It’s always nice to visit a restaurant especially if there are renowned guest chefs around. In relation to this, Jasmine Restaurant located at the 2/F of New World Hotel brings us Cantonese cuisine from guest chefs Wong Kam Chung and Chef Ng Wing Fu. The two chefs came all the way from Shanghai to present us their signature dishes. This limited offering from September 19 to October 1, 2011 is called Shanghai Surprise.
Chef Wong Kam Chung (center in photo) has 23 years of experience in the Chinese kitchen and specializes in Cantonese cuisine. He’s currently the executive chef at YUE 1525 restaurant in New World Shanghai Hotel. Chef Wong has been creating Cantonese cuisine across Europe and Asia. Wow, that’s like more than two decades!
Chef Ng Wing Fu (right in photo), on the other hand, is a dim sum chef! Also from Shanghai, he specializes in dim sum such as steamed vegetable dumplings with lobster and mango roll with wagyu beef. I’ll share more of those delectable dim sum later on in this post.
While most of the people dining between September 19 and October 1, 2011 will be sampling dishes from the two guest chefs, you can of course still order your favorite dishes from Jasmine Restaurant’s Head Chef Choi Wingki (left in photo).
I was excited to be surprised with delicious Cantonese food at my first visit at the Jasmine Restaurant in the New World Hotel. The name Shanghai Surprise just made me feel like I’m going to a different country. I might not be traveling to Shanghai anytime soon but at least, I get to feel what it’s like to be there by tasting actual food that are being served there.
As I entered the place, I wasn’t surprised as to how cozy and nice Jasmine restaurant is. What do we expect? It’s in New World Hotel! The restaurant specializes in Cantonese cuisine. I’m glad they brought us two chefs from YUE 1525 restaurant so we can sample their cantonese dishes too. According to the marketing executive we talked to, they might be including some dishes in Shanghai Surprise permanently in Jasmine Restaurant’s menu. Well, I really hope so as I liked the dim sum created by Chef Ng Wing Fu very very much!
I was very early in the venue. My foodie companions were still on their way to Jasmine Restaurant so I took a tour of the restaurant. They actually have several private rooms available!
If you have meetings or small party with friends, you can actually just reserve a private room at New World Hotel’s Jasmine Restaurant. If I remember correctly, they have a group menu for 8 pax at around Php 8,000+.
I might be talking too much so I’ll go straight to what this blog post is all about — Shanghai Surprise at New World Hotel’s Jasmine Restaurant.
We were first served complimentary nuts. The snack was very unique. The peanuts were boiled in tea (yes, tea!). It was yummy! I think I was able to finish one small cup by myself (shhh!)
I have to tell you that the pictures of the food in this post might not be the actual serving in the restaurant. As I was invited for a press dinner, the chefs prepared food that was enough for the number of attendees.
- Radish and Carrot in Sour Sauce (Php 300)
I love carrots and I love radish! I wonder what kind of sauce was put here but the flavor worked really well in the dish.
- Lotus Roots stuffed with Glutinous Rice (Php 480)
The Lotus Roots was sweet! I actually welcome this appetizer dish considering sweet food are being served often as dessert.
- Wine by Manny O.
You can pair your food with Manny O. wines. I’m not fond of wines but my dinner companions had tasting serving of this. There are three volumes available: tasting 50ml at Php 150, glass 150ml at Php 350 and bottle 750ml at Php 1,550.
- Steamed Shanghainese Pork Dumpling, Goose Liver (Php 250/piece)
I loved the presentation of the Shanghainese pork dumpling! Dimsum is usually served in a big container with 8 pieces of dumplings. However, Jasmine Restaurant served this individually and it looked so good! The yummy flavorful soup inside the dumpling that we usually see in authentic Shanghai dumplings was there too!
- Steamed Scallops, Bean Curd (Php 420)
I loved every bit of the Steamed scallops and bean curd dim sum. How I wish I can eat more. I was hoping I could get one more serving of this but I had to try out the other dishes too. It’s a mystery to me how the chef was able to incorporate all the ingredients into the roll. I loved the sauce too!
- Wagyu Beef with Mango Roll (Php 320)
I enjoyed every dim sum served to us but the wagyu beef with mango roll has got to be the best one! Who would ever thought that a popular western dish like wagyu can pass up as a chinese dim sum? It surely did! Yummyyyyyyyyy!
- Steamed Lobster and Vegetable Dumplings (Php 320)
When the steamed lobster and vegetable dumplings was served in our table, I asked what it was. The waiter said the whole name of the dish but there was one word that really stood out and it’s lobster! For me, as long as there’s lobster in the dish, it’s gonna be a definite winner! I wasn’t disappointed. It was indeed a delicious dumpling!
- Shanghainese Chicken Curry in Clay Pot (Php 600)
This has got to be Chef Wong’s famous signature dish. I realized that after taking so much pictures of the food, I actually forgot to taste the Shanghainese Chicken Curry. Now, I just wanna blame myself for not having eaten Chef Wong’s must-try dish. Yaiks!
- Steamed Sea Garoupa, Soya Bean in Lotus Leaf (Php 220 per 100 grams)
Looking at the finished dish, you can already see the awesome technique the chef has in cooking. The presentation was awesome too.
- Wok-fried Fillet of Beef, Wasabi Sauce (Php 780)
I love wok-fried beef. Unfortunately, I find the dish too salty for my taste. My companions were telling me that it should be eaten with rice. I passed up on rice as I was trying to diet. I guess, I should have listened to them coz I saw how they appreciated the dish.
- Steamed Mantis with Egg White (Php 1,180)
That was mantis swimming in egg white. I was hesitant at first to get egg whites but the combination actually worked! It tasted much like lobsters. Super good!
- Pan-fried Razor Clams (Php 780)
Another salty dish in my book. My seat mates totally disagreed with me as they were eating this nonstop. The Pan-fried Razor Clams was actually the main dish that the group quickly finished. Just a piece of advice, eat this with rice (you’ll appreciate this way better).
- Assorted Seafood, Rice and Soup (Php 1,380)
I noticed that the rice in this assorted seafood, rice and soup was crispy rice! The rice wasn’t cooked together with the soup. The waiters were putting the rice in the soup upon serving. It wasn’t congee at all but among all the main dishes, this was my favorite. All the ingredients have the right volume, nothing is overpowering the other. The different flavors of seafood together with the vegetables and rice worked too!
- Coconut Pudding, Osmanthus and Bird’s Nest (Php 680)
Bird’s nest, definitely an expensive food ingredient. I was carefully tasting each slice of this coconut pudding. I appreciate that it wasn’t too sweet and you can definitely taste the richness of the coconut in the dessert.
- Oolong Tea Creme Brûlée (Php 400)
It’s a first time that I have heard of a creme brûlée flavored with tea! And it actually worked! It’s funny as I’ve always thought that only vanilla flavoring can make this successful. Apparently, oolong tea blends very well with the flavors of the caramel! The end product didn’t taste too sweet. Here’s what we can truly consider as a Chinese type of creme brûlée!
I feel lucky enough to be invited to taste the wonderful creations of renowned Chef Wong and Chef Ng. If you like what you saw in this post, then you better head to New World Hotel Makati and dine at Jasmine Restaurant. The Shanghai Surprise only runs till October 1, 2011. Don’t miss the opportunity to try out Cantonese dishes from Shanghai!
Jasmine Restaurant, 2/F New World Hotel, Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati City 1228, Philippines