Chinese cuisine has been a staple for our Chinese-Filipino family. Although it was my birthday, I had to choose a restaurant that's near our place and one which serves Chinese food or else my mom wouldn't come along. I was initially geared more on having a buffet dinner with our 4-piece family, but we ended up in Banawe Quezon City's Causeway Seafood Restaurant. I guess it was also timely as my stomach was craving for some good Chinese food fare.
Believe it or not, it was our family's first time at Causeway despite and in spite of the seafood restaurant's continuously growing fame since my folks are not fans of long drives. (If you're curious, a few minutes less than an hour is already quite long for them.) But since the traffic was surprisingly light that evening, we got to the restaurant with nothing but good vibes.
Causeway Seafood Restaurant is not just a Chinese food destination specializing on delicious sea creatures. Above all, they have gained popularity because of the their special discount promo on dimsum items (except Hakaw) when the clock hits 9PM which we wouldn't be able to avail. (It was just nearly 7PM when we arrived.)
However, don't get your hopes up too high with the place's ambiance. They barely have anything interesting going on. If I honestly have to sum it up in a nutshell, the place looks like an old and cramped canteen with air-conditioning units installed. Despite how the place looks though, my family and I just wanted to try their offerings. So off we went to order some dimsum to start the evening meal.
We first had 2 orders of their Spareribs with Tausi (P68), a dimsum favorite which didn't disappoint us. It may not look as enticing on the photo, but the meat of this dimsum dish was really tender. It was also juicy, very flavorful and wasn't spicy at all.
We also got 2 orders of their Fish Head in Tausi (P68), a dimsum dish I never even dared to try when I was little. I didn't get how my dad can eat such an odd-looking food item. But when I've grown to a teen, I learned to love this succulent Chinese delicacy. It wasn't greasy nor fishy, but was so flavorful and so savory that you'll definitely find yourself sucking out the juices even to the bones.
Since this is my lil sister's favorite, we got 3 orders of Chicken Feet (P68) which had 3 pieces of foot per serving. Some people may not like the idea of eating any animal's feet, but our family sure loves this steamed delicacy. This dish may not contain a lot of meat, but the puffy skin and soft bones were definitely a good treat. We also like the tasty sauce the whole dish is coated with. Too bad though it was not as spicy as we would've wanted.
While waiting for our ala carte orders, my dad decided to have a Plain Congee (P40) with our dimsum dishes. He said that it was quite good, but it was a little bland for my taste. The crispy wanton pieces were interesting to munch though.
Even before finishing our dimsum items, we were already served our Fish Lip Soup (P230). Don't ask me if there really are fish lips in this dish. But what I know though is this soup had some bamboo shoots, shredded meat, mushrooms and seafood. I have tried quite a lot of fish lip soups in my life, and our family agreed that Causeway's version was quite ordinary. The meat pieces were a little dry too.
However, our disappointment on the soup was well made up for by all the dishes which followed suit -- like the Causeway 2 Kinds Fried Rice (P250), a fried rice dish topped with a white savory sauce on one half, and a hot and sour red tomato-based sauce on the other half. My mom and I totally dig this. Both sauces were delicious, and the pork and shrimp toppings were quite generous.
We also ordered one of my favorite Chinese dishes, the Fried Sparerib with Salt and Pepper (P220). Every Chinese restaurant we've ordered this dish from didn't fail to satisfy us, and so was the case with Causeway's version. The spareribs were flavorful and slightly crispy on the outside, but succulent on the inside.
Although I love my beef with more fats, I just couldn't resist Causeway's Sizzling Beef Tenderloin with Black Pepper Sauce (P280). The beef was very tender and somehow kind of melts in the mouth. The black pepper sauce was also interesting. The pepper flavor was really strong, but the slightly spicy sauce was also very savory.
For our seafood fix, we had the Causeway Seafood Hot Pot (P270) -- a potted dish with sea cucumber, fish, shrimp, squid, clam meat and other seafoods. Being big eaters of sea creatures, we really liked this hot pot item. The seafood ingredients were definitely of generous portions, and the whole dish was very tasty.
Last viand to be served on our table was another one of my favorite dishes -- Fried Frog Legs with Salt and Pepper (P250). Some consider this as an exotic food item, but it's a must-order dish whenever we eat in Chinese restaurants which offer frog legs. I've first had fried frog legs when I was about 7. And since then, I have always loved this chicken-like tasting treat.
We were already quite full to even try and have desserts, but my mom and I managed to squeeze in some sweets to our already bulging bellies. Mom had an order of Buchi (P58), 4 pieces of bean-filled fried pastry coated with sesame seeds. I, on the other hand, got some Almond Jelly with Lychee.
Although the ambiance at Causeway is not something we'd be going back for, their affordable food items definitely deserve another visit. Everything we've ordered -- from the dimsum items, the viands and even the desserts, were all good. And to maximize our next visit to Causeway, we'll make sure to catch their 9PM special discount promo on dimsums.
However, although their business is probably doing well, Causeway can definitely use some improvements in their interior and service departments. Updating the seemingly-old canteen-looking area can entice more diners and assure them of a properly sanitized kitchen. It also wouldn't hurt if the servers will be taught how to smile.
Ambiance - 2/5
Service - 3/5
Price - 5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Causeway Seafood Restaurant, Banawe
883 Banawe St. cor. Del Monte Ave.
Quezon City, Metro Manila