Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mabuhay Palace

Manila Hotel has been undergoing some renovations for some time.  My friends and I were curious to see what's new with this historical hotel and so we trooped to Manila Hotel after watching Varekai.

My friend D read a review about Manila Hotel's Chinese restaurant named The Mabuhay Palace in a broadsheet and wanted to try it out.  I did not even know Manila Hotel had a Chinese restaurant!

This restaurant was beautifully decorated.  On one wall near the entrance is an art work partially made with Jade depicting Confucius' life. (which stupid me forgot to take a picture of!)

Crispy Wonton Crisp, free
We were given fried crisp tossed in honey and sesame seeds.

I always order hakaw or shrimp dumplings whenever I am in a Chinese Restaurant.  And dining at the Mabuhay Palace was no exception.  I must say, their hakaw was one of the best I've ever had.

Hot & Sour Soup, P220
Braised Assorted Seafood and Fish Maw Soup, P280

Both soups were good.  The flavors were very subtle and well balanced.

Crispy Glazed Baby Squid, small, P320
From the Chef's recommended menu, we got this crispy fried baby squid that is glazed in honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.  My friend D and her daughter loved this.  I didn't care for this much, as the squid reminds me very much of the dried squid we used to buy in Cebu.

Dong Po Pork with Steamed Buns, small, P380
Pork braised in soy sauce, ginger, scallions and rice wine.  Served with steamed buns to sop up all that sweet sauce.

Braised Bean Curd w/ Chinese Mushroom and Vegetables, small, P320
Really good.  Very nice subtle flavors.  

Salted Fish Fried Rice, small, P350
I think it needed a little more salted fish in it. 
The photo above only shows my portion of the rice.  The small order, depending on your appetite, can feed maybe 4 adults. 
Mango Manila, P160
Very fragrant fruit infused tea.  I don't drink tea much but this was pretty good with a pretty pinkish color and very fragrant.
Salted Egg Ice Cream, P100
I think Iron Chef has a lot to answer for showing the world that you can basically make ice cream flavors from anything.  The weirder it is, the better.  Salted egg ice cream, in my opinion is up there there with them.  Salted egg, which they ferment themselves, mixed with low fat milk and sesame paste makes up this frozen dessert.  This had an appeal to it and would pass as a regular flavored ice cream , though I didn't care much for the egg yolk or its sandy texture.

Overall,  I am glad my friend D insisted on trying out Manila Hotel's Mabuhay Palace.  Food was superbly cooked and flavors were subtle and light.  There were no sleepy after effects of eating Chinese food which I have always associated with too much MSG.
The interior was beautifully done, paying attention to the smallest details.  It is classy yet intimate.  Nothing loud.
Service was very good and the servers were very attentive but not familiar,  which I love.  I really do not care for those restaurants where the servers act like they are your new best friends.
And best of all, because we signed up at Manila Hotel's booth at Varekai, we got the Magique Gold Card

which entitle us a 20% discount on our food and drinks.  Aside from that,  the card entitles the holder a special rate on rooms and a free one time use of its health club.  The gold card is valid until September 30, 2011.

Mabuhay Palace is located at the historic Manila Hotel.
Open from 11 AM - 2:30 PM and from 6 -10 PM.
For inquiries or reservations call 527-0011 local 1261.

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