JASMINE: IRRESISTIBLE CHINESE FOOD

Location: Level 2, New World Makati Hotel, Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Ayala Center, Makati City, Philippines

My group of five were in the Greenbelt area and I was craving for Chinese food and salted egg so off we went to New World Makati Hotel’s Jasmine, its dining outlet at Level 2. Jasmine is open for lunch (11:30 am – 2:30 pm) and dinner (6 pm – 10:30 pm).

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Jasmine Restaurant

The Chinese Art Deco interior was cozy and simply elegant. It is my second visit to this Chinese restaurant and this will definitely be a “cheat meal”! LOL

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Jasmine Dining Area

Jasmine offers authentic Chinese dishes created by renowned Hong Kong chef Wong Kam On: a wide variety of Cantonese baked, fried, steamed and vegetarian dim sum; chicken, fish and pork century egg congees; rice rolls (served only for lunch); Peking Duck; seafood specialties; barbecued appetizers; soups; live fish and seafood (with your choice of cooking method); poultry and meat dishes; bean curd, noodle, rice, vegetable and vegetarian dishes; desserts; and different kinds of tea (along with Jasmine Tea and Jasmine Chrysanthemum). Set menus, priced per table of ten persons, are also offered.

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Unlimited Yum Cha Menu

The entrance to the main dining room was so inviting. We arrived at a little past noon and most of the tables were occupied. On our round table was a menu for unlimited  yum cha¹, for 988 pesos per person. It was so tempting but we settled for a la carte orders for the group so we could savor the salted egg dishes which I have been craving for.

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Barbecued Pork Pastry

We ordered 4 kinds of dimsum. The BARBECUED PORK PASTRY was a welcome treat because the pastry was so flaky and the pork filling was delicious. The generously-sized PORK XIAO LONG BAO looked so enticing: steaming hot with its delicate folds and thin, white casing. Its yummy mild broth was just right for the well-seasoned pork filling.

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Har Gao

The HAR GAO was served hot, the dough shell was soft and delicate, and the seasoned shrimp filling was tasty and juicy.

3-Pork Pastry Spring Roll
Pork Pastry Spring Roll

The PORK PASTRY SPRING ROLL was a delightful appetizer as well.

We enjoyed sipping the hot JASMINE TEA while we savored the various dim sum as well as succeeding courses.

SPINACH SOUP was requested by our 5-year old picky-eater-grandson and he finished it all so that says a lot about this soup! This healthy soup was served at the right temperature and was pleasantly seasoned so the kid enjoyed it till the last drop.

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Sole of Fish Salted Egg Yolk

We ordered five main courses. Finally, I will satisfy my salted egg craving! The SOLE OF FISH SALTED EGG YOLK hit the spot! I definitely rave about this dish and, dear Seniors, this is definitely a MUST TRY! The tender fish was fried with just the right amount of yummy salted egg.

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Deep Fried Prawns Salted Egg Yolk

The crispy DEEP FRIED PRAWNS SALTED EGG YOLK was likewise delicious, accentuated by the salted egg coating.

The CHINESE STYLE PAN-FRIED BEEF TENDERLOIN was topped with Chef Wong’s special sauce. The beef was so tender. The flavor and texture of the sauce enhanced the enjoyment of this dish.

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Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

Our picky-eater requested BROCCOLI WITH OYSTER SAUCE. The broccoli was cooked just right and the sauce was tasty, but not salty.

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Egg White Seafood Fried Rice

The EGG WHITE SEAFOOD FRIED RICE with conpoy² and pine nuts, with its subtle, yet flavorful blend of ingredients and seasonings, aptly complemented our a la carte orders.

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Mango Pudding

Finally, we ordered two kinds of desserts. Mango Pudding and Mango Cream-Sago.

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Mango Cream-Sago

 

Both desserts were a refreshing treat after all the dimsum and main courses we enjoyed.

