Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tao Yuan: Manila's Best Kept Secret

One good food recommendation I got from my officemate Paola was Tao Yuan, a Singaporean-Chinese Restaurant in Malvar St., Malate. I've eaten here three times now: The first time in December, when I asked Bubbles to try this out after a loooong day of overtime from her work. The second was when we KaAkbay Philam volunteers went out for PIACCSI volunteers' despidida of Manila. The third was last Sunday with my parents. :)

The place looked a bit pricey because of its facade, with all the fresh fish in front of the restaurant. Thay have lapu-lapu, shrimps, crabs, stonefish, and even lobsters! My boss once mentioned that if you want to know a Chinese Restaurant's price, look at the facade. If it's full of fresh live fish, it's quite expensive. :)

But to my surprise, Tao Yuan's price is not too expensive. Well, it's not cheap, but priced just right. This is really where we experience true value for money, because of all the times I went there, I was always satisfied. From the food taste, to the customer service, to the comfy toilet, to the ambience.

A lot of freebies await! For starter, they will give you peanuts boiled in soy, I think. Then they serve you Jasmine Tea while you await your main dish. After your sumptuous meal, they will give you complimentary desserts of Almond Jelly or Melon Tapioca. Wow! Service at its best.

I got to meet one of the managers (probably part owner) of the place, Mr. Benny Tan. He was very accommodating and friendly. He even suggests some dishes to try out and all his suggestions were fantastic!

One of my favorites there was their Singaporean Spareribs and their version of the Char Kuey Tiao, the famous Singaporean noodles. They also serve dimsum. Just ask for the dimsum menu.

Free Appetizer: Peanuts!
Char Kuey Tiao - My personal favorite

Mango Fish Fillet
Tao Yuan Seafood Fried Rice
Singaporead Spareribs

Hainanese Chicken - Best Seller

Others in the menu are Singaporean favorites like Curry dishes, Sambal Prawns, Bahkuteh, and Sambal Crabs. I was also able to try their Steamed Fish Fillet with Garlic, Sichuan Style Beef, and their dimsum Siomai, Squid and Shrimp Dumpling, and Ham Soy Kok.

Of course we needed to complete the package with an authentically Chinese alcoholic beverage, Tsing Tao Beer!

Tsing Tao!
The very satisfied Philam KaAkbay Volunteers: (L-R) Benay, Jason, Jaja, Elaine, Me, Joanne, Paola

I'm sure I'll come back to try the other dishes!

Tao Yuan Restaurant
Malvar St., Malate, Manila

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