I get sentimental when I think about Shanghai. There was something about the city that pulled me in all directions – the old, the new and the promise of what could be.
Memories include sipping chocolate martini at the Godiva Cafe in Xin Tian Di which was owned by a Filipino, braving the chilly night weather and staring at the jawdropping skyscrapers of Pudong. One night, I was ensconced in a cafe trying not to mind a couple in front of me who were engaged in a public display of affection. I didn’t mind them because there was a bigger challenge ahead of me: finishing this huge tower of shaved ice with red beans and milk (this dessert I would later see in Lugang Cafe Greenhills)
And then strolling through the beautiful Yuyuan Garden, I was amazed at the longest line I’ve seen in a restaurant and wondered what spell was cast on the crowd by the Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant. A few minutes later, I bit into the crunchy goodness of their mushroom and tofu spring roll (among other dimsum specialties) and I realized why!
Before I get any sadder that I couldn’t go to Shanghai at the moment, I was certainly glad to taste the flavors of the city with a special promotion by Jasmine Cantonese Restaurant in New World Hotel Makati City.They’ve flown in two chefs from YUE 1525, a popular Cantonese restaurant in Shanghai to showcase specialties like dimsum, claypot dishes and double-boiled soups.
New World is already gaining repute among Manila’s discriminating diners as having Manila’s best Chinese restaurant in a hotel setting. Their Shanghai Surprise promotion, ongoing until October 1, reinforces the claim.
Here are some of my favorites from our dinner sampling at the Jasmine:
The wagyu beef with mango roll (P320 an order) was a well-executed fusion dimsum.A thin slice of premium wagyu beef was mixed with mango and veggies then wrapped,fried to a crisp and tied with nori. This was truly delicious.
Shanghai is famous for their xiao long bao or soup dumplings. Of course, Jasmine is not amiss in offering their specialty. Their Shanghainese pork dumplings are made even more indulgent with the addition of goose liver (P250 per piece)
I loved the slightly chewy texture of the pan-fried razor clams which were imported from France by the visiting chefs (P780/100 grams). The clams are so-called because of their elongated shape. They were smothered with sauce that were a bit salty yet tasty.
I couldn’t resist taking several bites of the wok-fried fillet of beef with wasabi sauce (P780). Meat was oh-so-tender and flavorful. I’d have to ask the chef how to make this one, if only I knew how to speak Mandarin or Fookien 😀
I love fish, and so I couldn’t resist this steamed sea garoupa with soya bean in lotus leaf (P220/100 grams).I think the lotus lent this fish a good smoky flavor.
The chicken curry in clay pot (P600) was truly Shanghainese, we were informed. I don’t know the recipe but I did see peppers, onions and some delectable sauce.
The assorted seafood, rice and soup (P1,380 for a big bowl) hit the spot. The warm bowl is the kind that cures hang-overs or warmly fills the tummy.In street parlance, comfort food!
There were two desserts served, but I was more in awe of the oolong tea creme brulee (P400 per cup). The goodness of tea in a mellow-tasting slash yummy dessert….. how did they get to be so creative?
Some people spotted at the dinner:
Jasmine’s master chef Choi Wing Ki with guest chefs Wong Kam Chung and Ng Wing Fu of YUE 1525.
New World Hotel’s MarCom director Monique Toda (right) with chef Gino Gonzalez of CACS.
New World communications executive Carla Orbeta and businesswoman/blogger Jean Salonga Fernando.
Fellow bloggers Jane Chua and Rochelle Sy Chua 🙂
As they say in China: haochi ?? (delicious!)
Jasmine Restaurant @ New World Hotel
Esperanza St. corner Makati Avenue
Call 8116888 local 3338 for reservations