Din Tai Fung Manila Food Review: Heavenly Crispy Beef Strips

It was our second time to eat at Din Tai Fung Manila. But unlike our first trip there, this was totally unplanned. We literally just got lost in EDSA one afternoon: we were simply (yet again) having trouble deciding where to go or what to do that day. Then indecisiveness and a faulty Waze connection lead us to SM Megamall, so we immediately thought of eating some Xiao Long Baos at Din Tai Fung.

Din Tai Fung Manila (Photo courtesy of Rappler.com: http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/best-eats/114039-din-tai-fung-manila-philippines-soup-dumplings-xiao-long-bao)

Din Tai Fung Manila (Photo courtesy of Rappler.com)

Din Tai Fung is a well-known Michelin-starred restaurant originating from Taiwan. They are popular for their delectable Xia Long Baos. These amazing soup dumplings of DTF made their way to the Philippines just last year. We were really looking forward to the Xiao Long Baos, but little did we know that we would actually find something else that we’d go crazy for from this place: their crispy beef strips!!

Here’s what we ordered:

  • Din Tai Fung House Special
  • Crispy Beef Strips
  • Pork Xiao Long Bao with Roasted Garlic
  • Fried Rice with Sweet Garlic and Scallions
  • Chocolate Lava Xiao Long Bao

Scroll down to see what we have to say about each of these dishes

Din Tai Fung House Special – Php 155
Neil’s Rating: 6/10
Gia’s Rating: 7/10
Din Tai Fung House Special (Photo courtesy of Rappler.com)

Din Tai Fung House Special (Photo courtesy of Rappler.com)

Neil: Well, this dish was interesting. It was a cold appetizer composed of seaweeds, tofu, glass noodles, and togue. It was our first time to try this kind of seaweed dish and I must say, I’m not a fan. Don’t get me wrong though, the taste was just fine. I particularly like the tofu. I’m just not into togue and seaweeds. This kind of food is simply not for everyone.

Gia: I decided to try this appetizer out since I’m a huge fan of seaweed – particularly the ones used in sushi (Nori). However, as it turns out, this was made up of a different kind of seaweed. It was an interesting dish, I must say, but I wasn’t a big fan of it as well. It tasted too much like the ocean (haha), and I literally got reminded of the time when we went swimming in a beach full of seaweeds. That’s how it felt like eating it. It actually tasted nice the first few bites, but then as I ate it more of it, I got reminded more and more of the seaweeds from the beach, and the idea just wasn’t appetizing for me.

Din Tai Fung Manila’s Crispy Beef Strips – Php 235
Neil’s Rating: 9/10
Gia’s Rating: 10/10
Din Tai Fung Manila Crispy Beef Strips

Din Tai Fung’s Heavenly Crispy Beef Strips – Php 235

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Boon Tong Kee Philippines Review: Singaporean Restaurant in Manila

Saturdays usually mean Saturdates for Neil and me – and dates = tons of gastos. Which is why Neil and I have been talking recently about finally adulting: we’ve been planning to start saving up. To finally put this plan to action, I decided to check Metrodeal and see if we can finally start controlling our budget by buying discounted vouchers for our dinners out. I looked for restaurants in UP Town Center because that’s where we would always hang out on Saturdays (20-min drive from home and Php 20 parking fee!). I chanced upon this Boon Tong Kee Philippines restaurant voucher.

Boon Tong Kee is one of the very few Singaporean Restaurants in Manila that we know of. I had to choose between a Banana Leaf voucher or a Boon Tong Kee voucher (both in UP Town), but finally decided on the Boon Tong Kee one. We haven’t tried a lot of Singaporean Restaurants in Manila yet after all so maybe it’s time for a change. Besides, we’d already eaten there before but it was a long time ago so I was thinking why not try it again?

Boon Tong Kee Philippines – UP Town Center

Boon Tong Kee is usually one of the less crowded restaurants in UP Town Center. We decided to drop by last Saturday at around 7pm and yup, half of the place wasn’t occupied yet. The friendly staff welcomed us and prepared our table as we chose items from their menu. We had a hard time choosing (as always, because we both suck at decision making), but we finally ordered Imperial Pork Ribs, Char Siu, Hakaw, and some Chicken Rice.

They served us complimentary prawn crackers while we waited. I’m a sucker for free stuff, so plus points!

Boon Tong Kee’s Hakaw Chinese Shrimp Dumplings: Php 125 for 4 pcs
Gia’s Rating: 8/10
Neil’s Rating: 7.5/10
Boon Tong Kee Philippines Hakaw Shrimp Dumplings

Boon Tong Kee’s Hakaw Chinese Shrimp Dumplings: Php 125 for 4 pcs

After around 5-10 minutes, they served the Hakaw (Chinese Shrimp Dumplings).

Neil and I rarely order Hakaw when we eat dimsum so we weren’t quite sure of how the quality and flavor was supposed to be. For me, the wrapper was not too thick nor too thin. The dimsum was also well-steamed: no flour-y parts on the wrappers. Overall, I think the Hakaw was good. But then again, I haven’t eaten enough Hakaws in my life yet to have a super valid basis. Haha!

I love Calamansi which is why I really liked that they had Calamansi juice in a condiment container! Very handy and convenient! No need to get my fingers dirty and get OC trying to squeeze all the juice out of each Calamansi.

After around 5-10 minutes more, they finally served the Imperial Pork Ribs, Char Siu, and rice.

Boon Tong Kee’s Char Siu: Php 145
Gia’s Rating: 8/10
Neil’s Rating: 8.5/10
Boon Tong Kee Philippines Char Siu Pork Asado

Boon Tong Kee’s Char Siu (a.k.a. Pork Asado): Php 145

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