Monday, February 6, 2017

Family Traditions at Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall

One family's story threads the culinary creations of Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall since 1975, preserving a culinary tradition for a new generation...

Henry Chua, a cook from Hong Kong, opened his first restaurant in Manila back in 1978 along with the opening of the iconic Love Bus Escolta Station. His small noodle and dim sum restaurant was at the right place and opened at the right time, frequented by bus passengers on their way to work or heading back home, and the dream of sharing authentic Chinese cuisine became a family Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall.

Today, Henry Chua's passion for authentic Chinese cuisine is passed on to his son, Chris Chua (R) and Hong Kong native and Master Chef Chui-Fai Tsoi (L), bringing with him over thirty years of culinary experience working in prestigious hotels including Hyatt Regency Tokyo and The Ritz-Carlton Beijing.

Henry Chua still oversees the sourcing of the freshest ingredients, including hand-picking plump prawns, fresh lapu-lapu, and fat crabs at the market, but young Chris Chua is more than ready to carry on the family tradition. During a special dinner preview of Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall's signature dishes, Chris Chua proudly presented the culinary masterpieces of Master Chef Chui-Fai Tsoi, starting with the impressive Fresh Prawn Salad in Golden Cup, with chunks of succulent prawns and fresh fruits in a light pastry shell...

...followed by the Baked Scallop with Cheese (L), tasty bites with the briny sweetness of fresh scallops kicked up by the creamy cheese; and the refreshing Tai Chi Seafood Bisque (R), with the rich green spinach and roasted pumpkin broth forming an elegant yin yang-inspired design.

The fresh and clean flavors of the first three courses were perfect starters, as the main dishes were served. Chris Chua fondly recalled his childhood days when his father would prepare the next course at home, the Special Hong Kong Sausage Rice in Pot, with roast duck, braised pork belly, and Chinese pork sausage, a cherished family recipe served at Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall. 

The pot is first presented to diners, then, the staff would delicately slice the roast duck, pork sausage, and braised pork belly and rearrange it on the pot. The dish is given the final touch by pouring the special sauce, a secret family recipe, to complete the dish. It's just the way Henry Chua would have served it to his family.  

The dish is then presented a second time to diners, with the fragrant aroma of sausages, pork and duck triggering your appetite on attack mode. The soft and fluffy rice, infused with the bold flavors of the savory toppings and special sauce, bursts with rich flavors with every bite. It's a hearty and comforting dish with rustic and home-style flavors, and a personal favorite.

Nothing like whole steamed fish to add a celebratory vibe to an authentic Chinese feast, and Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall's Steamed Garoupa in Unicorn Style is another winner from the kitchen. Tender slices of fresh grouper and shiitake mushrooms in a light yet flavorful sauce combine for subtle and delicate flavors, the day's freshest catch served on a platter.

A pair of Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant's signature bestsellers were also served, including the Crispy Hong Kong Chicken (P 250-One Half/P 500-Whole Chicken), with juicy chicken capped by a light and crisp layer of chicken skin...

...and the savory Beef Short Ribs with Black Pepper Sauce (P 580 Small/P 870 Medium/P 1,160 Large), with fork-tender slices of beef and enoki mushrooms draped in a thick pepper sauce. The richness of the beef is perfectly tempered by the mildly sharp notes of the sauce for balanced flavors.

There's no better way to end a proper feast at Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant than with another seafood dish, the Typhoon Shelter Crabs, deep-fried with salted egg. The briny sweetness of the succulent crabs pair well with the distinct notes of salted egg adding depth to the rich flavors. And go ahead, use your hands...

Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall's Steamed Salted Egg Custard Bun caps our authentic Chinese feast on a sweet and delectably salty note. The pillow-soft buns ooze with the salted egg custard coating your palate with an indulgent richness. From starters to mains and dessert, it's a feast threaded by a generation of one family's culinary Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall.

Oriental Palace Seafood Restaurant and Banquet Hall is located at 148 Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout de Guia Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Tomas Morato, Quezon City or call (02) 374-0653 and (02) 374-0693 for inquiries and reservations.

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