These Are a Few of my Favorite (Choi) Things

 Since Chinese New Year is coming up, I'd like to refresh ToT with a "Favorite Things" post on my favorite Chinese restaurant: Choi Garden
 Choi Garden is where our family dines when we can't think of anywhere else to go, aside from Cyma for some Mediterranean food. We have tried a lot of dishes, and think that their flavors and dishes are spot on. No need to hit up Hong Kong. They have almost everything you need here and more. 
 One of our favorite things to order is their Shabu-Shabu, or hot pot, which is basically a big bowl of broth and meats & seafoods with vegetables and noodles that you can cook for flavor. Traditionally. Shabu-Shabu involves only dipping the meat onto the soup for flavor, but for most Filipinos, we also use the broth as soup and use the meats to flavor the soup. Different strokes for different folks.
 Each order is personally laid onto your table, with a mini-burner that you can adjust to your liking.
Since I am a major sauce whore, I get excited when a big tray of condiments comes my way, which means I can personalize my dipping sauce for the meat and seafood with everything from satay, shallots, peppers, chives, fried and fresh garlic, and chili sauce.
 My personal sauce bowl... lots and lots of garlic!
What's nice about Choi is that you can pick 2 broth bases, a clear soup would be great for seafood and vegetables, while the darker satay broth gives meat a richer flavor. The soup is unlimited so you can request for more if it runs out.
After the base, comes the accoutrements. Green veggies, mushrooms, shoots, give color and fiber for the health nuts.
Usually, I like some meat in my shabu-shabu, but that's not limited to fresh fish balls and fish cakes, tofu, seafood and noodles.
And if you're lazy, you can ask the waiters to cook your shabu-shabu for you.
Server is careful not to touch the meat.
The result is 2 soups with different flavors and condiments that you can choose from! Healthy because it's mostly soup, and fun to do as well.
If you're not big on shabu-shabu, you can get also some dimsum, and I can attest that Choi's Xiao Long Bao is better than Eat Well Delicious Kitchen's version. The wrapper is thin, yet doesn't harden up when the soup dumpling cools. The broth is generous and the pork filling explodes in your mouth like a savory surprise.
 Har Gau
The shrimp dumpling's glutinous wrapper is delicate and gummy, and there are whole shrimps inside, not bits of small shrimps. My fave.
 I also enjoy their Chicken Feet in Tausi (Black Bean) sauce. For some reason, I think they use giant roosters for this...
 For something sweet to counteract the savory, their Lotus Bun is soft and airy, with some sweet bean paste inside. This is good for sharing.
 Something to try which you probably wouldn't unless suggested is the Spinach with Two Egg dish. Mounds of spinach with salted egg AND century egg, steamed with roasted garlic and tofu. The result is a lot of fiber, and a lot of flavor. A great way to perk up veggies.
 Instead of Yang Chow fried rice, why not try their Salted Fish Fried Rice? It's filling on its own.
 They also offer the yummiest Hot Prawn Salad with real fruits and big prawns. No puny shrimps here.
For seafood, the Fish Fillet with Soy & Garlic Sauce is a lighter and affordable alternative to Steamed Live Fish. The sauce is light and has no MSG, much like most of the dishes at Choi.
 Choi Garden also has their own aquariums for live seafood, so you have to take advantage and order some fresh shrimps, steamed lightly. Succulent and sweet and always soft to bite.
And lastly, a ToT family favorite: Fish Head Hotpot with Lechon Kawali & Bean Curd. There's something about the juxtaposition of the fish head's flavor, and the pork's fatty richness that makes this dish a crowd pleaser on our table. Very well seasoned and has lots of layers. Don't be scared to try this!

If you want to feel like you've flown to Hong Kong for some good Chinese food... this is where it's at.
Choi Garden
12 Annapolis St. Cor Purdue
Greenhills, San Juan
+632 727 6042

1 comment:

  1. The hot pot is also a good alternative to ala carte. Haven't tried it though but the food looks delicious. Looks like this is a great dining place to try out.


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