I had the privilege of trying out Li Li restaurant at the Hyatt Hotel Manila yesterday. Li Li serves Cantonese cuisine and has been awarded quite a few times as one of the best restaurants in the Philippines by Philippine Tatler and Dineasia. Currently, Li Li has also been nominated as one of the top 20 best restaurants in Asia by Miele! Just wow!
I had to wait for the group to be complete so we couldn’t start eating yet. I then decided to look around Li Li and appreciate its interiors. The restaurant was named after a real person named Lili Ho. Lili grew up in a high profile scene. She loves elegant and sophisticated things. That was pretty obvious as her love for arts and interior can be seen throughout the restaurant.
Li Li Restaurant is somewhat a resemblance of Lili’s home. Each room signify a part of Lili’s life. I’m really impressed as to how a restaurant like Li Li could have so much history and story behind it. It was just beautiful!
First up is the dining area where most people usually dine at.
The upper dining area has pictures/painting of Lili’s ancestors. Having those pictures situated on the upper area signifies respect to the elders.
The library, on the other hand, is a place where the men hang out after dinner. In this room, you’ll see Lili’s travel souvenirs displayed as well as her favorite art & travel books.
The latest room in Li Li restaurant is called the drawing room. It was named as that because it’s a room that the ladies usually hang out in when their husbands are in the library room (a place where women would withdraw). The drawing room has its own bathroom.
The tea bar is where all the selections of tea are displayed. It’s also the place where the Gongfu tea ceremony usually happens.
A Gongfu tea ceremony is a presentation based on the tea preparation approach which originated in Fujian and Guangdong in the 1940s. Gong fu cha means ‘skill’ or ‘capability’. The ceremony is being done at Li Li to show guests how welcome they are at the restaurant.
Behind the tea bar are two rooms created in tribute to Lili’s daughters: Fei Fei and Bai Ling. The rooms have the same design, they just have a bit of difference with chair fabric and art decorations.
Last, but not the least, is the Wine Cellar room which coincidentally was where we had our dim sum.
I was already so starved when we sat at the table. The excitement was over the top for me as I got a nice tour of Lili restaurant and my expectation just went up a notch!
Boiled peanuts were served as appetizer. I super duper love boiled peanuts and I don’t even know where I can buy those a la carte outside. If I want more, I guess I have to come back at Li Li or cook them myself!
For drinks, I highly suggest you order Hyatt Hotel’s guava iced tea! I love the taste, I wish I can drink more but I knew then that I would be eating so much food that I can’t enjoy this iced tea too much. Apart from guava, there’s dalandan iced tea and guyabano iced tea
Before we started with our dim sum, we were presented with a Gongfu tea ceremony. I was pretty excited about it since Gongfu was mentioned during our tour of the Li Li restaurant. The ceremony was just about 10 minutes but it was impactful! I found it super cool!
- warming the pot and heating the cups
- appreciate excellent tea
- the black dragon enters the palace
- rinsing from an elevated pot
- the spring wind brushes the surface
- bathe the immortal twice
You might be wondering what the steps I mentioned are but I highly suggest you go to Li Li at Hyatt Manila to see for yourself. Gongfu tea ceremony is a very unique tradition that you rarely see in Chinese restaurants.
If you’re dining at Li Li for their dim sum all you can, you’ll be given a dimsum menu where you can check out the items that you want to order. The food is cooked right after you order it. With that in mind, you have to wait a bit for your food to arrive but it’ll be all worth it for sure!
The price is Php 788 net for dim sum all you can from mondays to saturdays, 12noon to 3PM. On sundays, Li Li serves the Sunday Yum Cha Dim sum Buffet. It serves the usual dim sum all you can but this time the buffet comes with free-flowing iced tea, soft drinks and local beer as well as desserts. Of course, no left-overs and no take out.
There were tons of dim sum selections in Li Li! Considering we’ll be having our lunch buffet at Hyatt’s Market Cafe, we ended up sampling ten of Li Li’s dim sum bestsellers.
Our meal at Li Li was considered our appetizer but boy, it could be a meal in itself!
- Har Gao – steamed shrimp and bamboo pith dumpling
- Sio Mai – steamed pork and dried scallop dumpling
- Shanghai-style steamed pork and crab meat dumpling
Don’t forget to use the spoon when eating this as you don’t wanna miss tasting the wonderful soup inside the dumpling!
- Pan-fried shrimp and spinach dumpling
- Deep-fried taro and assorted seafood dumpling
another favorite dim sum for me! I appreciate the abundance of ingredients in each and every bite. so tasty and so yummy!
- Beijing-style wok-fried pork dumpling
- Deep-fried bicho-bicho, shrimp, wasabi-mayonnaise sauce
- Lobster and asparagus dumpling
- Glutinous dumpling, white chocolate, peanut
I loved how the white chocolate oozes out of the dumpling when sliced or opened.
What a great way to start a food-filled day at the Hyatt Manila! Each of us had an awesome time especially with the warm hospitality by Hyatt’s GM Richard Simmons, Director of Food & Beverage Ranjeet Rajebhosale, Marketing Communications Manager Loni Balagtas and Public Relations Coordinator Laurie Reyes!
It was my first time at Li Li and I must say the experience was truly memorable! I didn’t even realize how meaningful each part of the restaurant is. I felt like I met Lili Ho herself by just dining at Li Li restaurant!
Li Li Restaurant
Php788 net dim sum all you can from 12nn to 3pm
Php1550 net Sunday Yum Cha Dim sum Buffet (with desserts & free-flowing drinks)
5/F Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, 1588 Pedro Gil corner M.H. Del Pilar Manila 1004, Philippines