Monday, December 2, 2019

Singapore's One Michelin Star Putien Now in Manila

Manila's food scene is on fire with the influx of local and foreign brands opening left and right. And with Singapore's One-Michelin Star Putien entering the market, we could definitely say that Christmas came in early this year.

Hello, Putien.

Putien started as a humble coffee shop in Singapore back in 2000. Named after Putian, a suburb of Fujian, China, it was Putien's founder, Mr. Fong Chi Chung's way to pay tribute to his hometown. By serving food made with fresh ingredients and packed with flavors, Putien eventually grew into a full scale restaurant and earned its One-Star Michelin in 2016. Now with several branches worldwide, Putien found a new home in Manila, its 67th worldwide.

Located at the posh Podium Mall, Putien's inviting bright facade would make it hard for anyone to ignore. Its warm and modern interiors surely made a great first impression.
As expected from a Michelin Star restaurant, we were warmly welcomed by the front staff who quickly ushered us to our table. There are also a handful of bag baskets for us to put our bags in so that we could sit comfortably.
For starters, we had Seaweed and Mini Shrimps dressed with sauce (PHP288) which was addictive! The bold sweet and sour flavors of the sauce complemented by the light snappy texture of the "first harvest seaweed" was an excellent way to start our Michelin Star meal!
One of Putien's signature dishes is its 100-Second Stewed Yellow Croaker in Original Flavor (PHP488 per piece). With the fish stewed precisely within 100 seconds, it ensures the best texture and flavor. And it was indeed good. I found the broth's flavor to be a bit too light though. Then again, it puts the yellow croaker's delicate flavor center stage. If you prefer stronger flavor, you might want to try its savory and spicy or tangy broth.
Or you can go for Deep Fried Yellow Croaker (PHP588). I'd assume that it was great as I didn't even get a chance to get a piece of this!
If Yellow Croaker is not something you prefer, you might want to give Deep Fried Tenggiri Fish (PHP198 per piece, minimum 2 pieces) a try. Just be careful of the bones.
I know a lot who dislike pig intestine. Most found it having a weird unpleasant taste. But I didn't get any of that from Putien's Braised Pig Intestine (PHP388).
Another light yet filling dish is Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon (PHP368). 
Others might find this dish dry and bland so it would be best to enjoy this with some soup.
And speaking of soup, do try Putien Lor Mee (PHP368, small | PHP558, medium). I found this bowl of smooth and thick noodles swimming in creamy broth quite hearty. The small shrimps also added a nice snappy texture to it.
Or go for Braised Bean Curd with Chinese Cabbage (PHP588) if you want something with mild flavor.
They say that one way to know if a Chinese restaurant is good is through its sweet and sour pork. And Putien's Sweet and Sour Pork with Lychees (PHP388, small | PHP588, medium) was pretty good! It had that divine balance of sweet and tangy flavors plus the pork's battered to perfection.
The piping hot plate of Steamed Prawn with Minced Garlic (PHP688) reminded me of my frequent trips to Guangzhou. This has been a staple dish whenever we dine at the massive Fishing Village restaurant. And Putien's version was just like it.
Another easy crowd favorite was Cereal Prawn (PHP688). 
If you're out to impress, make sure to order Chili Crab (PHP290 per 100 grams).
Putien only uses the freshest catch so you're guaranteed to have a lovely feast with this dish.
Side note: Putien is very particular with quality that even the gloves used for this dish were flown from Singapore! So just imagine the strict quality control for its ingredients.
Make sure to also order Shredded Pork with Sesame Bun (PHP98 per piece). The shredded pork had that rich sweet and savory flavor which is balanced by the sesame bun. 
But I actually liked the bun without the pork. Its light crisp layer and fluffy inside made me want to go down to the supermarket for a can of condensed milk!
To cap our meal, we had Chilled Putien Loquat in Herbal Jelly (PHP168) and Pumpkin Cream with Ice Cream (PHP168).
I liked the herbal jelly dessert a lot that I am itching to go back to Putien to order more! (Note: It doesn't taste like herbal medicine. It just had this slight bitter after taste which I found as a nice palate cleanser.)
Oh, and I had Bayberry Tea with Iced Berry Cubes (PHP168). It looked cute but it's not something everyone would enjoy. It had this salty taste which didn't parch my thirst. Everyone raved for that green "nature" drink though which I forgot the name.

It was a nice dinner with fellow bloggers. It was, as Marj (our host) described it, a rather unexpected mix. But we all share one thing... love for good food. And you'd get that at Putien.

Putien is located at 5th Floor, Podium Mall, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Putien Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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