Monday, September 16, 2019

Now Open: The Empress Dining Palace

I used to dislike Chinese food. I had no appreciation for it till I was in middle school. But it turned out that it wasn't the cuisine that I did not like, I was just eating at the wrong places. And when I got to have a taste of the real deal, a space in my heart (and tummy) opened up for this cuisine with rich history. Now hooked with dumplings, bird's nest soup and so much more, I was excited to visit The Empress Dining Palace.

Hello, The Empress Dining Palace
High ceilings and elegant interiors are the first things that would greet you once you step inside The Empress Dining Palace.
Several round tables and high back chairs fill the room. There are also tables at the far end of the restaurant which can be reserved for more private gatherings. 
I loved that there are a lot of beverages to choose from. Aside from 14 fruit juices, there are also tea and milk shake options. But I had my eyes on its Empress Milk Tea (PHP140) as it sounded like a signature drink. 
I liked that it had that pronounced tea taste. It would been perfect though if the pearls were chewy. Sadly, it was a bit too hard for my liking.
Multi Flavored Xiao Long Bao (PHP320, 5 pieces) was the first dish served. A regular order does not include the original xiao long bao.
I got to try two of the five flavored dumplings--cheese and another which I think was garlic. Both were good and I think it would have been better if we ate it while it was still hot. Best to enjoy these without the dipping sauce so that you get to fully enjoy the soup dumplings' flavors.
Our soup was a refreshing thing to see served in a Chinese restaurant. Served in fresh young coconuts, the Crab Claw & Mushrooms Superior Clear Soup (PHP680 per portion) gave a slight tropical vibe.
The clear soup had this faint taste which was beautifully enhanced by the natural sweet taste of coconut. I also enjoyed the generous serving of different mushrooms which gave this dish a snappy yet chewy texture. 
The crab claw too was pretty big and undeniably fresh. 
The Empress' Crispy Prawn Fruit Salad (PHP880 small | PHP1,320 medium | PHP1,760 large) was also great. Huge prawns were lightly battered and fried till golden brown then smothered by the eggy sauce.
I found 3 Cups Beef with Basil Leaf in Hotpot (PHP850 small | PHP1,275 medium | PHP1,700 large) was a tad too spicy for my liking. This saucy dish is best paired with rice to tone down its bold flavor. 
The Thai-Style Sea Bass Stuffed with Mango (PHP1,200 small | PHP1,800 medium | PHP2,400 large) is a must order dish. The blend of sweet and savory flavors were spot on.
The Sweet and Sour Golden Prawn (PHP1,080 small | PHP1,620 medium | PHP2,160 large) was an instant favorite. 
Crisp and oozing with flavor thanks to the cheese stuffing, this dish can be enjoyed as is! Make sure to dip it in the sweet and sour sauce for a lipsmackingly good sweet and sour flavor.
The Empress Mixed Grain Fried Rice (PHP380 small | PHP570 medium | PHP760 large) was a healthy and fun dish to have. Colorful and packed with various textures, this definitely made our lunch more interesting. 
To cap our meal, we had Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Mango and Cream (PHP160, 3 pieces). And it was so good!
Think of delicate mochi stuffed with Cara Mia's mango cream pie without the crust. It was like biting into a dreamy yummy cloud. 
Overall, it was a lovely meal. I discovered new favorites and I'll surely be back again soon and try its roast pork and duck.

The Empress Dining Palace is located at 7th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street Central, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Disclosure: I was invited by The Empress Dining Palace to its media event. All items featured here have been paid for by the restaurant. 

Empress Dining Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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