Chinese cuisine is in actuality divided per region, but outside of China, it’s really Cantonese fare that gained popularity in the global palate. And it really goes on either side of the spectrum. From the cheap fusion and traditional dishes in legitimate hole-in-the-wall establishments in Binondo to the luxurious restaurants that serve high-brow Cantonese classics. But in between each end is some middle ground that offers value-for-money food without you having to dig deep into your pockets or scour Binondo.
Don’t let the posh BGC address daunt you. Yumchee offers Chinese fastfood (Cantonese and hints of Taiwanese influence actually). For the price they offer, you’d be pleasantly surprised with the quality of their food.
You see, Yumchee makes everything from scratch with quality ingredients, so don’t expect the extenders and overpowering MSG you’d normally associate with Chinese fast food. The owners are very hands-on and sourced the ingredients to each dish themselves.
Heck, they even brew their own tea and coffee which makes for superbly delicious and addicting. There’s the Iced Milk Tea and Iced Black or White Coffee (Php 78/ Large), both with a subtle sweetness that don’t consume the original flavor of the black Assam tea or the local Arabica coffee. For the serving size and taste alone, they’re definitely more value than my frequented cafe and milk tea franchise.
If you aren’t into dairy or coffee, they offer Iced Oolong and Iced Lemon Tea at the same price. Not up for iced drinks? They’ve got hot options as well for Jasmine tea, milk tea, and coffee. Soon, they’ll have local juices for the kids and kids-at-heart too, so watch out for that.
The owners of Yumchee wants to deliver good value without the customer questioning anything. This way, they hope to gain a steady following built on trust and loyalty by an approving clientele. And based on the quality of their dim sum, they’re definitely going to gain a fan base among BGC residents and regulars.
Of course all would be lost if they stopped their endeavors at dim sum. Yumchee has all the Chinese favorites, from hand-pulled noodles, congee, and the beloved Pinoy preference, rice meals.
Beef Brisket Noodle Soup (Php 159) + Wanton (Php30): Broke from your hungover ramen habit? Try wanton noodle soup. Its clearer broth isn’t made solely of boiled pork, so it can be a breather. Yumchee’s version is complemented by their handmade noodles which happen to be firm to bite. Best eaten as soon as it’s served to maximize the “al dente” characteristic, although it doesn’t sog either even after the heat is gone. Their selection also includes just plain Wanton and Chicken Meatball (Php 159/ bowl — a huge one!).
Pork with Century + Salted Egg Congee (Php 159): I’ve imagined congee to be like the chinky counterpart of arroz caldo, so I never thought the former would be any different. But tasting this for the first time was a surprise. It’s light and easy on the stomach, which is why it’s easy to see how fast this dish went in a few minutes. Also, two types of aged eggs really add a pop of flavor here and there in your palate. Choose among their other variants of Pork Meatball, Fish Fillet, and Seafood (+ Php 30 because it’s real seafood and fish; not coagulated dough balls with the flavor of the sea).
Each serving of congee comes with a half serving of their Fried Breadstick, which is also made in-house. It’s also light and airy with a pastry-like texture that makes for addicting meriendas when dipped in cinnamon and sugar. Thank God they have whole orders of this for just Php 58. Goodbye waiting in line for churros.