Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mabuhay Palace at The Manila Hotel ♥ ♥ ♥



I do not blame you if you don’t know about this hidden treasure of a Chinese restaurant.

A lot of people don’t.

But now I am telling the world about it. If you don’t listen then you lose.


There is a secret place inside Manila Hotel where we enjoy creative Chinese dishes in an elegant setting.


Beautiful jade carvings line the restaurant walls, and these are no simple jade carvings, too. Each piece depicts a certain time in the life of the great philosopher Confucius.


Check out the details, they are simply amazing


Hallway to the private rooms


Even the doors are tastefully designed


One of Mabuhay Palace’s many private rooms. Everything, from the light fixtures to the chairs to the lazy susan to the carpet, is specially designed and created for the restaurant.


Sitting area in the private room


I am liking this red “floral” arrangement


Tonight we are taken very good care of by these master chefs, Executive Chef Sun Bing and Executive Sous Chef Josephine Yu Tanganco-Candelaria. They prepare for us the same menu featured during the food promotion with Marco Polo Davao’s Lotus Court. Chef Joie generously shared her top cooking secrets to the chefs at Lotus Court so that Davaoenos can enjoy all these good food all year round. Oh, and the lady in black is not a chef. 
Tintin, like me, just loves to eat.  Smile 


Red Iced Tea
I normally take hot water or tea with meals because my dad says drinking cold beverage hardens the fats in my belly and makes me obese, but this iced tea is so good and refreshing I am suddenly in agreeable terms with hardened fats and obesity.


Crispy Wonton Chips with Toasted Sesame Seeds drizzled with Honey
To quote Auntie Babyruth, this is “love at first crunch.” She eats this nonstop from appetizer through dessert.


Vegetarian Peking Duck
The “duck” is quite good, although the skin could be thinner


Confucius Delight
Generously filled with abalone, fish maw, dried scallops and wolfberries, this is one of the best Chinese soups I’ve had in a while. So rich and flavorful I feel my lips getting sticker and stickier spoonful after spoonful.


Beef Cubes in Honey-Pepper Sauce topped with Crispy Ginger Strips
One bite and everyone is suddenly gushing about the melt-in-your-mouth experience of the beef. The heat from the ginger strips complements perfectly the sweetness of the honey-pepper sauce. Now all I need is a piping hot bowl of white rice. Or maybe two.


Lotus Rice
I especially love the addition of the Chinese sausage bits which makes the rice so fragrant and tasty. This is a meal in itself and easily one of my favorites of the night.


Mabuhay Palace's Fortune Chicken Pouch


Tender strips of chicken, mushroom, red dates, wolfberries and Chinese herbs enveloped in light, flaky pastry, the fortune pouch is Mabuhay Palace’s take on the traditional beggar’s chicken. It’s brilliant is all I can say.


Long-Life Prawns with a Trio of Dipping Sauces: Hoisin, Fruity Plum and Wasabi Mayo
Huge and crunchy!


Slow-Cooked Pork Belly in Shaoxing Wine
First it is grilled, then fried, then braised, then steamed. The whole cooking process takes 24 hours. No wonder it is fall-off-the-bone tender. Seriously, I never had to pick up my knife.


Fried mantou to mop up all that pork belly juices


Boneless Honey-Glazed Chicken with Crispy Sliced Ginger
I find the chicken a bit too sweet, but that sliced ginger is really something else. The trick is to eat both together to balance out the flavors.


Lohan Vegetables in Crispy Taro Ring
The vegetables are fresh. The taro, however, tastes a bit burnt on some parts.


Not that the food isn’t enough (because it’s really waaaaaay too much), but we also
request for a plate of my favorite Korean beef ribs from Café Ilang-Ilang.
Absolutely delicious!


Just before dessert is served, the waiters surprise our young and pretty celebrant Ella 
with a birthday song and a chocolate cake. How I wish today was my birthday, too!


Salted Egg Yolk Ice Cream with Black Sesame
The ice cream that came to Chef Joie in a dream. Ooohhh.
I know this is already very, very rich, but if this ice cream came to me in my dream,
it would have more black sesame and sugar in it. Winking smile


Dark Chocolate-filled Buchi
Don’t wait. Eat it while it’s really hot!


Wife’s Cake
The pastry is light and flaky, and the filling not too sweet. Better than most wife’s cakes in Hong Kong I daresay.


Our take home goodies from Chef Joie: more wonton chips and a box of walnut cookies. Yey!


Standing: Lito, Cyrene, Chef Sun Bing, Me, Chef Joie, Edi, Jeremy
Seated: Tintin, Tiffi, Ella, Aleth
(Auntie Babyruth, as always, refuses to be in the photo. Tsk!)


After dinner, we drop by Tap Room for some drinks and live entertainment


Romy Posadas on the piano and Cookie Chua on the mic


A few days later, Auntie Babyruth is back at Mabuhay Palace and she sends over some spinach bean curd (and pork belly and wife’s cake. Thank you, Auntie BR!) to our house. Mabuhay Palace makes its own bean curd, and oh my God, it’s the best-tasting bean curd I’ve had in my life!


248907_10150188817499005_787679004_7222619_2604779_nSpinach Beancurd with BaiLing and Golden Mushrooms, Asparagus, Crispy Dried Scallops
(Photo grabbed from Auntie BR)

If I knew how to make tofu this soft and silky, I swear I will not share the technique to anyone else. But Chef Joie is not as selfish as I am. She openly shares the yummy tofu-making technology to the chefs at Lotus Court.

Well, what can I say.

You lucky Davaoenos, you!


Mabuhay Palace: Ground Floor, Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines.
Tel: +632-527-0011, local 1346

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