Dining Out

The return to Luyong Chinese Restaurant

I can’t remember the last time we ate out on Father’s Day. I don’t think we ever did in the 15 years that Speedy and I have been married. I always cooked his favorite dishes and ate at home. Restaurants are always full on Father’s Day and we’re not exactly enamored of large unruly crowds. We don’t like eating in a rush either. You know, because those next in line are giving us the looks already as if to say, “Will you hurry up? We’re starving!”

This year, however, we did eat out. June 17th was the last day of the kids’ summer break and we needed to buy new school shoes for them. I don’t remember why we put it off until the last minute. Probably because most schools opened on June 13th and we figured that the back-to-school shopping crowds would have dissipated by June 17th. Or, perhaps, we were busy with other things during the previous weekends. Or we were broke after paying the kids’ tuition fees.

casaveneracion.com Speedy Veneracion enjoying the Chinese food at Luyong Restaurant in Marikina

Whatever the reason, we did go out on Father’s Day. Because we did not want to shop on an empty stomach, we decided to eat lunch first. We knew that every restaurant in the mall would be full at 11.30 a.m. so we decided to take a short detour to nearby Marikina and enjoy a very Chinese lunch at Luyong Restaurant. We had been there twice before and we enjoyed the food both times.

So what did we order?

Speedy suggested birds’ nest soup but I wanted wonton soup. We asked the girls and he was outvoted. Wonton soup it was…

casaveneracion.com wonton soup

The broth was great, as usual. There were just enough wonton to satisfy everyone. Speedy and I both had second helpings.

casaveneracion.com camaron rebosado

Then, there was camaron rebosado — whole shrimps dipped in batter, deep-fried and served with sweet and sour sauce. It’s a staple for the girls whenever we eat in a Chinese restaurant but it’s a dish that I hardly ever touch because of an allergy.

casaveneracion.com pork spare ribs with salt and pepper

We also had salt-and-pepper pork spare ribs and yang chow fried rice (above), and broccoli in oyster sauce (visible in the topmost photo). The spare ribs were a bit disappointing. The pork was bland and had way too much fat. We had to eat the pork with the sweet and sour sauce that came with the camaron. Causeway Seafood Restaurant’s salt-and-pepper pork spare ribs is much, much better. I was thinking that, perhaps, with the volume of diners on Father’s Day, the cooks at Luyong were in too much of a rush to properly season the food. Perhaps.

A tip: If you’re planning on eating at Luyong on a day that you expect to be crowded, like Father’s Day, come early and get a table as far away as possible from the entrance. We arrived after 11.30 and the only vacant table was the one nearest to the entrance. Aside from the diners and those waiting in line to be seated, there were a lot of customers ordering take-out. Most of them came with their young kids who were naturally bored with waiting. Bored kids are not exactly the most well-behaved people on earth. They kept bumping into our chairs and their screaming was, at times, too much to bear. Of course, if you’re the type who can ignore all those inconveniences, you can still enjoy the food.

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