Sunday lunches are always BIG in my family. I grew up in a family that gives so much importance to this day of the week. This is when we all hear Mass together, after which we all go out to eat. Being the youngest and the only girl in the family (yes you can say I was spoiled by my late Dad – bless him!), I always got the free hand to choose which restaurant the whole family will eat in, much to the disappointment of my brothers!
Now this tradition of eating out every Sunday has been carried on until now when I already have my own little family. Nothing much has changed actually, except that being known as the “foodie” in the family, the pressure to choose a really good restaurant that all will enjoy has increased drastically!
So last Sunday, I decided to bring the whole family to a well established Chinese restaurant known to serve delicious and authentic Hong Kong Style Chinese food : HAI SHIN LOU.
We were a large group of 12; my mother, in-laws and 2 balikbayan relatives, an Aunt and an Uncle visiting from the US, joined us. I chose this restaurant because Chinese food is best enjoyed when shared with a bigger group – since this meant having a wider variety of dishes too!
We asked the manager, Mr Ben for his top recommendations, and so here’s what we ordered:
Cold Appetizers : Seaweed Jelly, Pork Asado. Crispy Suckling Pig and Hainanese White Chicken
Fried Rice with Seafood and Dried Olive Leaf
This was my first time to try a different kind of Chinese fried rice. Usually, I just order Yang Chow or Salted Fish, but this time around, I was willing to try something new. And I was more than glad to have ordered this! It had chunks of seafood in it (scallops especially) plus some dried olives and I’m guessing perhaps a little bit of X/O sauce was added too, which made the whole concoction so delicious and filling.
Sweet and Sour Pork
This is a classic Chinese dish that only a few can do really well. Suffice it to say that this is one of Hai Shin Lou’s best-sellers.
Hong Kong style Crispy Roasted Fried Chicken
It’s crispy, it’s roasted, it’s fried. How can it go wrong?
This is no ordinary Fried Chicken, it was a simple dish that we all enjoyed. The skin was perfectly thin and crispy, the meat was juicy and very tasty! It’s best complemented with a little dash of that powdered white salt and just a tiny drizzle of light soya sauce on top. In fact, I can eat this alone with just steamed white rice – and that spells comfort food to me! 🙂
Fish Fillet with Home Made Bean Curd in Hot Pot
(Their bean curd is made from scratch!)
Tong Po Pork with Steamed Buns
This is Pork Belly in all its glory; perfect for all serious pork lovers out there. Yes it was fatty, but there were still a whole lot of meat packed in between those layers of fat. 🙂 I can still say, it was worth every calorie!
Tung Po Pork is best eaten with these hot and pillowy soft steamed buns! You can use these buns to dip in the sauce of the pork or simply make your own version of siopao by filling these buns with a few strands of shredded pork. No matter how you want to eat this, this is one dish I guarantee that both adults and kids will enjoy.
Spinach with Garlic
We didn’t forget our veggies! To compensate for all the meat that we ordered, we had these freshly sauteed green Spinach leaves with nothing else but garlic.
Another popular dish in the restaurant. Similar to most Calamari dishes except this had more pepper to it. It had a little bit of that spicy kick to it which I always like in my dishes!
Crab with Sotanghon in Hot Pot
Another one of Hai Shin Lou’s best – sellers…Good and fatty crab, soaked in their special seafood sauce, laid on top of sotanghon noodles, cooked in a hot pot.
My crab and sotanghon up close – such a perfect combo! This was just one out of my many plates. 🙂
Dessert : Buchi
Even though they had many desserts in the menu, this is what the manager recommended. He said that their Buchi is very special and not like the typical ones out there.
And he was right! This is not your usual Buchi found in most Chinese restaurants – that’s thin on the outside and almost empty on the inside. I say, this is THE BUCHI to beat all other Buchis in Manila!! 🙂
The outer layer was thick and chewy and the shell was still hot and crispy. The center was filled with a big amount of the best red bean paste I’ve ever tasted. Really, one scrumptious Buchi. (Remember to eat Buchi as soon as it’s served, while steaming hot.)
HAI SHIN LOU’s Chef is from Hong Kong, which explains the authenticity of the taste of their dishes. All the dishes we ordered were delicious, service was quick and attentive (yes even though it was a Sunday and they were packed) and most importantly, their prices were reasonable. With the big servings and the excellent quality of food that you get, this is one restaurant that gives you value for your money. All these reasons have made it a recipient for many years now of several Best Restaurant Awards given by several magazines and publications.
One more last thing about the place : Most top ranking government officials (yes, including the President) and some of our biggest Taipans are usually seen holding their lunch meetings and important dinners here…So if you’re lucky, not only will you have a good, authentic Chinese meal, you might also spot our biggest newsmakers in town.
HAI SHIN LOU – 810 Pasay Road, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City
tel 02-752-7433 / 02-892-5148 / 02-813-8491