Article by Michelle Tiu / Photography by Hannah Furigay / Graphics by Paolo Quebral
Out with the spicy chicken wings and in with the hot and spicy Chinese food! Even with the amount of restaurants (especially of Chinese cuisine) around the Banawe area, Templó Modern Szechuan stands out with its extremely noticeable red exteriors and Chinese ornaments.
Located in the new lifestyle complex Dapitan 55, this restaurant is born from a family heirloom recipe coming from Szechuan, China, a province known for its hot and spicy food filled with numerous spices, chilis, and peppercorns.
At first glance it may seem like a temple or a Buddhist shop in Binondo with the the ornaments and statues that guard the door, but that’s because Templó aims to give diners a unique dining experience.
Since there has been a notion that diners get “turned off” by Szechuan cuisine, which is mostly known for spicy food or what the Chinese would call ma la (麻辣), Templó takes a huge step by serving dishes that are a fusion of modern cooking techniques and traditional ingredients. It also has dishes that are tweaked to suite the taste of Filipinos.
Inside Templó, even the chairs and tables are interesting as if they are all inspired by actual items you mighjt find in temples. The place only has a seating capacity of around 20 people, which makes the dining experience between the diner and the food very intimate. Chinese music plays in the background, too!
To add to that, the items on the shelf range from old religious-looking statues to bead bracelets and wines that are all for sale, but that’s not everything yet because here comes my favorite part: the food!
Spicy food lovers, can you handle the heat? Get your chopsticks ready because the food is here!
Szechuan Native Duck, Php485
The first dish is the Szechuan Native Duck. Living up to Szechuan cuisine, this dish has bold flavors wherein you first taste the saltiness and then the spiciness. The duck meat is soft and tender and at the same time flavorful as it absorbs all of the goodness of the spices thrown into making the dish. Make sure to pair it with a cup of rice – I guarantee you’ll love it right off the bat!
Special Spicy Chicken Liver, Php265
If you’re feeling a bit more adventures, though, try out the the special spicy chicken liver, which will equally satiate your spicy food cravings! This dish is quite similar to the Filipino dish adobo but has extra spices tossed into the cooking process to let the flavor fully seep into the chicken liver.
Steamed Halibut in Special Soy Sauce, Php345
It’s no Chinese restaurant without any fish. Templó serves steamed halibut with tofu, which is perfect for those who are on a diet or are avoiding spicy and oily food altogether. The halibut is fresh and sweet, thanks to its special soy sauce. I actually kind of forgot that I was eating fish! Since this dish isn’t spicy, it can be easily enjoyed by children and elders.
Templo’s Signature Milk Tea, Php115
There has been a rising craze on different types of milk tea over ice, such as pearl milk tea and Cantonese milk tea. Well, Templó enters the scene with a revamped and innovative variation of the milk tea: the Templo’s Signature Milk Tea. It tastes like grass jelly or xian cao (仙草), which reminds me of my childhood sipping honey grass jelly juice out of a tin can.
Avocado Coated Ice Cream, Php215
Saving the best for last, this is my personal favorite: the avocado coated ice cream. I always have room for ice cream, no matter how full I am. Quite ironically, Templó offers different kinds of ice cream for dessert, such as the Milo-coated ice cream and the butter milk-coated ice cream.
However, what really caught my attention was the avocado-coated ice cream. The serving is huge compared to the usual small ice cream scoops other restaurants offer. The texture of the ice cream is also thick and creamy, giving me more reason to love avocado.
It’s nice to see budding concept restaurants promote different cultures through food, and Templó is happy to join that list. The food is great, and the place is also Instagram-worthy.
Next time you plan to get a car wash at 55 Dapitan or if you want to do a spicy food challenge while enjoying hearty food, drop by Templó Modern Szechuan and try out their dishes from the their long and diverse lineup.
Templó Modern Szechuan
55 Dapitan Street Corner D. Tuazon, Brgy. Lourdes, Quezon City
Monday to Sunday 9am-10pm