My hubby and I had our wedding reception at New World Hotel back in 1999. Five years later, our daughter celebrated her first birthday at New World Hotel’s Chinese restaurant known as Emperor’s Court back then. Admittedly, that was the last time I visited New World Hotel’s Chinese restaurant. Today, it has been relaunched as Jasmine.
Last Sept. 22, a handful of bloggers (me included!) was invited to sample Jasmine’s Shanghai Surprise. Shanghai Surprise is a collection of dishes crafted by Chinese guest chefs Wong Kam Chung and Ng Wing Fu of YUE 1525 Restaurant in Shanghai, China. We started the night with an appetizer of boiled peanuts, something I prefer to the usual roasted and salted ones.
We were first served Lotus roots stuffed with glutinous rice (P480, pictured above). It had the sweet and sticky flavor profile of the Philippines’ very own kakanin (native rice cakes). In fact I think it could’ve worked as a dessert. Very interesting and I’d say quite good.
Then came Radish and carrot in sour sauce (P300, pictured above). It’s really kind of like our very own atchara (Filipino pickled vegetables). Nevertheless the vinegared veggies were a good complement to the sweet Lotus root dish.
Then there were Steamed lobster and vegetable dumplings (P320, pictured above).
I was surprised when I got my very own large xiao long bao, referred to at Jasmine as Steamed Shanghainese pork dumpling, goose liver (P250 per piece). I bit it carefully so I could sip the soup from inside. The soup (and later the filling) was incredibly flavorful. I loved it! I don’t know if I can internalize paying P250 for one single dumpling but wow, it was quite an eating experience!
One of my more preferred main dishes was the unique Pan fried razor clams (P780, pictured above). The clams are actually imported from France, hence the hefty price tag. The clams were on the salty side but the dish overall was quite nice. Straw mushrooms fried to a crisp are mixed with the clams too.
Steamed sea garoupa, soya bean in lotus leaf (P220 per 100g, pictured above) looked scary when it was laid down on our table but it was surprisingly yummy. The fish was coated with a flavorful soya bean paste that reminded me a bit of Japanese miso.
Then came Shanghainese Chicken Curry in Clay Pot (P600, pictured above). The only kind of chicken I like is crunchy and so I didn’t really like this dish. But it’s not them, it’s me. I just dislike chicken in general.
Wok fried fillet of beef, wasabi sauce (P780, pictured above) is a tasty dish albeit I failed to taste any wasabi. Or perhaps I was already full at this point. I could only manage one strip of beef and one strip of asparagus.
Assorted seafood, rice, and soup (P1,380 pictured above) is another unconventional offering. It’s literally seafood soup with rice in it. The dish can actually serve 10 people so that’s around P138 per person.
For dessert we had Oolong tea creme brulee (P400, on top) and Coconut pudding, osmanthus and bird’s nest (P680, on the bottom). Both were delicious. I especially enjoyed the Oolong tea creme brulee because it’s not overly sweet like the usual creme brulee is. Yum!
The Shanghai Surprise series of dishes will be served from Sept. 19 to Oct. 1, 2011. The best-selling creations will become permanent mainstays in Jasmine’s menu. 😀
2/F New World Hotel
Esperanza St. cor. Makati Ave., Makati City
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