Maybe I have been eating too much of Ministop‘s fried wonton or Chowking‘s chicken lauriat, or maybe it was just the elegant surroundings that took my breath away – but my verdict is that the new Li Li Cantonese Restaurant of Hyatt Hotel & Casino Manila has got one of the best Chinese food I’ve tasted in recent times.
Of course it helped that Li Li is fine dining all the way. The chinaware and tableware are exquisite. And if you happen to book one of the private rooms, you can adjust the temperature and the lights, as well as play the songs from your CD and make it your very own piped-in music.
For this lunch, we did not eat any rice…a mortal sin for a meal in Manila, if you ask me. But certainly there was no need for the carbo when there are a dozen dimsun varieties in front of you. My personal favorites were the deep-fried prawns wrapped in sugar cane, the deep-fried spring rolls with shredded duck and mushrooms, and the baked puff pastry filled with honey barbecued pork (shown in photo). I lied to my host and said it was my second time to try the steamed chicken feet when in fact it was my first. I had to make sure the darn feet was super-clean and am certainly glad that it was worth the wait.
Our tummies were already bursting to the seams when two more dishes arrived: the wok-fried rice noodle with chicken in black bean sauce and the spare ribs cooked in age-sweetened vinegar with deep-fried milk nuggets. The latter was too perfect that it sent me to heaven.
Most surprising of all, a full-course meal at Li Li complete with a dimsum combination, two entrees, fried rice, dessert and the requisite Chinese tea will not even cost you 1K. Considering the ambiance, I think it’s reasonable. It is one reason why am definitely treating ONE of my lucky friends to the resto soon.
Now, it’s a shame that I haven’t been to a single exhibit of the new Ayala Museum yet tasting the offerings of their M Cafe was certainly a worthwhile experience. I’ve met its chef, Sau del Rosario, during his Venezia days and he’s at it again whipping dishes that are best termed “Asian fusion.” During a recent launch, I went gaga over some of the cafe’s sample cocktails like the smoked salmon and pomelo spoons, the parma ham wrapped in mangoes and coconut panna cotta. Next time I promise to try the chocnut chocolate cake and the jackfruit sans rival.M Cafe rates are competitive with the rates in the Greenbelt area which means..be prepared to shell out P200 for a decent meal. Hmm, museum food never tasted this good.