Assorted authentic Cantonese dim sums available at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Lung Hin
NO Chinese restaurant can survive without a good variety of dim sums on its menu. More so one that offers Cantonese cuisine. This is because dim sums play an important role in Chinese history, as they were served in tea houses to refresh travelers who trod down the Silk Road. In more recent history, dim sums serve as appetizers in a full meal, such as lunch or dinner, and they are also enjoyed as the main food during afternoon tea.
And so Lung Hin, the authentic Cantonese restaurant at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, is showcasing a wide selection of authentic steamed, pan-fried and deep-fried dim sums prepared by dim sum master chef Wong Chiu Lung and his team. Chef Wong hails from Hong Kong, where the best dim sum comes from, and he is backed by long years of experience as a dim sum chef.
Steamed Scallop Dumplings
Hakao with Gold Leaf
The dim sum offerings of Lung Hin include steamed dumplings with fillings, such as Scallop Dumplings, Spinach Dumplings and Shrimp Dumplings, Chiu Chow, and simple but tasty shrimp dumplings with gold leaf, better known as Hakaw or Har Gow. Filipino favorites, such as Chicken Feet with XO Sauce, Barbecue Pork Bun (better known as Siopao), Pork Siomai with Truffle Sauce (which traces back to the Yuan Dynasty), Cordyceps Flower Siomai, and the Dragon Boat Festival favorite Abalone Glutinous Rice with Lotus, are also available.
Steamed Pork Siomai with Truffle Sauce
Aside from the popular steamed dim sums, Lung Hin also carries quite a number of pan-fried and deep-fried dim sums. There is the savory Sesame Radish Cake and Pan-fried Radish Cake with XO Sauce. Then there is the Fried Taro Puff, whose thin outer coating of taro “explodes” into a feng chao, or honeycomb, when it cooks in hot oil.
Not to be missed is the crowd favorite, Baked Barbecue Pork Buns, which are perfectly crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, with a flavorful barbecued pork filling.
What Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Lung Hin promises is an authentic Cantonese dim sum dining experience like no other.
(Lung Hin is located at Level 44 of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number 720-7777.)
WE Filipinos are certified foodies at heart. We constantly look for new flavors to try, so the food scene in Manila has become a virtual playground for restaurants specializing in different cuisines. Whatever we want to try, there is a restaurant that we can go to. But, in the end, we Filipinos will always go back to our comfort food—Filipino food—especially dishes that we grew up with and hold fond growing-up memories of.
No question about it: Filipino dishes are flavorful and delicious. But sometimes they lack presentation because they are often served family style. We have to tweak them to make them look more appetizing and, from time to time, combine techniques or ingredients to breathe new life into traditional Filipino dishes so that they do not become boring. Come to think of it, this is really how we Filipinos like our food—we crave for familiar flavors but want to find something unique and different in them at the same time.
This is where Locavore comes in. Established in 2015, the restaurant reinvents Filipino food by serving Filipino home-cooked meals with a twist. The menu is playful and innovative, and contains a lot of items that are guaranteed to catch diners’ attention.
Lechon and Oyster Sisig
Lechon and Oyster Sisig—Instead of the usual pork face and organs, Locavore’s version of sisig uses crispy lechon and oysters. Not the usual sisig variations such as Chicken Sisig, Bangus Sisig, Tuna Sisig or Tofu Sisig, this offering of Locavore makes an unusual but interesting combination that, yes, works beautifully on the palate.
Sizzling Sinigang—We are used to having different versions of Sinigang, which is a soup dish complete with meat and vegetables. The meat (including bangus (milkfish), sugpo (prawns), baboy (pork), baka (beef), salmon and other types of fish) differs, but is commonly combined with kangkong (water spinach), tomatoes, radish and sitaw (stringbeans). Locavore reinvents Sinigang by turning it into a sizzling dish, with the soup turned into a thick sauce and served on a hot sizzling plate.
Kimchinigang—Another variation on Sinigang, this dish adds Korean flavors into the all-time favorite Pinoy dish. It remains as a soup dish, but with the addition of kimchi (Korean preserved cabbage with spice), it takes on a Korean flavor profile.
