Xin Tian Di, the premiere Chinese restaurant of Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, today launched its Prosperous Chinese New Year Set Menu to usher the Year of the Wooden Sheep. Families and friends can enjoy authentic Hong Kong-style dishes especially prepared by Chef Andy Fung for the festive occasion.
The Prosperous Chinese New Year Menu is available in two sets, and during our visit, we were given a preview of one of the set menus which will be available only on February 18 & 19, 2015.
We started off with the Yu Sheng Salad for appetizer. It is a Cantonese dish which originated in Singapore, mainly consisting of raw fish and shredded vegetables. The dish is believed to attract prosperity. We were introduced to the ritual of eating the salad which consists of steps and chants that those participating in the meal should strictly follow. First, lime should be squeezed on the raw fish which is said to add luck to prosperity.
|Yu Sheng Salad: raw salmon and shredded vegetables|
Peanut crumbs and sesame seeds are then sprinkled on the dish symbolizing more fortune and success in business. Next, plum sauce is then drizzled on the salad in a circular motion which is said to multiply ones fortune by 10,000 folds. Finally, every one uses their chopsticks to toss the salad by flipping the ingredients high in the air, seven times. The higher the toss, the higher the growth in one's fortune.
The above photo shows how the salad looked liked after it has been tossed up in the air. Although messy, with some pieces of the salad landing on our head, shirt and arms, it was a fun experience. The salad left on the plate is then served to every one. Yu Sheng Salad tasted like a salmon ceviche with a well balanced sweetness (from the plum sauce) and sourness (from the lime).
|serving of Yu Sheng Salad|
Next to be served was the Double-Boiled Chicken, Ham and Wanton Soup. The broth has a light chicken flavor with a hint of Chinese ham. It's not oily which makes this a healthy soup. The generous filling of the wantons gave it a compact and chewy consistency which I loved. Chunks of chicken were also included in the soup, while a chicken foot added an exotic touch to the dish.
|Double-Boiled Chicken, Ham and Wanton Soup|
For the mains, the Fried Golden Mango Seafood Roll was first served. The sweet-sour taste of the ripe mango tones down the strong seafood flavor of the filling, giving the dish a well-balanced flavor. The crispy crust of the roll is a contrast in texture to the soft filling. The sweet and juicy fresh strawberry served with the dish washes down all the savory flavors of the roll, preparing the palate for the next dish.
|Fried Golden Mango Seafood Roll|
|Sauteed Scallop with Broccoli and Fried Shredded Bread Stuffed with Prawns|
Immediately following was one of Chef Andy's signature dishes, the Steamed Cod Fish with Fresh Wild Mushrooms. Consistent with Cantonese cooking tradition, Chef Andy ensures to keep everything healthy by using less sugar and oil. This dish is a perfect example.
|Steamed Cod Fish with Fresh Wild Mushrooms|
You could taste the quality of the fish used in this dish by its taste and texture. It tasted clean with a sweet aftertaste. The fish was not overcooked. The delicate meat still has the right firmness, but tender to the bite. The mushrooms also tasted fresh (not the dried ones which have been re-hydrated) also adding an earthy-naturally sweet flavor to the dish.
|Serving of Steamed Cod Fish with Fresh Wild Mushrooms|
Completing the set of mains is the Whole Pineapple Fried Rice. This fried rice contains shrimps, crabmeat, pineapple and topped with pork floss. It has a light savory taste without the overpowering sweet flavor of the pineapple.
|Whole Pineapple Fried Rice|
For dessert, we had the Baked Crispy Snow Asado Pao. It has a flaky crispy coating generously filled with pork asado. The sweetness from the crust is followed by the savory goodness of the asado filling.
To end our Chinese-themed banquet, we had the Ube Jelly and the Special Buchi. The ube jelly had a full-bodied creamy ube flavor. You get the same satisfaction as eating halaya, but in a jelly form.
The buchi was super tender. I bet it was freshly made (not frozen) when it was fried. The strawberry and pomelo topping added an interestingly sweet and tangy dimension to this dessert.
It was truly a fun afternoon spent over authentic Cantonese dishes, a feast of sumptuous seafood dishes well executed by a culinary expert from Hong Kong. Xie Xie Chef Andy and Crowne Plaza Manila for this lovely experience.
The Prosperous Chinese New Year Set Menu is available at P18,000.00++ per table of 10 persons. For inquiries and reservations, you can call (02) 633-7222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Xin Tian Di Restaurant
4F Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria
Ortigas Avenue corner Asian Development Bank Avenue, Quezon City
Opening Hours: 11:00am to 2:30pm & 6:00pm to 10:00pm