You’d think that every single Chinese restaurant across the metro is one and the same. However, just one huge bite into Hong Kong Noodles and Dimsum House’s Giant Hakao will make you realize that is not the case at all.
As the name goes, Hong Kong Noodles & Dimsum House promises a welcome very much reminiscent of the country it was named after. The façade was inspired by the traditional Hong Kong show kitchens in which cooking can be witnessed from the outside, and I was so fascinated by the clockwork of food that it got me real hungry just by observing. Upon walking in, I was greeted by the fortune-colored finishes of yellow and red dotted with Chinese lanterns. Funny how I was in Metro Manila and mainland China at the same time.
Although excited I also had my reservations, assuming that this would just be like any other Chinese restaurant. I’ve become more and more particular with Chinese food, given that my significant other is not only of that descent but also part of a family that seems to have “CHINESE STYLE LUNCH TODAY” written on every Sunday of every yearly calendar they’ve ever owned. It’s safe to say then that I have tried enough Chinese restaurants for the sake of comparison, and I was looking forward to knowing where HK Noodles & Dimsum House would fall under the list.
Before anything else, we must talk about the Giant Hakaos and Giant Siomais for the simple reason that they were Giant Hakaos and Giant Siomais. I thought the waiter was exaggerating but I am glad to tell you that he wasn’t. They really were giants – equivalent to about three regular dumplings rolled into a single one. The common assumption is that a giant dumpling can only be that big because of its coating. For these, however, the ground pork and shrimp filling did not disappoint; the dough and meat complemented each other just right. As appetizers they might have been enough to get me full, but no way was I going to let them giants get in between me and the rest of the menu.
The giant dumplings came with Hong Kong Noodles & Dimsum House’s 3 for 1 Meal Deal. For only Php999 we managed to get ourselves all that, plus an entire serving of HK Golden Fried Rice – a must for every Chinese dining experience – along with three glasses of refreshing Iced Tea. To add more crisp to the oriental banquet, we also had a serving of Lechon Macau, a seasoned and oven-baked portion of pork belly. Tasted great, but it was the texture that really left the impression. There was something about having something crispy, soft, and tender all in one bite.
Next in line was a delightful trio of Wanton Soup, Asado Siopao and a sweet Gulaman drink – savory and sugary at the same time, a combination I never would’ve expected. I’ve gotten used to having Gulaman on its own so it was a pleasant surprise to have it with something warm this time. In hindsight, it never occurred to me that Asado, wontons, and Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles would make perfect sense with lychee and pearls. Convenient how my comfort food favorites came together like peas in a pod.
At this point it was time for me to cool down from that great deal of chow I just had. Next and last in line was the platter of assorted cold cuts – seaweeds, asado, white chicken, century eggs, and pork ham – conveniently paired with a couple of beers. Seems like a lot, but sure was surprisingly easy on the tummy. What made this experience unique was how it was very Filipino and Chinese in one sitting, much like the restaurant’s ambience altogether. Cold cut platters, from what I’ve seen, tend to be intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with the dish especially in fancier settings. HK Noodles & Dimsum House’s take on their platter, however, had a very Filipino vibe in it reminiscent of your go-to pulatan close to home. It was a match so perfect that it already felt like chilling out after a long day, even if it was just early in the afternoon.
The entire Chinese banquet was one I’d love to have again! It was so delightful that I messaged my significant other soon after that I found a new Chinese restaurant for us to frequent. And given all this, I knew exactly what to treat his family to next time they crave their usual Chinese lunches and dinners – except this time they wouldn’t have to drive all the way out to find one. Now they could simply enjoy their family tradition right at home, with the yummy HK Noodles & Dimsum House dishes delivered right at their doorstep – a nice new twist to what they’ve been used to for years now!