Mr. Choi’s festive dishes for the holidays | Inquirer News

Mr. Choi’s festive dishes for the holidays

/ 06:49 AM December 28, 2013

CHOI City Seafood Restaurant in Banilad Town Center never fails to surprise diners. The Cantonese culinary team in Cebu City led by Executive Chef Siu Bing Keung has always something new to offer to pamper discerning palates, especially this holiday season.

The Choi Chain of Restaurants founder, Mr. Choi Tak Pui who hails from Hongkong, is first and foremost, a food connoisseur. His first Choi restaurant, Choi Garden in Greenhills in San Juan, Metro Manila opened in December of 2007. Choi Palace in Eastwood, Quezon City and Hongkong Choi in SM Megamall were added to the chain. Choi City in Cebu has been creating culinary ripples since November 2010. The success of all the Choi restaurants can be attributed to Mr. Choi’s passion for Cantonese cuisine. This octogenarian makes it a point to travel to Hongkong at least twice a year to keep abreast with the latest in Chinese cookery. Only the best and authentic ingredients get to the kitchens of the Choi chain of restaurants.

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For the holiday season, I was totally captivated by Choi City’s festive dishes. Dimsum choices start with Xiao Long Bao, often referred to as soup dumplings, made more exciting with the addition of crab roe. To enjoy this, one has to eat the dumpling without breaking it so the soup inside is released as one bites into the dough. Steamed Spareribs with Taosi are bite sized pork ribs delicately coated with Chinese black bean sauce and steamed to perfection. A holiday special, the Suckling Pig or Lechon de Leche, which is roasted whole in a charcoal furnace, is best eaten with hoisin sauce or sandwiched between Chinese steamed buns. The Christmas season is a good time to indulge in this succulent suckling pig. Without hesitation, I will use my hands to enjoy the Steamed Crabs with Glutinous Rice. The sticky rice while steaming absorbs the taste of freshness. So enjoy the irresistible cholesterol laden crab fat with careless abandon!

The Choi City holiday desserts are distinctly Chinese and pure delight. The Canadian Hot Taho uses only Canadian soybeans to make a smooth silken tofu. The hot taho is served from a stainless container inside a wooden bucket to keep it warm. “Arnibal” or syrup made from raw sugar is poured into a bowl of hot taho and sago pearls are added. Another delicious purple dessert is the Hot Taro Cream Sago. The Egg or Custard Tart is Hongkong-inspired. I was reminded of a gourmet trip to Hongkong courtesy of Cathay Pacific, where we were brought to an old pastry shop that makes one of the best egg tarts. The puff pastry crust is filled with custard that is much eggier and less creamy than the English custard tart. The British introduced the Egg Tart to Hongkong, which is also popular in Macau, Portugal and England.

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TAGS: dishes, Festive events, Holidays
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