Dinuguang Lechon—Now, this is another combination dish—of Dinuguan (blood stew) and Lechon (crispy pork belly). The pork belly is marinated and fried to a golden crisp, sliced, arranged on a platter, and dinuguan is poured over it, garnished with chicharon (pork skin cracklings). It’s definitely for meat lovers!
Ginataang Kaldereta—Yes, you read it right! Locavore’s Kaldereta (meat stew in tomato-based sauce) is richer and creamier with the addition of gata (coconut milk). Does it work? Anything cooked with gata is certainly worth a try.
Chori-silog—The Pinoys’ favorite silog (sinangag at itlog, or garlic rice and fried egg) finds another exciting variation with chorizo instead of tapa, tocino, longganisa, hotdog, daing na bangus to combine with the sinangag and itlog.
Pho-lalo—This is another multiracial intermarriage between the Vietnamese noodle soup, Pho, and the Filipino beef shank soup dish, Bulalo. It’s definitely richer and tastier.
Sugpo con Mayonesa
Sugpo con Mayonesa—Usually, it is fish, specifically lapu-lapu (grouper), that is presented as “con Mayonesa” (or “with mayonnaise”), and the mayonnaise is piped artistically on top of the boiled or steamed fish. Locavore’s version has prawns in place of fish, and it is coated with mayonnaise sauce and bathed in oil. It is an interesting variation that’s worth trying.
Locavore also takes pride in its take on traditional Kare-Kare, using chicken wings instead of the usual ox tail, ox tripe and pork leg, and these are glazed with Kare-Kare sauce and buttermilk ranch dressing, then garnished with singkamas (jicama) and mango with bagoong (shrimp paste). Its version of Pinakbet also commands a steady following, as it combines locally grown vegetables—sigarilyas (wing beans), kalabasa (squash), okra, pickled ampalaya (bittergourd), talong (eggplant), zucchini and mushrooms—with bagoong broth to make a flavorful vegetable dish.
Mac’s Boneless Fried Chicken
Beef Pares Stew
Other exciting dishes on the menu that offer slight twists to classic Pinoy dishes include Kinilaw Platter, Garlic Butter Sugpo, Mac’s Boneless Fried Chicken, Fresh Lumpia, Boneless Lechon Belly, Beef Pares Stew, Ginataang Kalabasa, and Luglog.
Aside from its delightful menu mix, Locavore boasts of a good selection of locally brewed beers, such as Joe’s Brew, San Miguel and Privo Paha, as well as excellent signature cocktails infused with local produce, such as calamansi, Batangas dalandan, Bukidnon pineapple and siling labuyo.
And, oh, if you are wondering what Locavore means, it is derived from the words local and vore, which, when combined, means “one who eats food grown locally whenever possible. True to its name, the restaurant uses local organic ingredients to prepare not just dishes but complete meals.
(Locavore is located at 10 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City.)
WHEN the kids are in school, moms are always on the lookout for new baon ideas that are both easy-to-prepare and nutritious and at the same time delicious. It is always a problem to make kids eat healthy and nutritious food because junk food—such as chips and instant noodles—are always readily available both in and around the school. So what should moms do?
Why, find good recipes that they can prepare at home and make them look interesting, of course! Yesterday (June 22, 2017), I shared with you the recipe of Jolly Creamy Chicken Mushroom Burger, a back-to-school recipe courtesy of Jolly, a leading brand of canned fruits and vegetables that is imported and exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation. Today, I want to share with you another back-to-school recipe from Jolly—Chicken Nuggets. It is most interesting for me because, by following the recipe, we should be able to make chicken nuggets at home. So there will be no need to buy those commercially available packed chicken nuggets that use extenders and preservatives to prolong their shelf lives.
For the chicken nuggets:
500 grams ground chicken breast
2 Tbsps. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsps. Good Life Oyster Sauce
1 cup Good Life Breadcrumbs
1 198-gram can Jolly Mushrooms Pieces and Stems, chopped
store-bought sweet chili sauce
For the coating:
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Good Life Breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil for frying
1. In a bowl, combine ground chicken, salt, eggs, pepper, oyster sauce, breadcrumbs and chopped mushrooms. Mix well.
2. Flatten chicken mixture by rolling it out to 1/2-inch thickness. Slice to form cubes that are 1-inch per side. Set aside.
