I made a reservation or we would have waited to be seated. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and, for sure, there will be more diners.
So what did we have on that Sunday evening?
We had the Hainanese chicken. Practically boneless. Tender but the meat was firm. I’m sure the cleaver that was used to chop the chicken meat was plenty sharp and the chef a superb artist. It was delicious.
We had the Japanese style corn soup (see my home made version) which was thick in texture and subtly seasoned and flavored.
Then, there was the pork stew. I forgot the name of the dish but if you look at the menu, there is a mouthwatering photo there. The dish is made with roast pork (lechon Macau) and tofu braised in an indescribably delicious sauce.
The only dish that I didn’t like very much — cucumbers stuffed with dried scallops. The texture is wonderful, the cucumbers weren’t soggy after cooking (no mean feat, I tell you) but the aroma and taste of the dried scallops were too overpowering for me.
Finally, the dish that we ordered belatedly thinking we hadn’t ordered enough — the seafood rolls. Think fishballs but in the form of a log. Fried until the skin is brown and crisp, the roll is sliced then served. Magnificent.
Our bill totaled P2,800.00. Yes, a bit pricey but then price is always relative. The food was delicious and I felt that the prices were justified.
Again, if you’re planning on going to Tao Yuan for Mother’s Day, make a reservation. You really don’t want to stand in a queue outside the restaurant in this heat. The numbers are 5527009, 5527010 and 5268858.