The staff were so accommodating and gave personalized service. They changed the plates as needed, replenished our tea and water, and asked if we enjoyed the meal and what else we needed.

We will definitely come back for more, what with their December promo called “Feast on Festive Treats”: (1) a Yum Cha Buffet Lunch consisting of baked, fried and steamed dumplings, buns, rolls and noodles, at 1,388 pesos per person; and, (2) a choice among three 10-course set menus for December 24, 25, 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018, featuring Chef Wong’s signature dishes like Suckling Pig, Braised Abalone with Black Mushrooms, Pan-fried Lamb with Black Pepper Sauce, Pan-fried Scallop with Egg White and Black Truffle Sauce, at 9,888 pesos for a group of 6 persons.

Private dining rooms are also available for your intimate get-togethers, dear Senior Citizens. You can inquire/book at (02) 811-6888. Visit their website: www.manila.newworldhotels.com. You can view their complete menu at www.zomato.com, just type Jasmine – New World Makati Hotel Menu.

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced dining in Jasmine? If so, what were your favorite dim sum and ala carte dishes? I would like to hear from you. Do scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Thank you!


1Yum cha is the Cantonese tradition of brunch consisting of dim sum and Chinese tea. It includes small portions of deep-fried, pan-fried and steamed dim sum dishes served in bamboo steamers, eaten communally, accompanied by tea. Yum Cha literally means “drink tea” in Cantonese.

²Conpoy is a type of pungent, Cantonese dried scallop (a saltwater clam) which is rich in umami (meaty, savory taste) and made by cooking then drying the raw scallops. NOTE: Conpoy literally means “dried shell(fish)”.

GREEN PASTURES: FROM FARM TO TABLE

Location: G/F, Net Park, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

I had a scheduled meeting with someone in the Net Park area and arrived an hour before the designated time so I invited my companion to have a quick but not-so-sinful snack and we chose a casual dining and organic restaurant called Green Pastures, owned by Chef Robby Goco of Cyma, Charlie’s Grind and Grill, and Tequila Joe’s fame. It is located at the ground floor of Net Park and is open from 8 am till 10 pm.

For this restaurant, Chef Robbie offers healthy American and European homemade dishes which are made from fresh, organic, gluten1-free and probiotic2 ingredients. Green Pastures also has 2 other branches: Eastwood Mall (in Bagumbayan, Quezon City) and (Level 4, East Wing) Shangri-la Plaza Mall (in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City).

We opted for outdoor dining despite the modern farm house interiors, ordered their Homemade Burrata3, served with toasted bread, and requested it to be served fast so we need not hurry eating it and I won’t be late for my meeting. It came as promised by the waitress and it had a simple yet appealing presentation.

1A-Green Pastures

The texture of the bread complemented the softness and freshness of the cheese, served with Mt. Atok* organic strawberries, cherry tomatoes and basil oil. It was priced at 430 pesos and was worth it! The cold refreshing drinks, Organic Dalandan** Juice and Iced Tea with Organic Honey (small, 120 pesos each), were a welcome treat too!

I paid for this snack and all the comments are based on my dining experience. I will definitely go back to try the other items in the menu!

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced dining at Green Pastures in any of its branches? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”.


1Gluten is a substance made of a family of protein, found in cereal grains, especially wheat, responsible for the elastic texture of dough, the rising of bread, and its chewy, satisfying texture. It is said to cause health problems to people with: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, wheat allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, autism, and schizophrenia.

 2Probiotics are live microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed. It improves digestive health, reduces depression and promotes heart health. It is also known to be beneficial to one’s brain and skin. Probiotic foods are prepared by bacterial fermentation.

 3Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella and the inside contains stracciatella (a white, stretched curd fresh cheese produced from buffalo milk) and thick cream, for a unique and soft texture. Burrata means “buttered” in Italian.

 *Mt. Atok, is the mountain located in Atok, a town in the province of Benguet, part of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), in the island of Luzon, Philippines. It has an elevation of a little over 1,700 meters and has upland vegetable farms.

