Sunday, July 3, 2016

China Blue by Jereme Leung at the Conrad Manila

China Blue Conrad Manila

China Blue by Jereme Leung is the premier Chinese restaurant of the newly opened Conrad Manila. China Blue is not a new name for many international travelers. The first China Blue opened back in 2005 at the Conrad Tokyo and since then, it has already earned Michelin stars and several other awards and recognition.

China Blue Conrad Manila

With this high expectation on the China Blue brand, Conrad Manila has partnered with Chinese celebrity master chef, Jereme Leung, who was responsible for creating the menu for the restaurant. China Blue by Jereme Leung features dishes prepared using traditional Chinese cooking techniques with a modern approach to presentation.

China Blue Conrad Manila

Chef Jeremy Leung is considered as one of the most creative pioneers of contemporary Chinese cuisines. This is not the first time that Chef Jereme Leung has worked with Conrad Hotels. Back in 2014, he created Ufaa by Jereme Leung, the first Chinese restaurant in the luxurious Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

China Blue Conrad Manila

China Blue by Jereme Leung exudes a stylish interior that combines the sophisticated elegance of traditional Chinese design which can be seen in the simplicity of its layout, broken down by clean yet solid straight lines, and punctuated by tastefully selected furniture and accent pieces.

China Blue Conrad Manila

Consistent with its name, China Blue did away with the signature red-black-gold combination of Chinese interior design. Here, we see a lot of blue, grey, silver and brown. Water is the dominating element at China Blue by Jereme Leung as expressed by the contemporary chandeliers that resemble flowing water from the ceiling.

China Blue Conrad Manila

China Blue by Jereme Leung has a variety of table set-ups, from the traditional round tables ideal for family-style dining to the chic half circle sofas. The most coveted tables are the ones located at the far end of the restaurant near the glass walls where guests can enjoy an overlooking view of the majestic Manila Bay.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Chrysanthemum Bulb Tea
We arrived at Conrad Manila at noontime and we went straight to China Blue which located on the third floor of the hotel. As soon as we were seated, we immediately noticed the ornate ceramic tableware decorated with Mongolian horsemen and ornamental trees. The details of the design were really impressive, and we were even more amazed when we learned that everything is hand-painted.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Hibiscus Iced Tea
We were warmly welcomed by the restaurant's manager Ms. Jane whom I knew from Lung Hin restaurant of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. She's definitely the best person to ask for recommendations. She knows the details of every dish and she has a very reliable taste for everything delicious. We ordered their very refreshing Hibiscus Iced Tea which was served together with an amuse-bouche of battered fried zucchini. We also ordered a pot of Chrysanthemum Bulb Tea which kept us occupied while waiting for our food to arrive.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Taro Dumpling Wo Gok with Scallop
We started our lunch with a selection of dim sum. First to arrive was the Taro Dumpling Wo Gok with Scallop. It had a beautifully crispy crust that enveloped chunks of taro and scallops with a well balanced sweetness, saltiness and fresh savory taste of scallops. The ripe mango topping helped to bring together all the flavors.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Har Kau with Ivy Moss
Next to be served was the Har Kau Steamed Shrimp Dumplings with Ivy Moss. Four pieces of scallop shell shaped dumplings contain plump and moist shrimps which tasted fresh and clean. The ivy moss did not add any significant flavor to the dish, but it gives a contrasting shade of green to the dish which made it even more appetizing.

China Blue Conrad Manila Steamed Truffle Mushroom Buns
House-specialty Steamed Truffle Mushroom Buns
Here's an interesting dish which by its mere look will really compel you to order it. The House-specialty Steamed Truffle Mushroom Buns are shaped like button mushrooms complete with a brown crust decorated using bamboo charcoal. Inside the buns are the deliciously succulent truffle mushrooms. This is a must try!

China Blue Conrad Manila Steamed Truffle Mushroom Buns

From time to time, the staff would visit our table, constantly making sure that we were enjoying our lunch, would clear empty dishes, would refilled our teapot and made sure that our teacups don't go empty. I would glance to Ms. Jane and give her a smile to reassure her that we were having a great time at China Blue.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Wok-fried Rice with Roasted Duck, Fresh Mushroom and Vegetables
Our appetite grew stronger and stronger as more and more other dishes started coming to our table. No Chinese meal is complete without rice, and we recommend the Wok-fried Rice with Roasted Duck, Fresh Mushroom and Vegetables which is good enough to be shared by three persons. Thanks to the staff who was kind enough to split the rice into three bowls for us.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Paper Thin Crispy Beef with Sweet and Spicy Sauce
Here is one of the dishes highly recommended by the restaurant manager. The Paper Thin Cripsy Beef with Sweet and Spicy Sauce reminded us of the sweet flavor of beef jerky with crispiness much better than bacon. It was perfect with the rice we ordered.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Stir-fried Radish Cake with XO Sauce
Here's a dish that we always order whenever we dine in a Chinese restaurant. China Blue's version of the Stir-fried Radish Cake with XO Sauce (Chai tow kway in Hokkien) became one of our favorites. Each piece of the radish cake has a crunchy crust while the inside is soft and clean in texture. The XO sauce is not overpowering, just enough glaze to cover the radish cakes. Finally, the cakes were generously topped with mung bean sprouts and strands of fried scrambled eggs.

China Blue Conrad Manila
Sweet and Sour Pork
We also ordered Sweet and Sour Pork which is served two-ways. The first one is the usual pork is sweet and sour sauce, while the second one is the spicy version of the dish. What we liked about the dish is that the fried pork remain crunchy even after minutes of being soaked in the sauce. Between the two versions, I prefer the spicy one.

 Black Gold Egg Custard Buns
House-specialty Black Gold Egg Custard Buns
Finally, the one dish that we have been waiting for was their House-specialty Black Gold Egg Custard Buns. It's not really a dessert item, but it was so special it deserved to be the grand finale of our meal. The bun is made of flour mixed with bamboo charcoal that gave it its black color. Inside the bun is the golden egg custard with salted egg. Each bite was pure bliss. Next time I visit China Blue, I will order these buns all for myself.

 Black Gold Egg Custard Buns

Overall, we are very satisfied with our experience at China Blue by Jereme Leung. All dishes were well executed. Customer service was outstanding. It really met my very high expectation and I am sure that it will not take long for this restaurant will join the ranks of its sister restaurant at Conrad Tokyo. Congratulations Conrad Manila for the successful opening of China Blue by Jereme Leung!

China Blue by Jereme Leung
3F Conrad Manila
Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way
Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact: +63-2-8339999

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