3. Dredge chicken nuggets in flour, dip completely in beaten egg, and coat with breadcrumbs.
4. Deep-fry in hot oil in batches of 5 to 7 pieces per batch. Cook until golden brown.
5. Remove from oil.
6. Serve with store-bought sweet chili sauce.
A NEW school year has started, and mommies are once again on their toes trying to find new and healthy baon ideas for their kids. You know what your kids like, but fast-food burgers are not something you would feed your kids on a regular basis. So, why not make them healthier by mixing your own homemade burgers and substitute chicken for beef? White meat is leaner and healthier than red meat. Just do not add the chicken skin, and you’re good to go. By making homemade burgers, you are assured that only healthy stuff goes into your kids’ food.
Here’s a handy recipe courtesy of Jolly, the country’s leading canned fruit and vegetable brand, which is imported and distributed by Fly Ace Corporation. Jolly canned food products are available in leading supermarkets nationwide.
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
2. To prepare patties, roll 1/4 cup of the mixture into a ball, then flatten with your palms.
3. Pan-fry the patties on both sides, and drain off excess oil on paper towels.
For the mushroom gravy:
2 Tbsps. butter
1 Tbsp. chopped onion
1 can Jolly Pieces & Stems Mushrooms
1 can Jolly Cream of Mushroom Soup (10.5oz.)
1/2 cup Jolly Cow Fresh Milk
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1. Heat pan and add butter. Sauté onion and mushrooms.
2. Add cream of mushroom soup, milk, salt and ground black pepper.
3. Simmer until mixture thickens.
4. Serve on the side in a condiments bowl or pour sauce over the chicken burger,
IF you are a fan of our National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal (whose birthday we just celebrated on June 19), and think that his masterpieces, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, are works of a genius, then you would be interested in a restaurant in Greenbelt 5 called Restaurante Pia y Damaso.
By the name alone, you would rightly guess that the restaurant has something to do with Dr. Rizal’s novels. And it does have everything to do with them. The name of the restaurant is taken from two key characters in Noli Me Tangere—Pia Alba and Padre Damaso.
Pia Alba is the mother of Maria Clara. She and husband Kapitan Tiago were childless for six years, and so they approached Padre Damaso to ask him what they could do to have a child. Padre Damaso, the Spanish friar, suggested that they danced in Obando. The couple heeded Padre Damaso’s suggestion and, afterwards, Pia Alba conceived a child, Maria Clara. The dark secret, however, was that Padre Damaso raped Pia Alba and was the real father of Maria Clara.
So much for the name, though. When it comes to food, Restaurante Pia y Damaso serves what chef-owner Bambi Sy-Gobio calls “subversive Filipino cuisine,” which also translates to “comido antigo.” The dishes on the menu are inspired by classic Filipino dishes that people have been enjoying since the time of Dr. Rizal, particularly dishes mentioned in his two novels. The food is based on characters and even named after them, such as Kapitan Tiago’s Kare-Kare, Sisig ni Cabesang Tales, Placido Penitente (Ifugao sticky black rice), Salvi’s Canonigo, Sisa’s Dementia, and Maria Clara’s Velvety White Cheesecake.
Chef Bambi’s culinary genius allows her to create twists and tweaks to classic dishes from appetizers and salads all the way down to desserts and cakes. And it helps a lot that she is a fan of Dr. Rizal’s great literary works.
Some of the must-try dishes on the menu:
Filo Tarts with Pork Asado, Apple Relish
Filo Tarts with Pork Asado, Apple Relish (Php220)—pan-fried flaky filo cakes stuffed with salty sweet pork, served with caramelized apple and vinegar. When Chef Bambi thought of this dish, she was inspired by the pork buns sold by a Chinese vendor outside the students’ dorm where Dr. Rizal wrote El Filibusterismo. She gave the idea a contemporary twist by using filo pastry.
Ham and Chicken Croquetas
Ham & Chicken Croquettes (Php160)—consists of eight pieces of crisp breaded nuggets made up of ham, chicken, mushrooms and cream; a perfect starter to get the palate going.
