When in Manila, you can get a taste of authentic China in a plate. Last June 30th was the grand launch of husband and wife tandem, Michael Chan-Ang and Maritess Apiado-Ang’s newest addition to their already successful list of Chinese restaurant’s, the King Chef Fine Dining Restaurant.Just a few steps away from the King Chef Fine Dining Restaurant are the other restaurants owned by the Ang couple, the Cantonese Soup Kitchen and the King Chef Dimsum Kitchen.
The rain was pouring hard that day and I was actually having second thoughts whether I’d still attend, because some of the areas in Manila where flooded and the traffic was dreadful. But nevertheless I just could not miss the chance to taste authentic Cantonese cuisine. The Manila atmosphere that night was dreary and sad due to the rains, but as we entered the King Chef Fine Dining restaurant we were greeted by warm smiles and a happier, and lighter atmosphere inside. I knew the night was going to be a blast.
As we sat on our table, cocktails were served to us, which were Fried Prawn Dumplings and Malay Cake. As appetizers, the cocktails did not really bring out the wow factor yet. Surprisingly, both had a very similar yellowish color, so from afar you could not really tell one from the other. The Malay Cake, was light and sweet “butter chiffon cake-like” taste and the Fried Prawn Dumplings where really crispy on the outside and the prawn inside wasn’t tough at all, not like the ones you get at the food carts at the mall.
I checked the menu card, and found out that it had 10 different dishes which where going to be served, the night was definitely going to be long. Personally, I don’t get that excited with Chinese cuisine, not that I don’t like it, it’s just so common already that I sometimes associate it as Filipino Cuisine. I wanted to try out King Chef and see what an authentic Chinese meal tasted like.
First on the list was the Double Boiled Native Chicken Soup. First sip and I was in love. It was just the perfect soup to serve on a rainy day. It was warm and comforting. The taste reminded me of Balut soup, or the juice/soup you drink from the Balut.
After the Chicken soup, the second meal on the list was served: Cold Cuts Combination. I wanted to taste everything in it which included the California Maki, Century Egg, and pork pieces with different sauces. Just like in all Chinese restaurants, the spinning circular thing in the middle was proving to be a real effort to move! Aside from the fact that the dish looked so pretty, the taste was a bit ordinary. Nothing really different from other restaurants, but I loved the Century egg.
The Suahe Tea Leaves, Imperial Spareribs, King Fish Mango Sauce, and Yang Chow Fried Rice were all served at once, a bit overwhelming, but everyone at the table was ready to fight! Although the first two dishes could actually fill you up already, everyone was eager to eat more good food.
The Suahe (White Shrimp) with tea leaves tasted amazing! Since I was in a Chinese fine dining restaurant, I had to act all prim and proper, but deep inside the filipino in me was screaming inside to use my hands to eat the shrimp. Eating shrimp with a spoon and fork is dreadful, but the taste of the dish was great nevertheless.
By this time, I was telling myself that the restaurant was releasing their secret weapons because all of the yummy dishes were glaring right at me. Next on the rotating table was the Imperial Spareribs. Although I loved the sauce so much, the meat had just too much fat that I was forced to eat less. People at the table were saying that it was really enjoyed that way, tastewise, it was awesome, there was just too much fat compared to meat. Not really a fan.
So the rotating table spins again, and here comes the King Fish Mango Sauce and Yang Chow Rice. Personally the King Fish dish was the best. It tasted and looked similar to a sweet and sour fish dish. The skin was crispy and the sauce that coated it was sweet with a hint of mango. The Yang Chow Rice was just like any Yang Chow Rice I would have eaten at another good Chinese restaurant, but the viands were so great that the rice tasted somehow special.
I was already satisfied with what I was eating by this time, full also. But I remembered that there were still a lot of dishes to be served. Waiters came in again with the next on the list: the Chicken Fortune Bags.
I made a conclusion that night that the Chinese definitely love sauce in there dishes. Almost every single dish had a thick sauce in it. The Chicken Fortune bags looked and tasted great. The presentation was superb. I liked how strong those little bags were, to think that they were soaked in sauce. The dish reminded me of “fresh lumpia” in a way, probably because of the sauce.
As the spinning Chinese table spun, all the food seem to speak to me somehow. Telling me to eat more! I wanted to, but there were still 3 dishes to be served and I had to leave room in my tummy for more.
Next, the Crab with Sotanghon Hotpot was served. Unlike other restaurant who serve measly tiny crabs, King Chef were not stingy with the crab size. They were HUGE! and yummy like all the other dishes. Again the thick sauce was present, with sotanghon this time, or Chinese vermicelli.
This time almost everyone was smiling, probably satisfied and full with all the wonderful dishes served that night. In between, there were games were in the winners were able to taste the most expensive dish from the menu, the Buddha Jumped Over the Fence soup which is priced at Php9,000. Others won gift certificates and pretty Chinese tea sets. The owners and the team behind King Chef were introduced and everyone was invited to a toast. Surprisingly the King Chef staff, including the Head Chef was Filipino!
And so the most awaited dish of the night the desert was served. The Herbal Lemongrass with mixed fruits was not really appetizing to look at. But as they say, never judge a book by its cover. The dessert was light and refreshing, a perfect dessert after a really heavy meal. And the lemony after taste made it more delightful.
All in all, I would give my dining experience at King Chef an 8 out of 10. I would love to come back and taste all the other dishes on the menu, especially the most expensive soup. This gave me a deeper appreciation of authentic Chinese cuisine. I left that night with a happy heart and a heavy stomach.
Imperial Feast at King Chef Fine Dining Restaurant in Banawe
When in Manila, visit King Chef at Banawe and experience a meal fit for a king!
King Chef Fine Fining
987-989 Banawe St., Quezon City
Tel: 4104919/4136619/4414177/3527534 Fax: 4136619