October 21, 2019

Li Li Restaurant at New World Manila Bay Hotel



Li Li Restaurant is the premier Chinese restaurant of New World Manila Bay Hotel. The restaurant specializes in Cantonese cuisine expertly prepared by its team of Hong Kong chefs. Li Li Restaurant is popular for its All You Can Eat Dim Sum lunch and the wide selection of premium Cantonese dishes.



Li Li Restaurant has a spacious main dining area with tables well-spaced apart, offering the dining guests with a high level of comfort and privacy. The interior has a very modern Chinese feel, but the mood is neither intimidating or too casual. The auspicious colors of red and gold, as well as the use of glossy wood and metal, dominate the overall theme of the design.



Li Li Restaurant also has five private dining rooms which are ideal for families celebrating birthdays and anniversaries or for companies hosting business lunches with their employees or customers. The smaller private dining rooms can accommodate 8 to 10 guests while the bigger ones can accommodate 12 to 16 guests.




► FEATURED: ALL YOU CAN EAT DIM SUM LUNCH



As mentioned earlier, the All You Can Eat Dim Sum lunch is one of the highlights of Li Li Restaurant. Available daily (including weekends) from 12:00 noon to 2:30pm, guests can order unlimited servings of dishes from the dim sum menu. The good thing here is that you can order dim sum per piece so you don't have to order a serving of 3-4 pieces if you only want two pieces.



During our visit, we started our lunch with Appetizers. The dim all-you-can-eat dim sum menu has a total of 6 choices for appetizers. We ordered the Roasted Pork Belly which is a very classic Cantonese dish served as an appetizer in big celebrations or banquets. The one form Li Li has tender meat and crispy skin.



Another appetizer we ordered was the Honey Glazed Barbecue Pork. The serving size and quality of the dish can easily make this a main course that can perfectly pair with steamed rice. Here at Li Li, this is just an appetizer. The pork barbecue has absorbed the flavor of the honey glaze, a sign that it was not dry and overcooked.



The all you can eat dim sum menu also includes a Soup of the Day and during our visit, they were serving the Spinach Tofu and Egg Soup. This soup is very similar to an egg drop soup but this one from Li Li has seafood broth and garnished with spinach tofu. It was very comforting.



With 20 choices of Steamed Dimsum and 12 choices of Fried/Baked Dimsum, it can be overwhelming where to start. And to add to that, Li Li Restaurant also has rolled out new varieties of dimsum. When it comes to dimsum, I always go for the classic ones, I know exactly what to look for. We obviously started with Siu Mai (steamed pork and shrimp dumpling). My first bite of this dumpling immediately reminded me of the heavenly siu mais I tried in Hong Kong and Guangzhou.



The next one we had was the Har Gao (steamed shrimp dumpling). The plump shrimps were expertly encased in the crystal dimsum wrapper. The sight of the generously stuffed har gaos was very appetizing. The shrimps were very tender, juicy and had a sweet aftertaste. I recommend dipping this in chili oil or chili paste.



The dimsum chefs at Li Li did a great job in making their Xiao Long Bao (steamed pork dumpling). The xiao long bao pouch was intact when I lifted one from the tray, keeping all those precious dimsum soup inside for me to enjoy. I enjoy this one with a little bit of soy sauce and black vinegar.



Very few Cantonese restaurants in Manila serve Steamed Bean Curd Roll with Pork and Shrimp in their all you can eat dim sum lunch promotion. So when we saw this on the menu, we made sure we order it. The bean curd skin was easy to chew which means that it was freshly made and not over steamed. It is served with satay sauce which elevated the savory taste of the pork and shrimps.



The Steamed Rice Rolls with Shrimp, or Chang Fen in Cantonese, is very common in Guangzhou and Shenzhen but is very seldom offered by Cantonese restaurants in Manila. I have long been craving for this so I also order two pieces of it. Taste-wise, it was very close to those I tried in Guangzhou. My craving was indeed satisfied.



Joong (steamed glutinous rice with assorted meat in lotus leaf) reminds me of my breakfasts in Hong Kong. Called ma chang here in Manila, I always struggle to finish a whole serving of this dish, thankfully Li Li adapted the Hong Kong style of serving them in smaller portions. At this point, I was already starting to get full. We decided to try out some of the fired and baked variants of dim sum.



I am totally unfamiliar with Ham Sui Kok (deep-fried glutinous rice dumpling stuffed with pork and chicken) but it was surprisingly good. The texture of the dumpling is similar to buchi only the filling was a savory mix of pork and chicken with hints of five-spice and black pepper.



Another favorite of mine when I travel to Hong Kong is the Char Siu Sou (baked puff pastry with pork barbecue). The sweet and savory filling is enveloped in a flaky pastry. I usually buy a pack of 10 char siu sou in Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon) and I would eat this while waiting for my flight at the airport. I also bring home a box of this to Manila as pasalubong.



The all you can eat dim sum menu also includes Rice, Noodles and Congee as well as Main Course (4 choices) but since we were already full, we will reserve these for our next visit. For now we go straight to Dessert (5 choices). The first one we tried was the Li Li signature Brown Chocolate Dumpling with Peanuts. The texture was softer than the Japanese mochi. The chocolate filling was not too sweet and it went well with the crushed peanut coating of the dessert.



Another dessert we had was the Hot Taro Dumpling. This is made of taro paste wrapped with glutinous rice dough. Shaped into balls, they are coated with sesame seeds and then deep-fried until golden brown. The texture is similar to buchi while the taro stuffing was not too sweet.



For my drink, I order the Guava Iced Tea (P200) which is the signature iced tea drink of Li Li Restaurant. I like how they were able to blend the flavors of guava with tea. The guava also gave the drink an interesting sandy texture. A bit on the sweet side, the taste balances out when the ice starts to melt. The drink was refreshing and is effective in cleansing the palate between dishes.



The All You Can Eat Dim Sum lunch at Li Li Restaurant is available for only P1,088 net per person from Monday to Saturday and P1,188 net per person on Sundays. Considering the wide variety of dim sum choices and the premium appetizers and dessert offered, this dim sum lunch is indeed a great value for money.



The possibility of ordering dim sum by the piece (instead of the standard 3-4 pieces per serving) is also something that puts Li Li Restaurant a notch higher than other Cantonese restaurants in Manila. Having said all of these, I will definitely be visiting again to try the other offerings from the all you can eat dim sum menu.




Li Li Restaurant
New World Manila Bay Hotel
1588 Pedro Gil corner M.H. Del Pilar, Manila City
Contact: 63 (02) 8252 6888
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