Unlike most people who celebrated Valentine's night with their special someone, the beau and I didn't go out during that special day. Instead, I celebrated with the whole family who were craving for an eat-all-you-can adventure. Unfortunately though, the restaurants offering dinner buffet in the West Avenue and Banawe areas in Quezon City, were all overflowing with people. And since I can't bear to have my parents wait for hours and hours without the assurance of getting seated within the dinner service time, we just went straight to King Chef Fine Dining to try our luck, hoping they have free tables.
|Complimentary peanuts while we wait for our orders|
Obviously, we were gladly accommodated. And so our Valentine's dinner began...
To start off, we had the King Chef Seafood Spinach Soup which is also the same soup item we had on our previous visit. Like how I remembered it, it was still a subtle blend of spinach and seafood bits in a really enticing forest-moss green color. Everyone in our table seemed to have enjoyed it, even my little sister who actually dislikes spinach.
|King Chef Seafood Spinach Soup (Small P220; Medium P330; Large P550)|
Next, we had Half a Peking Duck 2 Ways which a specialized server prepped. Just look at that glistening skin! I may not be a big Peking duck fan, but I sure wanted to snag some of those crispy duck skin to gorge down. I can do away without the ways, anyway.
|Peking Duck 2 Ways (Half P1,050)|
Or so I thought. As much as I wanted to eat the Peking duck plainly, I have to admit that eating it as a Peking Duck Pancake is so much better. The duck skin with part of its meat is encased in a flour wrapper with cucumber, shallots and some Hoisin sauce. Every bite was just bursting with a delicate savory flavor, nicely balanced by the fresh fillings and thin wrapper. We had to eat these right away though so they won't get tough.
|✓ Peking Duck Pancake (1st Way)|
While I really enjoyed the first way, the Minced Duck with Lettuce Wrap version was a treat I find lighter and easier on the palate. The rest of the Peking duck meat was minced and sautéed with vegetables in oyster sauce, then served with lettuce wraps. The whole family enjoyed this fun, interactive, albeit messy, way to eat Peking duck.
|✓ Minced Duck with Lettuce Wrap or Sang Choi Bao (2nd Way)|
This was my favorite dish during our previous visit to King Chef. However, for some reason, this serving of Spareribs with 8 Spices while still as tasty, had a funky note to it. It was still fried to a beautiful crisp with an inside oozing with tons of flavor and meaty goodness. I guess it was the oil they used which posed problems for us this time around.
|Spareribs with 8 Spices (Small P290; Medium P430; Large P725)|
While this serving of Salt and Pepper Frog Legs is another fried item, we didn't notice any funky note in the oil. They were crispy and very well-seasoned, two factors we look for when it comes to fried frog legs. And since we loved them to bits, we tried our hardest not to finish the whole plate so we can still have take home frog legs for midnight snack.
|✓ Salt and Pepper Frog Legs (Small P330; Medium P495; Large P825)|
A visit to a Chinese restaurant won't be complete if we skip ordering my little sister's favorite dish -- Beef Tenderloin Chinese Style. Served in a hot stone pot, these slices of beef tenderloin were juicy, meaty and very succulent, doused in a sweet and savory sauce. Among our orders for the night, I found this dish the most fitting to eat with rice.
|✓ Beef Tenderloin Chinese Style (Small P380; Medium P515; Large P1,080)|
For seafood, we decided to have the Steamed Fish Fillet with Japanese Tofu. This serving is pretty good as the fish was fresh and was cooked perfectly while bathing in a light soy sauce. The addition of Japanese tofu was refreshing too, although it served more purpose for me and my dad who are bigger tofu lovers.
|Steamed Fish Fillet with Japanese Tofu (Small P260; Medium P390; Large P650)|
Big sis wanted some veggies, so we had Stuffed Eggplant with Japanese Sauce as suggested by our server. I can't clearly remember every detail from this dish anymore. But if I'm not mistaken, this has tofu and a Teriyaki-style sauce. I personally found this one dimensional when it comes to taste, but it's a good vegetable viand paired with rice.
|Stuffed Eggplant with Japanese Sauce (Small P380; Medium P570; Large P760)|
Our rice of choice for the night was the Yang Chow Fried Rice. Not exciting I know, but the family loves pairing Chinese dishes with our default rice order. Although I can't say this version is the best I've had, this serving was good enough. And while this plate didn't have as much pork and chorizo de bilbao as I would've wanted, I loved the fact that there were shrimp pieces. And mind you, the shrimps were cooked perfectly!
|Yang Chow Fried Rice (Small P210; Medium P310; Large P525)|
For drinks, we decided to order a pot of Healing Honey Chrysanthemum Tea (P85) which promised to help cure sore throat, prevent cough and colds, and help moisturize the lungs. I'm pretty sure we needed to drink more than a pot to actually receive this tea's healing effects, but taste-wise, it was light, refreshing, floral-y and highyl enjoyable.
My second visit to King Chef was yet another enjoyable experience. It may not be as excellent as before (I'm not sure if my standards just elevated, or if the food quality wasn't as good as before anymore), but it was still pretty good compared to most Chinese restaurants I've been to. And of course, with courteous, prompt and thoughtful service to go along with the good food, I'm sure me and my family will again visit for a third time.
Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
King Chef Fine Dining, Banawe
987-989 Banawe St., Quezon City,
Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 410-4919; 413-6619; 441-4177
King Chef Seafood Restaurant, Lucky Chinatown Mall
2/F Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo,
(02) 720-8594; 466-5765