Chinese food I would say is the most popular cuisine in the entire world. Almost any country I’ve visited has a Chinatown. Some have exceptional and authentic restaurants while others are far from the standards of Hong Kong. Examples of these places are New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, London and Paris.
Hong Kong has always been one of my favorite destinations. You have everything from shopping to eating the best in Chinese cuisine. Almost any Chinese restaurant you visit will have delicious food.
My friend Lito Tayag, an expert in finding the best restaurants in this paradise, would take me to tiny alleys at the back of Tsim Sha Tsui where we would share a table with many local strangers over a bowl of piping-hot rice topped with roasted duck.
Tsui Hang Village at the Miramar was another place we used to visit, where I first experienced salted fish fried rice. It was love at first bite.
Back home, when the hotels like Mandarin Oriental, New World and Shangri-La started opening their own Chinese restaurants, Hong Kong chefs were brought in to replicate the standards of this culinary haven. Then many restaurants like Hai Shin Lu, Peking Garden and King Chef, among others, followed.
Today, you need not travel to Hong Kong to get good authentic Chinese cuisine.
I experienced such a meal at the Edsa Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City. It was a birthday lunch for a friend. I had been here before but didn’t remember the meal. I guess we had ordered the wrong items.
This time, I sat down to an ordered and fixed menu. It had to be one of the best and authentic meals I have had outside of Hong Kong.
We started with a clear bamboo-pith soup that tasted clean and flavorful. Then came the soft shell crab with eggplant, codfish in apple fruit sauce, prawn cornflakes, spinach in oyster sauce with black mushrooms, two types of dimsum (crab stick dumpling and hakao) and Peking duck, two-ways—wrapped in a flour tortilla and the usual lettuce cup.
I experienced a better way to have the second version at King Chef, the salt-and-pepper way. The duck is deep-fried and seasoned. I prefer this version more than the traditional second way.
Of course, we had birthday noodles; the belief is that it prolongs life. Everything we tried was delicious and new. This has become one of my go-to Chinese-craving restaurants. Loved it. They also serve fantastic dimsum.
Now, I can say Manila has been added to that list of cities with great Chinese Hong Kong standard restaurants. Check them out!
PS: Gourmet boneless tuyo —bottled tuyo in oil, garlic and vinegar. Perfect for gifts abroad. No need to cook and make the entire house smell. COVA Gourmet Tuyo—0917-7859023.
Summer Palace is in Edsa Shangri-La, Mandaluyong City. Call tel. 6338888.