One of the best Chinese restaurants in Manila that taipans are known to frequent is the Hai Shin Lou Seafood King Restaurant on Arnaiz Ave. (Formerly Pasay Road) in Makati. This restaurant boasts a seating capacity of 270 people with 5 Private Rooms for an intimate party and a selection of dishes fit for a king from their well renowned specialties like Peking duck and steamed crab with garlic to exotics such as mantis shrimp, sharks fin, abalone and the blue dotted fish. This combined with attentive and knowledgeable staff, spacious minimalist interiors, ample parking and valet make it a great place to appreciate Chinese food.
Our family enjoys dining at Hai Shin Lou as it is easily accessible and has no pretensions with respect to dress code. Since it opened in 2002 we have been there on numerous occasions, the proprietor was the manager of the original Jade Garden in Greenbelt 1. This is the second year in a row that Aksana decided to celebrate her birthday with a nine course meal including one of her favorite dishes – Peking Duck!
Assorted Cold Cuts (3 Kinds)
The cold cuts were comprised of vinegared Jellyfish with sesame seeds, roasted pork and soy chicken served with dark soy sauce and gingered oil. These traditional Chinese cold cuts were of excellent quality and tasted as such. The jelly fish even had the extra touch of sesame seeds which added additional crunch factor to the jelly fish.
Winter Melon Soup with Dried Scallops
This is one of our favorite soups at Hai Shin Lou because although served hot it is quite refreshing with black vinegar as it is similar to a cucumber. The bits of dried scallop add the necessary saltiness to complete the dish. This soup is often served at Chinese banquets and did you know that winter melon can be stored up to 12 months?
Steamed Prawns with Garlic
They don’t call Hai Shin Lou the Seafood King Restaurant for nothing, they have numerous salt water tanks where they store their live fish and crustaceans. You can tell that these steamed prawns were jumping by the fact that even a baby could remove the flesh from their shells and there was no denying the bite to it. These were consumed in a flash!
Aromatic Peking Duck
What makes Peking duck so special? First of all, it has been a dish that has been prepared from the days of imperial China but they don’t use any random duck, as these ducks are a special breed that are butchered after 60-65 days. Luckily they may roam free for the first 45 days of their existence and then they are force fed and kept in cages until the day that they are slaughtered. But this is just the beginning of the process as the duck will now have to be air dried for at least 24 hours after the skin has been separated from the fat by blowing air into the neck cavity – this is probably the most difficult part. Then the duck is slow roasted in a convection oven. After this the duck has to be cut into equal slices with the perfect amount of crispy skin and meat. At PHP 1800++ for a whole duck, you definitely get what you pay for! Did you know that the original Nanking ducks used in preparing this dish were black?
Aromatic Peking Duck Pancakes!
Once rolled in a pancake with scallions, cucumber and hoisin sauce they become an unforgettable experience to your taste buds. The crunchiness of the roasted duck skin, rich unmistakable flavor of the tender duck meat combined with the cucumber and scallions and sweetness of the hoisin make this a truly imperial experience! We had some friends that never tried this before and they were ecstatic!
Crispy Lapu-Lapu Fish Fillet in Lemon Sauce
Normally we would order the whole steamed lapu-lapu with a sweet soy sauce and scallions, but Aksana wanted to try something new, so we had the crispy fish fillet in lemon sauce instead. It was a good contrast in flavor to all the other dishes we had.
Steamed Crabs with Garlic
My favorite course in every Chinese Laureate is the super crustacean which may either be the crab or lobster. It is difficult to imagine a Laureate without one as have been to over 50 Chinese weddings in my lifetime and this has never occurred. The steamed crabs at Hai Shin Lou are dangerously delicious. Its difficult to stop eating as they are so fresh and the meat easily detaches from the various chambers. We like the claw the best because the shrunken pincer is just exquisite!
Black Mushroom and Vegetables with Scallops
The black mushrooms (a.k.a. dried shiitake mushrooms) in this dish were just so succulent from the sauce. It is a common belief that black mushrooms relieve high blood pressure but more importantly are a rich source of vitamin D.
Braised Efu Noodles with Seafood (Birthday Noodles)
These crispy birthday noodles may not be the healthiest as it is deep fried, but they sure are tasty especially with cuttlefish!
For dessert we had the usual iced sago with mango. Even after such a feast, everybody still had room for dessert!
The laureates are suited towards any reasonable budget and range from PHP 3,600 ($90.00) up to PHP 25,000 ($US 620.00) + 10% Service Charge for a table of 10 people. A reasonable budget for a group of four ordering from the a la carte menu would be PHP 500.00 ($US 12.00) per person.
HAPPY BDAY SHUSKI!
Hai Shin Lou Seafood King Restaurant
810 Arnaiz Ave. (Formerly Pasay Road)
San Lorenzo Village
Remember life is way too short, don’t let it pass you by. Enjoy Hour Philippines!
Lord and Aksana