Monday, September 26, 2011

Fine Dining at Jasmine Restaurant in New World Hotel

The New World Hotel in Makati cordially invites everyone to taste its fine Cantonese cuisine at its homegrown Jasmine Restaurant located at the 2nd floor of the hotel.

They are cooking something special, touted as Shanghai Surprise, prepared especially by Chef Wong Kam Chung (pictured below, right), the executive chef of the famous YUE 1525 in Shanghai. This special menu is available from September 19 to October 1, 2011 only.

In an intimate dinner together with select bloggers (thanks to Jean), we got to taste the menu filled with exquisite claypot cuisine and authentic, delicious Cantonese dishes. I'm sharing with you some photos and my thoughts on each of them.


This red-orange colored appetizer is the Lotus Roots stuffed with Glutinous Rice. At one bite, you'd notice that each piece has a mixture of textures - smooth, thick, sticky, etc. It isn't the usual appetizer we eat, because it tasted sweet rather than the usual savory, salty or neutral taste. Nevertheless, it's unique.

The Radish and Carrot in Sour Sauce appetizer came in quite looking like crab sticks. Since I am not a huge fan of carrots, I just ate one piece. Surprisingly, it tasted almost like our home-made shredded pickles in vinegar, but with a controlled balance of sweetness and sourness.


My first favorite of the night is the Wagyu Beef with Mango Roll. This dimsum has a thin slice of wagyu beef and mango inside, which are rolled together into a crispy cover. I wasn't expecting that it would be that good! I would highly recommend ordering this one.

Another dimsum favorite is the Steamed Scallops on Bean Curd. The usual tasteless tofu has been upgraded to a savory, tasteful one with the combination of steamed scallops and some veggies on this dish. Eating this with the right temperature would make it even more delicious.

At first look, I thought that the Steamed Shanghainese Pork Dumpling with Goose Liver is just a normal dumpling. However, when I transferred it to my plate, I saw that there was a small part of liquid flowing inside. Hence, I knew that it was their version of the Xiao Long Pao, which I'm not fond of. All I can say is - the goose liver gave a difference in taste.

The Steamed Lobster and Vegetable Dumplings were wrapped inside a translucent cover, which is quite sticky on the palette. Good thing that the vegetables still remained crunchy, even if it was mixed with several other ingredients.

Main Dish

I love chicken, which is why I really got excited upon seeing the Shanghainese Chicken Curry in Clay Pot. The meat was very tender, juicy, and is so good! Although, they can add a bit more curry taste to improve the whole dish.

Doesn't the Wok Fried Fillet of Beef with Wasabi Sauce picture look so delicious? It is! The meat tenderness is cooked to perfection. I really wanted to get a taste of having wasabi on beef, but it was a let down that it didn't have any single hint of wasabi. Nevertheless, I still give it a two thumbs up.

I consider the Assorted Seafood, Rice and Soup a rich balancer of all the main dishes. It was neither too bland nor too salty, which is a great partner for any rice-viand combo. I find it very healthy due to the greens and shrimps on it. I knew it was freshly cooked, because the rice is still very much formed and very much chewy.

Another evening favorite of mine is the Pan Fried Razor Clams. Since these clams come from France, they really look different - bigger and longer than usual. Basically, the clam meat is coated with batter and seasoned with a sauce that makes it saltier. My other friends find it too salty, but I really like this dish.

If you think that those are crab shells and meet, you're wrong. This is the Steamed Mantis with Egg White. The head and tail shells on the sides are just for "display" since the meat are all positioned at the center, while bathing in steamed egg whites. I didn't find enjoyment in this dish, but it was worth trying.

And here's the Steamed Sea Garoupa with Soya Bean in Lotus Leaf. Coming from France, this dish scared me a bit. I was thinking that it might be bitter or too salty, because of its dark color, but I was wrong. It tasted very fresh and I like how the soya beans added a different flavor to the normal-looking fish.


On to the desserts, we were treated with the Oolong Tea Creme Brulee. The name "tea" didn't sound good to me, because I am not fond of tea per se (except milk tea). But the person beside me said she loves it, so I got curious. Eating spoon after spoon, I eventually ate the whole cup clean. Good thing it wasn't too sweet, unlike the usual creme brulee's elsewhere.

The small piece of Coconut Pudding, Osmanthus and Bird's Nest capped the night off. The four-layer dessert is just okay. I wasn't able to taste much of the coconut flavor. I also don't know if the osmanthus inside the clear jelly did any help at all in enriching the flavor. At least there's real bird's nest on top, which makes it healthy (and expensive).

Jasmine Restaurant has a great ambiance. Several parts of the restaurant are suited for families, small group of friends, and a romantic date for two. The food prices may not be too friendly for average diners, but trying the restaurant on some special occasions wouldn't hurt.

Don't just look at those pictures. Visit Jasmine Restaurant and try their special menu until October 1, 2011. They are open everyday for lunch and dinner. Call 8116888 for reservations.

Jasmine Restaurant
2/F New World Makati
Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue,
Ayala Center, Makati City


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