Mabuhay Palace Re-launched with Amazing Cantonese Cuisine to celebrate the 2011 Chinese New Year

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Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the year of the rabbit and we should all get ready to have some incredible times. While there were plenty of celebrations for the Chinese New Year within Metro Manila, one of the best  I’ve attended was the re-grand-opening of Mabuhay Palace, the sophisticated and elegant Chinese restaurant in the Manila Hotel.

Long Life Prawns
Long Life Prawns

As guests found their way to the incredible cuisine of the Mabuhay Palace they were able to see the way with the help of Chinese lanterns hung in the hallways amidst red flags and other great paraphernalia.

Manila Hotel 2011 Chinese New Year Celebration
Manila Hotel 2011 Chinese New Year Celebration

While you might think that fireworks are not appropriate to indoors, the dragon dances went off without a hitch as part of the ancient Chinese tradition to drive away any less than positive energy and to attract more luck, happiness and wealth.

Prosperity Salad
Prosperity Salad

The year of the rabbit promises good things for all and what a way to start with fan dancers, great food, and amazing music at the re-launch of the best Chinese restaurant in town.

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Braised Pork Leg with Chinese Buns
Braised Pork Leg with Chinese Buns

With an all Cantonese menu that includes vegetarian Peking Duck and Long Life Prawns, the gourmet cooking style of the Mabuhay Palace treated the taste buds of all the guests with steamed, fried, and perfectly spiced food.

Chicken Stuffed Bread
Chicken Stuffed Bread

The normally festive interior decorations were turned up a notch and the rich colors and elegant decor were slightly overwhelming if you could look up from your plate.

Chinese fan dancers
Chinese fan dancers

Golds, reds, orange, and more than a few seemingly priceless artifacts adorned the walls and shelves. Of course, most guests didn’t notice because they were deeply concerned with Prosperity Salad, Braised Pork Leg with Chinese Buns, and Dried Oysters with Bean Curd and Sea Moss…all designed to bring enhanced good luck with the new year.

Braised Dried Oyster with Bean Curd Sheet and Sea Moss
Braised Dried Oyster with Bean Curd Sheet and Sea Moss

Braised Pork Leg is what we usually call “Pata Tim” and believe me, their version is probably the best I’ve tasted so far.. with just right the amount of sweetness and the spices are not that overwhelming.

Salted Egg Flavored Ice Cream
Salted Egg Flavored Ice Cream

Executive Chinese Chef Sun Bing and Executive Chinese Sous Chef Josephine Yu Tanganco – Candelaria treated guests to a magnificent feast which was capped with their homemade ice cream and Fried Nian Gao or what we normally call “Tikoy” which together symbolize the love of family and the duties of filial piety in the Chinese culture. In fact, the entire event was one filled with tradition, respect, and deliciousness!

Melo Villareal in Mabuhay Palace
Chef Josephine Yu Tanganco – Candelaria, Me and Chef Sun Bing

I was totally curious when I first tasted the Ice Cream coz no one can figure out the weird yet interesting flavor. The friendly Chef’s gave more than one clue but everyone was surprised when they finally revealed the secret flavor. Can you imagine a “salted egg” flavored Ice Cream? You should try it!! Many thanks to Sam Dominguez, Eunice Fernando and Nian Liwanag-Rigor of Manila Hotel for inviting me to the event:)

If you want to go see what I’m talking about you can visit Mabuhay Palace in the historic Manila Hotel for lunch (11-2pm) or dinner (6-10pm). Reservations are recommended. To get your spot call (632) 527-0011 local 1261.

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