I first heard of it from my friend Chichi. And then in rapid succession, from 2 other people. It seems that any foodie worth his palate has gone to eat in “that secret Chinese food place”. How they found it baffles me, for the restaurant has no name in a building with no sign. Directions were sketchy: From Edsa heading to Rockwell, make a right after Metro Club and immediately hang a left. And then ask around for the Chinese restaurant. It’s the one with frosted windows and glass doors*.
But we did find the brightly-lit dive. It’s an all fluorescent number so don’t expect any ambience whatsoever. Btw that also means I didn’t get any decent shots of the food (I’m still thinking if I should get an SLR because it seems like too much work trying to fit it in my purse). The toilet paper unceremoniously dumped in every table doubles as both napkin and centerpiece. They serve their water in a used 1.5 liter plastic bottle of Coke, for crying out loud. So it’s safe to say this joint is strictly Dine and Dash.
We ordered comforting, home-cooked style Hunan dishes. People mistake the cuisine for Sichuan because it’s kinda close. But Hunan is spicier, using more dried red chilies. Plus it’s a lot more work because they marinate the dishes day-long and use multiple cooking methods. We enjoyed the Hot Pot Duck with a boatload of red chilies and bay leaves and the slivers of Cold Pig’s Ears. The token vegetable dish was a welcome addition, steamed kai lan in a light garlic sauce. It had a healthy crunch that was our belated attempt to negate all the duck and pork fat we were scarfing down. I wanted to order the Braised Pork Belly but was told they ran out so I guess I have found my excuse to return.
Food is lovely, great bang for the buck. For a party of 5 ordering 6 dishes and drinks, our bill totaled to Php 1,510. Place is clean but completely devoid of charm, service kinda sucks and the parking is practically non-existent. The thought of losing your car adds to the thrill of the dining experience. But yeah, I’d still hit it (again).
Mrs. So Says: I miss Ho Hoi in Malate but this one comes pretty close.
*6404 Camia Street