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Chicken with Minced Mushroom in Egg White Wrapper.

The influx of Chinese workers mainly due to the emergence of Philippine offshore gaming operations or POGO may have created the need for more authentic Chinese restaurants that cater to their dining needs. Although Chinese cuisine has been part of our food culture, we cannot deny the renewed emphasis and interest on anything Chinese.

When asked if The Empress Dining Palace would also cater to this market, the chief operating officer Aida Velasco gave a resounding yes.

“Yes, there are a lot of Chinese working from Makati area. In fact, some of them were just here this morning and they love our Cantonese cuisine,” Velasco said.

Perhaps the reason for the restaurant’s excellent cuisine is Master Chef Lam Pui Hung, who hails from Hong Kong and has been at the helm of the Empress Dining Palace kitchen since it opened this year.

(From left) Master Chef Lam Pui Hung and COO Aida Velasco.

 

The Empress Peking Duck.

 

Steamed Seabass Fillet with Cordycep Flower and Fungus.

 

Steamed Soupy Pork Dumpling Xiao Long Bao.

 

The Empress Four Treasure Clear Soup.

 

treasure pot.

Master Chef Lam’s 26-year experience in the culinary scene has honed his skills in cooking traditional Cantonese dishes and attracting the Filipino taste.

“There’s no need for me to adjust to the Filipino palate since I really want to introduce original Cantonese cuisine and its authentic taste,” said chef Lam, as translated by an interpreter. He added that the Philippines is rich in seafoods and other ingredients for cooking.

While provinces in China have different cuisines, Cantonese is universally favored by everyone.

“Cantonese can be appreciated by everyone. Each province in China has a different cooking method. The local Chinese like Cantonese cuisine,” Velasco said.

Master Chef Lam’s 26-year experience in the culinary scene has honed his skills in cooking traditional Cantonese dishes and attracting the Filipino taste.

She describes Cantonese cuisine as: “Very flavorful and savory. Malasa. For the Sweet and Sour, you can distinguish if a Cantonese chef cooked it. Rich people have Cantonese chefs.”

At the Empress Dining Palace launch, laid out were The Empress Peking Duck, Steamed Soupy Pork Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao), The Empress Four Treasure Clear Soup, The Empress Treasure Pot, Steamed Seabass Fillet with Cordycep Flower and Fungus, Chicken with Minced Mushroom in Egg White Wrapper and Almond Beancurd with Longan.

Chef Lam is particularly proud of the Empress Treasure Pot that he is introducing in the Philippines.

Chef Lam’s Empress Treasure Pot is a celebratory pot filled with premium delicacies such as abalone, sea cucumbers, Peking duck slices and shiitake mushrooms. “It is an auspicious dish with 14 kinds of ingredients or treasures and it’s served during special occasions,” Velasco said.

“It is traditional Chinese in one of their provinces. There are a lot of ingredients in it. It’s delicious. The ingredients actually depend on who the chef is. It can be served during special occasions like Christmas and New Year,” Velasco added.

Chef Lam said that his father introduced him to the treasure pot. Chef Lam reveals he has perfected this poon choi at a young age.

“When I was small, this is what our father used to serve in the province. This is what we always eat. So when we grew up, we learned how to do this so we can serve it during special occasions,” said chef Lam, who can also curate a unique eight-course meal called Celebrations Menu for occasions like birthdays and reunions.

Chef Lam is also teaching Cantonese cuisine to Filipino chefs in the Empress Dining Palace Kitchen. “I am the only Cantonese chef and the rest are Filipinos and they are very good. They are quick to adapt to what I am teaching them so it is a good thing,” he shared.

“There is no division between the people outside and inside the kitchen. We are one team. They must keep providing quality service the same way the kitchen must consistently prepare great food,” he added.

The restaurant’s main dining hall can seat 108 guests and also has VIP rooms that can accommodate up to 48 guests while the conference rooms are up to 18.
Although they accept orders for delivery, Velasco said the delivery area should be in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant. “Because all Chinese food, when it is cold, is not good to eat anymore. It should be eaten piping hot.”

The Empress Dining Palace is located at 7th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig City. It is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturdays and Sundays, it serves all day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information and promos on The Empress Dining Palace, check out its Facebook page www.facebook.com/empressdiningpalace/ or call 09155431862.

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