October 29, 2018

Hua Ting Brasserie Chinoise at Hilton Manila

Hua Ting Brasserie Chinoise (华亭中式餐馆) is the premier Chinese restaurant of Hilton Manila specializing in Shanghainese cuisine. The restaurant got its name from Hua Ting Road (华亭路), a quaint street located in the former French Concession of Shanghai. This inspiration is also expressed in the chic Sino-Franco interior design of the restaurant.

Hua Ting is the first Shanghainese restaurant to open in Manila where the Chinese dining scene is dominated by Cantonese and Hookien restaurants. The menu of Hua Ting features some of the most popular Shanghainese dishes, as well as a couple of Cantonese and Sichuan dishes. Heading the restaurant's culinary team is Shanghainese chef Kevin Xu.

We started our dinner with Rice Cake with Dried Scallops (干贝粢饭糕) which is a Shanghainese fried dumpling commonly served as an appetizer. It was very compact and moist and had a crunchy crust. The taste of the scallops was very light and not too overwhelming.

Xiao Long Bao is perhaps the representative dish of Shanghainese cuisine. Here at Hua Ting, guests can choose among three varieties: Classic Shanghai, Crabmeat and Mushroom. We ordered the Steamed Xiao Long Bao with Mushroom (香菇小笼包). I prefer this original version of the xiao long bao which has a thicker skin compared to its more contemporary Taiwanese counterpart.

The Stir-fried Fresh Thin Noodles with Sliced Pork (上海肉丝炒面), or simply Shanghai Pork Noodles, is a very simple noodle dish in Shanghai consisting of egg noodles fried together with Chinese cabbage and pork slices.

Shanghai Fried Rice (石锅菜烤饭) is a seafood-free fried rice which has an herby and smokey pork taste. This is the perfect alternative to the usual Yangzhou fried rice ordered in many Chinese restaurants in Manila, which (by the way) is also available on the menu.

If you feel like ordering some of your favorite Cantonese dishes, options from the menu include the cold dish Hong Kong Chicken with Shallot Oil (小葱香油三黄鸡). They also have the quintessential Steamed Pork Dumplings (烧卖) and Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (虾饺).

For those who love spicy food, there are a couple of Sichuan dishes in the menu that will surely give you that lip numbing experience. The Shrimp Mapo Beancurd (虾仁麻婆豆腐) is my most recommended one. If someone in your group is allergic to seafood, just instruct the staff not include shrimp in the dish.

The highlight of our meal was the Braised Pork Belly "Hong Shao Rou" with Eggs (外婆家味红烧肉加蛋). This iconic Shanghainese dish is famous for its melt-in-your-mouth texture of the pork braised in a thick aromatic sweet soy sauce. This dish goes well with the Shanghai Fried Rice.

Finally, we ended our dinner with a variety of dessert. The Walnut Cream Tea (核桃鲜奶露) is the specialty Shanghainese dessert of Hua Ting. It has a jelly texture with creamy and nutty taste and hints of aromatic spices.

Adding to the outstanding dining experience was the excellent service by the restaurant's staff. They were very familiar with the menu and could confidently provide recommendations based on your preferences. They were very attentive and made sure that my tea cup was always refilled. They also anticipated our need by offering to portion our noodle dish for our group. I am personally satisfied with the quality of the food and of the service. There is so much more to try from the menu, so I will surely be back here at Hua Ting.

Hua Ting Chinese Restaurant
Second Floor, Hilton Manila
1 Newport Blvd, Newport City, Pasay City, Metro Manila, Phiippines
Contact: +63-2-2397788
E-mail: mnlph_hotel@hilton.com
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