CHINESE food is very popular the world over. No matter where you go, you will always find a Chinatown and a number of Chinese restaurants offering delicious Chinese dishes. But Chinese cuisine is vast, in the sense that it can be broken down into different sub-cuisines, such as Cantonese cuisine and Szechuan cuisine, and there are stark differences in the Chinese food that you find in different countries. Although it generally uses a basic set of herbs and spices, such as five-spice powder, chili, ginger, and goji or wolfberries, Chinese cuisine is as diverse as there are Chinese communities around the world.
So, Super Bowl of China, a haven for Cantonese cuisine, thought of putting up another Chinese restaurant concept that will bring together Chinese dishes from across Asia and called it Red China by Super Bowl. Red China officially opened second week of August, 2013, at Level 1, Activity Center of TriNoma Mall in Quezon City, and it easily captured the fancy of diners in the area.
“With this novel concept, we offer a wider variety of dishes with distinct taste profiles to satisfy different Chinese food cravings, from classic favorites to the more adventurous choices. There is that promise of a unique and exciting dining experience by serving up a range of Chinese specialties that are certified crowd-pleasers from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines,” explains Richmond Yang, managing director of Red China by Super Bowl, who invited members of the food media to sample the food offerings of Red China for lunch.
Red China specializes in Chinese roasts, which are prepared using an exciting mix of centuries-old Chinese roasting techniques enhanced with a wide array of spices and seasonings to bring out the natural flavors of the meats. These roasts, for which Yang brought in a special combi oven for roasts, include Roast Pork Belly (Php175 for an order), Roast Chicken with Mala Sauce (Php350 for half a chicken and Php675 for a whole chicken), Roast Chicken Original (Php275 half/Php540 whole), Roast Pork Asado (Php250) and 2 Roast Combination (Php275).
Red China’s signature dish and a certified hit among diners, Roast Chicken with Mala Sauce, is a Chinese-inspired dish from Singapore. It’s plump, juicy chicken marinated in the restaurant’s original roasting Asian spice mix doused with the Singapore signature spicy Mala Sauce, served with toasted garlic chips and sesame seeds on top. You shouldn’t miss it, especially if you’re dining at Red China for the first time.
Also from Singapore are an appetizer called Shrimp Paste Chicken Wings (Php150), which is a platter of 6 pcs. chicken wing flats marinated in select Chinese spices and, as its name suggests, shrimp paste, then fried to a golden crisp; a vegetable dish called Spicy Eggplant (Php140), fresh eggplant slices lightly sautéed and topped with Red China’s original Chinese chili paste, served on a bed of fish sauce); and noodle dishes called Special Asado Lao Mian (Php150) and Minced Meat Asado Lao Mian (Php175), sautéed Shanghai Lao Mian noodles with tender slices of Roast Pork Asado for the Special Asado Lao Mian and minced meat for the Minced Meat Asado Lao Mian, immersed in a special Lao Mian sauce.
Representing Taiwan are dishes like Chicken Chop (Php175), boneless chicken fillet seasoned and breaded then fried until golden and served with sweet chili sauce; and Chicken Chop Noodle Soup (Php185), a hearty serving of Shanghai flat noodles in a clear chicken broth topped with breaded Taiwan chicken chops.
From Hong Kong comes Bacon Wrapped Shrimps (Php260), 4 pcs, of premium smoked belly bacon wrapped around succulent shrimps marinated in Singapore Sotong paste, dipped in a light and airy batter and fried to perfection; Hong Kong Style Spicy Shrimp (Php170), shelled fresh shrimps sautéed in garlic, chili fingers, minced black beans and mixed vegetables blended with secret Chinese spices; and Salted Egg Shrimps (Php240), shelled fresh shrimps sautéed in a unique Chinese salted egg batter.
For Chinese dishes that are a huge favorite in the Philippines, there’s Sweet and Sour Pork (Php140) and Lemon Chicken (Php140).
Also served during the media lunch were Cuttlefish with Spicy Salt (Php120), Stir-fried Baguio Beans with Salted Fish (Php150), Taiwan Pechay with Oyster Sauce (Php120), and Broccoli with Crispy Garlic (Php160). We had two soups on the table, Scallop Chicken Soup (Php140) and Apple Chicken Soup (Php140), and for our rice, we chose Diced Chicken with Salted Fish Fried Rice (Php210) from among the five fried rice variants available on the menu.
I loved the deep-fried Cuttlefish with Spicy Salt, which I kept going back to because it’s crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, with just the right flavor to it. Nothing too salty. Not bland, either. Just right. There’s a special cooking technique to achieve this doneness, and I did ask the Red China officials, but it’s a trade secret that cannot be divulged.
As for the soups, we were told that, unlike regular soups that are cooked in stockpots and then ladled onto soup bowls and served at the table, Red China’s soups have the ingredients assembled right in the soup bowl and then the soup bowl is steamed to cook the dish, and so the soup is served straight from the steamer.
We had Egg Tarts (Php120) and Grass Jelly with Lychees (Php95) for dessert.
If you look at the prices, you’d notice that the dishes are reasonably priced, so dining at Red China won’t burn a hole in your pocket. The food is incredibly good, as management took pains in collaborating with Red China’s international culinary partners based in Singapore for recipe development, food preparation and cooking techniques to make sure diners will get to enjoy them, and the servings are generous.
(Red China is located at Level 1 M1, Activity Center, of TriNoma Mall in Quezon City, with telephone number 0917-8818651 for inquiries and reservations.)