Hainanese Chicken

Tonight we got invited to ‘Tao Yuan’, a Chinese restaurant in Malate.

I’m not an expert on authentic Chinese food, but Chinese people are – and the restaurant is PACKED with them. Consider that a good sign. Imee Marcos was there too, inside a VIP room, along with a number of fringe politicians.

Tao Yuan opened last December, and established itself for serving one of the best Hainanese chicken in Manila (complete with the chicken’s severed head as a decoration).

On the vegetable side of things, we ate this spaghetti-esque dish filled with various kinds of mushrooms and sotanghon noodles. Their tofu is great.

Mixed vegetables with sotanghon (included in P800 set meal)

La Familia also got a dish of steamed minced pork with shredded salted fish bits. The Leungs (Kuya JP, Tita Tam, and Tito Nelson), however, wanted to eat a deep-fried version of the dish which they had discovered in San Francisco. So the floor manager agreed to try it, and came up with this:

Deep-fried minced pork and salted fish medallions (special request)

The verdict? It was good for the first try, but it needed to be crispier and had to have more salted fish bits, according to Tito and Tita.

For me, the definite winner for the evening was the Hainan rice. It tasted like Tinola-flavored garlic fried rice. Later on, I found out they call it “chicken rice” because it’s like a fried rice infused with chicken broth or chicken fat. (Not for herbivores!)

Hainan rice – P50 per cup

For dessert, we had the ever-present “butsi”, this time, it was black bean sesame seed balls rolled in peanut and coconut shavings. It came with green tea jell-o which was awesome just for its striped design. Not a must-have, if you ask me.

Butsi and green tea gelatin slices (included in P800 set menu)

I have never been a fan of Chinese food, but for their Hainan rice alone, I’ll make an exception. That was a total diet-ruiner.
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