Albondigas (Php175)—minced beef and pork with spicy paprika and garlic served with fresh tomato sauce.
Mixed Greens with Duck Confit, Red Onions, Fresh Apples, Oranges and Champoy (Salted Plum) and Prune Vinaigrette (Php350)—the champoy gives this salad a unique flavor profile.
Elias (Php450)—is seared marinated crocodile from Davao, mixed greens, tomato, caramelized pineapple, crisp shallots and mango cilantro vinaigrette. If you are wondering why this salad is called Elias, it is because it got its inspiration from a scene in Noli Me Tangere where Elias saves Crisostomo Ibarra from a crocodile in the lake.
Nga Nga Beef Salad
Nga Nga Beef Salad (Php250)—is salty sweet, chewy beef flakes with green mango pickles, red onion, haw flakes, cilantro, arugula and lettuce piled on leaves and then rolled up like nga nga (bettle nut chew).
Bangus Belly Salad with Dalandan Vinaigrette
Bangus Belly Salad with Dalandan Vinaigrette (Php325)—puts the spotlight on seared prime bangus belly steak and marinated onion, baby French green beans, potatoes, arugula, tomato, hard-boiled egg and mustard dalandan dressing.
Lengua Sevillana with Olives and Mushrooms (Php450)—is braised ox tongue with olive oil, tomatoes, mushrooms and green olives. It is a classic Spanish dish that has withstood the test of time.
Callos (Php300)—is another timeless Spanish dish. It is an Old World Spanish stew of braised ox tripe, pork hocks, beef shanks, bacon, chorizo de Bilbao, paprika and chickpeas. No decent Spanish restaurant can be without its own version of this dish. So with a restaurant that is inspired by the Spanish period in Philippine history.
Ode to Heidelberg
Ode to Heidelberg (Php1,500)—good for three people, this is probably one of the restaurant’s biggest platters and most luxurious dishes. It serves as a tribute to the place where Dr. Rizal finished writing Noli Me Tangere, and is a German dish of boiled smoked pork hock, bacon, four kinds of sausages and potatoes.
Roasted Vegetable Tart
Roasted Vegetable Tart (Php300)—Roasted zucchini, peppers, eggplants, mushrooms and garlic in a crisp tart crust, topped with shaved edam and served with a side salad.
Beef Hanging Tender Steak
Beef Hanging Tender Steak (Php500)—seared 150-gram steak, marinated in special garlic mix, and served with pearl rice, corn and mushroom pilaf.
Fideos with Mussels and Chorizo
Fideos with Mussels and Chorizo (Php360)—toasted vermicelli noodles cooked in white wine, seafood broth, tomatoes and chorizo. It’s like paella, especially since it is cooked and served in a paellera, but in pasta form.
Ostrich Steak with Guava
Other specials that diners must try when at Restaurante Pia y Damaso include Camaron Cocido, Seared Mahi-Mahi, and Ostrich Steak with Guava. These are bites that will transport you back to the time of Dr. Rizal and Noli Me Tangere, the time when Spanish friars were very powerful and influential personalities in the community and Spanish influence in Filipino food was strong and glaring.
Tubig ni Maria
Do not forget to wash it all down with Tubig ni Maria, which is a refresher made from cucumber, ginger and citrus.
But if you know Chef Bambi from the time when she had Kookie & Luscious, you’d know that she will certainly create a good dessert menu for Restaurante Pia y Damaso as well. And she did. The cake and dessert lineup is good that even diners of neighboring restaurants come to the restaurant to have dessert. Topping the list is Sisa’s Dementia (Php240), a chocolate cake that’s to die for. Also worth trying are Salvi’s Canonigo (Php100), baked caramel lined meringue with vanilla crème and fresh mangoes; Brazo ni Doña Vicki (Php100), chewy meringue roulade with fresh butter curd; and Toasted Yema Parfait (Php125), Damaso’s special toasted yema on a frozen creamy parfait with cookie crumbs.
(Restaurante Pia y Damaso can be found on the 2nd Floor, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City; with telephone number 729-5511.)