 **Dalandan is a medium-sized, spherical to slightly obovate (tending to be narrow at the base), tangy, Filipino variety of a sweet-slightly sour (taste when ripe) citrus fruit at 5-9 cm in diameter, with a relatively thick, shiny, green rind and a yellow-orange flesh. It is called the Philippine orange and best described as somewhat between an orange and a lemon/lime.

 

A SENTIMENTAL PINOY MERIENDA AT VIA MARE

Location: G/F, Greenbelt 1, Greenbelt Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City

My husband and I were accompanied by three relatives when we were in the Greenbelt area for early Christmas shopping. It was the middle of the afternoon when we all became hungry and they agreed to join me in a sentimental Pinoy merienda at Via Mare in Greenbelt 1 which was one of my favorite casual dining Pinoy restaurants when I was single.

Via-Mare-1-2

Now, dearest Senior Citizens (SCs), you might ask, why there, Tita S? There is one at Greenbelt 3 and it is newer. I know that, SCs, but this Greenbelt 1 branch is so memorable for me before I got married. Anyway, indulge me, please, ok?

This outlet is open from 8 am till 9:30 pm (M-F), 9 am till 9:30 pm (Sat.-Sun.), and 10 am till 10 pm (during holidays). It is located at the ground floor, opposite National Book Store, a favorite store of mine. Via Mare’s facade and interiors still looked the same and the diners were mostly families or seniors, alone or with a companion.

I can’t help but think that the other seniors also eat there not only for the yummy dishes but recall delightful memories of dining there for years/decades as well. For me, it was way back 1990s.

This outlet offers breakfast, a wide selection of Pinoy merienda treats and kakanin, as well as different soups, main dishes, oyster specialties, vegetables and rice for lunch/dinner.

I was feeling nostalgic when I got hold of the menu and I wanted to order lots of native merienda treats but stopped myself because of eating out too much when I go to Metro Manila.

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Bibingka

We ordered only four kinds of merienda items First was BIBINGKA VSP (175 pesos), meaning the bibingka was very special because it had all the toppings possible. It was served warm and soft and its flavor was enhanced by the yummy toppings (butter, cheese and salted egg), accompanied by freshly grated coconut and sugar.

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Puto Bumbong

PUTO BUMBONG, with two pieces per order, served with muscavado sugar, quezo de bola and freshly grated coconut (106 pesos), was also ordered. It looked so delicious and we even ordered additional queso de bola for a more delightful combination.

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Palitaw

The PALITAW, with three pieces per order and a generous topping of freshly grated coconut, sugar and linga (55 pesos), was served next. It is definitely a MUST TRY, dearest SCs! This boiled, flattened, small, rectangular, Filipino rice cake was so delicately soft, contrasted by the texture of the freshly grated coconut mixed with sugar and linga. We had to ask for an additional order because we couldn’t have enough of this native delicacy.

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Dinuguan at Puto

DINUGUAN AT PUTO (205 pesos), another Filipino favorite, was a satisfying, thick, savory stew, complemented by the small white putos.

Bottomline, we enjoyed all our orders but rave about the palitaw! My younger companions learned to appreciate these Pinoy treats while I reminisced good times in this restaurant with every bite I took. Happy tummies! Happy memories! Happy meee! Happy weee! We will surely go back for more, perhaps for lunch or dinner!

Prices stated were based on charges when we dined in this outlet; they may change. Visit its official website: www.viamare.com.ph for outlets, catering services, updates, etc. You can also call (02) 815-1918. For a quick look at the menu of this outlet: (1) simply type “via mare greenbelt 1 menu” and click on the www.munchpunch.com option, or (2) type www.zomato.com and type café via mare greenbelt 1. View the menu at the bottom of the page.

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced dining in this restaurant or in any of its other branches? I would like to hear from you. Do scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Thank you!