Tao Yuan

It seems to me that my recent posts had been about food. Have had the chance to eat out more often (or more like able to think about food more often. lol). This week, after an official function in Malate, I and some colleagues were able to coax the newest division officer-in-charge to treat us to lunch after receiving her representation allowance hehe. Obligingly (more like she didn’t have much choice), we all trooped to Tao Yuan Restaurant in nearby Malvar St., a stone’s throw away from Pan Pacific Hotel and from Landbank Plaza on the other side where we came from a partnership signing. Apparently, the restaurant is some sort of Mecca for Chinese people, and foodies/bloggers as I would find out later on. Its location is a bit out of the way being tucked in between other businesses, which made it almost a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. We almost got lost going there. We finally knew we were in the right place as soon as we saw the aquariums of various edible sea creatures on display outside the store.

The inside was a little packed when we arrived since it was almost lunchtime by then. Luckily we were able to secure a table right smack in the middle of the room. The place reeked of Chinese–decors, servers’ uniforms, citizens, blabbers. Most of the tables were already occupied by Tsinoys, some even looked like they came from a funeral or wake because they were all in white and had black pins on their clothes (am I being ignorant? sorry). Too bad I had no camera with me except my cellphone but I was not fond of shooting photos with it. There even seemed to be gatherings in smaller function rooms off the main dining area.

The service was very good, too. At the outset, we were ushered by really polite Filipinos. Then presumably the owner took our orders at once. While it was a Chinese restaurant, a glance at their menu showed various Singaporean dishes, too. I have put on record that Chinese food is among my top favorite cuisines, the others being Japanese, Italian and good ol’ Filipino. Placed our orders for Fish Fillet with Mashed Shrimp, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Siomai, Salt and Pepper Spareribs and Stringbeans with some kind of sauce. While waiting for the food, we were served jasmine tea and some boiled nuts for which I went nuts (sorry corny hehe). It was really delicious, been trying to figure out what formula they used to boil them with. Seemed like some kind of brine, which was neither salty nor sweet. Here is a photo from the restaurant’s facebook page:

All the others came within ten minutes except for the fish, which we thought would never come. We were so busy devouring the spareribs and I, in particular the siomai, which is very good (as what siomai done the Chinese way should taste I should say). Our tummies did tumbles and danced to the tune of “That’s the Way I like it”. Everything was washed down with complimentary cups of Fresh Mango Sago Cream.

Been trying to find photos on the net of the food but all I could find were those of the nuts above and the stringbeans:

My search only yielded their other offerings, which I guess we should’ve tried since these ought to be the bestsellers, among them the cereal prawns and the chili crab.

Everything about the whole experience, though is a four star. The bill wasn’t bad at all, too. Would love to bring my family here. Mischa would go ballistic with the fishes.

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