Mabuhay Palace | New Vegetarian Menu

Posted By: at 10:27 PM, Monday, December 10, 2012 ▸
Mabuhay Palace

Lobby Floor, Manila Hotel
One Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard
Malate, Manila
Business Hours:
DAILY: Lunch - 11AM to 3PM
Dinner - 6PM to 10PM

Phone: (02) 527-0011 Loc 1260 to 62
Cuisine: Chinese
Budget: Php 1000↑
Payment: Cash or Credit Card
Overall Rating: 


The most luxurious Chinese dining in the city.
...

Nestled within the confines of Manila Hotel, the Mabuhay Palace may just probably be the most luxurious Chinese restaurant in the metro. Other than their lavish interiors and lavish menu, this month, one of the things that you should also watch our for are their new selections that answer to the growing trend of healthy eating: vegetarian, baby!

But unlike the usual healthy Asian dishes that you may know of (congee for instance?) their new fare has a fresh take on healthy dishes. Plus... it could also fool your senses! But in a good way! Sounds intriguing? Well... for one thing, I never imagined that a simple vegetable 'meat' could mimic the true taste of Beijing duck so perfectly... it was simply mind-blowing!

Just read on below to know more of this adventure!

AMBIANCE & DECOR: 

Splashed with rich colors of red, orange, and gold, the Mabuhay Palace clearly portrays oriental elements befitting of its Neo-Classical interior design. Spacious and elegant, stepping into this wonderful place is like being welcomed to a grand banquet of an imperial lord.

Worthy to note as well on this particular aspect of their restaurant are the intricately-carved Chinese dividers and wide panels that are padded with dragon-printed fabric and glass. And of course, their walls! Filled with hand-crafted panels that are made of jade and stones, it depicts the tale of the famous Chinese philosopher, Confucius.

And here's an interesting trivia for you! It is said that these panels were made by a family of artisans for over two decades(!!!) and the price of each panel costs a million! Now imagine how many panels there are! I forgot the number but I think it was more than 30!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Wall panels
Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Ambiance

Their function rooms exude the same beauty as well given the ample space and well-thought ornaments that each room holds. I suggest that you consider checking in to these function rooms!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Function Rooms

And of course, I should not forget mentioning this: the Mabuhay palace has actually been awarded by the Asia Tatler Dining as one of the Philippines' Best Restaurants for 2012!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Asia Tatler Dining Award

FOOD & PRICE 

The 'masterminds' behind the lovely feast that we had experienced are as seen below: Executive Chinese Chef Sun Bing and Executive Chinese Sous Chef Joy Tanganco-Candelaria.

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Chef Sous

For a subtle prelude for the evening, we were served with Sweet Orange Tea and bowls of Wanton Chips. These chips were definitely a sweet delight given how it was drizzled with honey and sesame seeds; the crunch in every bite just gave more oomph to one's palate!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Wanton Chips

And then for the first surprise of the day, the Vegetarian Beijing Duck was served. I swear, if I hadn't known that I was invited to a vegetarian affair, I would have perfectly assumed that I was eating real duck meat! As it is, this was rather made of veggie meat seasoned so profoundly that it mimicked the real taste of tasty meat. This comes along with the typical Chinese dipping sauce, the Hoisin sauce: a slightly sweet, boldly salty, and thick.

Needless to say, this dish was an instant hit for me! I wouldn't mind turning vegetarian if dishes such as this could be made!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Beijing Duck

Of course, how could you not ogle at the edifice smacked right in the middle of this plate? Apparently, this was hand-crafted made mainly from salt and then colored! And it was crazy! Looking at the finer details shown from this molded figure was just simply amazing!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Beijing Duck Salt Figure

Next up from the appetizers was a plate of: Steamed Lotus Root with Glutinous Rice Glazed with Sweet Osmanthus Sauce. At first glance you would think that you were served with meatloaf, but like the precious 'beijing duck', this was rather 'faux meat'. As I've said above, it's made from lotus root, a rather unique-tasting one especially with its texture that kind of resembled eating something dry, like potatoes. Nonetheless, this was made sweeter with the Osmanthus sauce and sugar-roasted petals (which are the toppings that you could see in the photo below).

FYI: Osmanthus is a flower and as per Chinese cuisine, its culinary uses can be applied to teas, jams, cakes, dumplings, soups, and even liquor! And another helpful information, Osmanthus helps when you'd want to clean your palate and regain your fervor for pigging out!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Steamed Lotus Root with Sweet Osmanthus Sauce
Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Lotus Root

Yet to be one of my favorite Chinese soups: the Yin Yang Winter Melon and Spinach Soup! Aside from its nice presentation, I love the level of thickness on this one, as well as the lovely combination of winter melon (white gourd, or 'upo' as we call it in Tagalog) and spinach.

