For a change, the rich North China cuisine—hand-pulled noodles and meats
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:00 AM March 29, 2018
There is a seemingly endless variety of Chinese food. Every time we go for a Chinese meal, there is excited anticipation for what will be served.
We felt just that—the prospect of sampling North China cuisine at the new Jing Ting, the casual restaurant in City of Dreams Manila. The restaurant’s name alone conjures a happy, delightful time with its musical tone.
Second level, City of Dreams Manila. May be reached through the casino entrance.
From the tables, get a full view of the chef efficiently executing the process of hand-pulled noodles, the restaurant’s specialty.
Dining area—Jing Ting means “little house.” This was the old traditional meeting place, called hotung, which is part of Beijing’s rich cultural history where the community would meet to strengthen relations. Hotungs with gray tile roofs usually lined the lane.
The main décor of this restaurant is a reproduction of the hotung roof. It seats more than 90, at tables of hardwood.
Regarding the hand-pulled noodles, it is always interesting to watch how the mass of flour separates into long, soft white noodles. It is an art.
Service—Alert. As we watched the handpulling of noodles, an appetizer—crunchy cubes of eggplants seasoned with Five Spices, with a dip—was served. Tea was continuously poured.
What to order—The menu is extensive. It should be noted that Northern China cooking is based on natural flavors using vinegar, garlic, coriander, leeks and salt, all producing richer flavors and aroma. This was evident in our orders—Hand-pulled Noodles in Clear Chicken Soup, and Northern Fried Noodles with pork, egg and vegetables.
Our other choices among the excellent dishes included Beijing Pork Dumplings, Genghis Khan Short Beef Ribs and Xiyiang Spicy Lamb Skewers with Cumin Sauce, Crispy Fried Tea-Marinated Chicken, Wok-Fried Sweet Sour Pork.
Jing Ting is a noodles, dumpling and meat restaurant. Don’t expect seafood fare. For dessert, we had a light Red Bean Cake, which balanced the heavy-meaty lunch.
Service and government charges included in the bill. Senior cards honored.