This could be eaten sparingly or mix it altogether; I preferred destroying the Yin Yang. Haha!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Yin Yang Winter Melon and Spinach Soup

Yet another favorite of mine from the bunch: Stir-Fried Osyter Mushroom with Salt and Pepper! Much in line with the duck, this had deceivingly fooled our taste buds into thinking that we were eating actual oysters! The mushrooms were definitely seasoned well, battered, and then fried into a crisp.

A lot of the people in the table have expressed this as their favorite, aside from the Beijing Duck! For me, I had a hard time picking a favorite; but why go for favorites anyway when you can enjoy both the gastronomical wonders of these two divine dishes? Right? (Along with this dish was a vinaigrette that I forgot the name of, unfortunately.)

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Stir-Fried Osyter Mushroom with Salt and Pepper

Stuffed Baby Squash with Vegetarian Meat and Mushrooms: if you don't like squash, then this dish could probably convert you, a full 360 degrees! With hints of sweetness here and there, the contents of this baked squash was quite a hit. I could not believe at first how savory the veggie meat and mushrooms were, and it was even fun raking through all of it, wondering how it would taste or what it's trying to mimic in matters of taste.

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Stuffed Baby Squash

For a slight kick of spicy, we were given the Stir-Fried Celery with Black Bean Curd and Chinese Wolfberry. Now what's interesting about this one are the wolfberries (also called as Goji berries)! These are the small red prune-looking ones in the photo below. According to studies, wolfberries are some sort of superfood said to help vision, liver, and more. Talk about healthy, indeed!

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Celery Black Bean Curd Chinese Wolfberry

It's often said that what you see is what you get. The Braised Wa Wa Chai with Chestnuts of Mabuhay Palace at one look could deem to tell you that you're about to delve into a bland-tasting plate. But don't be fooled; the rich sauce gives this whole ensemble a savory kick and the chestnuts add a significant amount of charm to your palate.

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Braised Wa Wa Chai with Chestnuts

Deep-Fried Minced Bean Curd with Broccoli Flower in Brown Sauce: this one looks like meat huh? Bean curd is also known as tofu and if this was a cake, the sauce was the icing! It went perfectly with everything that's on this plate.

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Bean Curd Broccoli

For a staple, we had their Vegetarian Lotus Wrapped Fried Rice which could actually serve as a complete meal. This was especially fragrant given the aroma emitted by the lotus leaf that was used to wrap the rice. I suggest trying this one because it was a definite pleasure to eat.

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Lotus Fried Rice

To end our vegetarian adventure, we were given a Steamed Sweet Taro filled with Red Bean Cream. I loved this! The mashed taro coupled with red bean was definitely sweet alright, but not too saccharine to make you run the other way.

Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu Dessert Taro Red Bean
Foodie from the Metro - Mabuhay Palace Vegetarian Menu sliced Taro cake

OVERALL 

For those who crave for Asian cuisine and looking into steering away from the usual non-healthy dishes of it, then the Mabuhay Palace's new vegetarian menu could definitely answer to your needs. As a self-confessed foodie who loves healthy-eating BUT denies to give up meat-and-whatnot... do believe me when I say that the dishes above won't make you miss meat too much. 

Let me state a perfect example: it was just crazy when I tasted that Beijing duck! I simply can't get over it! Certainly, with them, they can perfectly show their culinary powers given how they could come up with veggie meat that could convince diners into thinking that they're eating the real thing! Crazy, right? But it's true. Much like the Chinese cuisine as well, these fare follows the balances of the yin and the yang ingredients: the yin (moist and wet) cools down the body and the yang (crisp and dry) heats it up!

And remember, what more with this season! It's the holidays and a lot of unhealthy eating is bound to greet you. So how about bringing the party to Mabuhay Palace? You'll get the same gastronomic satisfaction, you'll get stuffed, and bam! You can say that you still ate healthily! Enjoy!


"Foodie from the Metro" : Mabuhay Palace | New Vegetarian Menu

3 comments:

# | Mary jane Tauyan Fitzsimmons said...

everything looks yummy! ginutom aq ngaung disoras ng gbi! I am planning to go vegetarian also but its so hard specially when travelling cannot avoid to eat meat. Though i am trying so hard to eat veggies as long as I have choices hehe xx

# | michymichymoo said...

Vegetarian. Challenging.hahaha. :)

# | Itsberyllicious said...

super love mabuhay palace's wanton chips with honey.. so addicting! :) And of course, love their food as well :) 

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