I recently visited The Manila Hotel twice in two weeks, and for good reason: first to sample the delicious Cantonese food offered at its new restaurant, Red Jade; and then I returned to treat my parents to the dim sum buffet it offers every lunch time.
Red Jade is definitely a place to celebrate special family occasions or even go on a one-of-a-kind date night. This new dining destination boasts of expertly prepared authentic Cantonese cuisine, beautifully set tableware, lighting and art installations, elegantly carved furniture, wonderfully woven carpets, and specially created wood and lattice work.
Sumptuous food selections
Red Jade successfully offers Cantonese food made extra indulgent using fresh ingredients. I was recently able to try some of their regular menu items as well as a special menu, which you can have for your own private occasions for around P2,800 per person, good for 10-12 persons. All the main courses we tried came in huge portions, served family style.
Dimsum sampler: Har Gao, Crispy Fried Shrimp Stuffed with Cheese, and Radish Cake
Start off a delectable meal with various appetizers and barbecued specialties. Dimsum lovers would delight in Red Jade’s dimsum menu, which includes steamed Steamed Shrimp Dumpling or “Har Gao” and Pan-fried Radish Cake “Bi Feng Tang Style.” I like how the Har Gao is stuffed with a whole shrimp, cooked well, and the wrap they used is delicious. The Radish Cake has a certain crispness to it, with a light, slightly sweet taste. Our sampler also included the modern dimsum Crispy Fried Shrimp Stuffed with Cheese. The wrap is made of crispy flakes and filled with slices of shrimp and creamy, savory-sweet cheese, complemented by the zing of wasabi mayo.
Seafood Spinach Soup
Also experience the restaurant’s superb selection of traditional hearty soups. I was able to try the Seafood Spinach Soup, which was topped with a tofu coin and fish roe. The warm and comforting thick soup had slices of shrimp in it, which I enjoyed, along with slivers of egg.
Savor live seafood options cooked various ways (steamed, with salt and pepper, hot pot with vermicelli, ginger onion sauce, Singapore chili sauce, or deep-fried with salted egg yolk or bean curd) and other fresh seafood that are masterfully prepared by their resident Cantonese Chef de Cuisine, Sun Bing.
Lobster Glazed with Sliced Almonds
We were served a huge plate of lobster sourced from Vietnam and cooked the modern way using almond flakes. There’s a creaminess and sweetness to it that made it a hit in my book!
Fried Stuffed Scallops with Crab Roe Sauce
The fried stuffed scallops they cooked with crab roe sauce are likewise huge and sourced from Vietnam. The crab roe sauce made the dish so rich and sinful.
Other delectable choices in the menu are poultry, pork, and beef dishes, as well as vegetables and vegetarian selections, rice, noodles, and desserts that are all distinctively special.
Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Honey Pepper Sauce
The Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Honey Pepper Sauce tasted so good—very flavorful and tender! I enjoyed it a lot, considering I don’t even like lamb. There’s only a hint of pepper and the light sweetness was able to tame the gaminess of the meat.
Dan Dan Noodles Szechuan Style
I also liked the spice level (high) of the Dan Dan Noodles Szechuan Style (P180 a la carte), which kept the meal interesting. Every sip filled my mouth with heat and flavor. It’s definitely filling even when eaten on its own.
Wagyu Beef with Olives Fried Rice
I was so excited to try the Wagyu Beef with Olives Fried Rice (P510 a la carte) because, well, it’s Wagyu! The exceptionally tender meat did not disappoint, and it had a light taste that complemented the flavorful rice without overwhelming the palate. I wish the sauce used had a hint of sweetness—and maybe there should be more beef? But that’s just me.
Braised Lo Han Chai in Taro Ring
I’m not really a fan of veggies, but vegetarians will enjoy the Braised Lo Han Chai in Taro Ring (vegetarian dish, P480 a la carte), which has mushrooms and cashew nuts in a savory sauce, surrounded by a crispy fried rich taro ring that makes it Instagrammable.
Fried Ice Cream with Mango Sauce
For dessert, we had the Fried Ice Cream with Mango Sauce, which incorporates local flavor. Crispy breading covered the vanilla ice cream, topped with warm mango sauce. It offered a delightful mix of both hot and cold in one dessert. It was decadent, but not overwhelming; refreshing; and a perfect palate cleanser after all the rich dishes we tried.
Surprisingly, what stood out and what I liked the most out of all the dishes I tried are what I don’t even usually like to eat: the lobster and the lamb dishes. Chef Sun Bing successfully made these dishes in a delicious way that took away what I would normally dislike about them: lamb’s gaminess and lobster’s odd texture (in my opinion, at least). If someone who doesn’t even like lamb and lobster enjoyed these dishes, imagine your heaven if you actually love lobster and lamb (granted, some people like the gamey taste).
All the dimsum you can eat
For P988 net per person, indulge in a fine selection of freshly made dimsum complemented with a pot of premium tea on the house. The dimsum buffet is available for lunch daily from 11AM to 3PM. Get your fill of 18 different types of dimsum, cold cuts, soup, rice, noodles, and dessert, and choose one from their four main courses that includes Stir-fried Vegetables, Sweet and Sour Fish, and the flavorful Crispy Fried Pork Ribs, which are my favorite.
My personal favorites on the dimsum buffet menu are the Roasted Pork Barbecue (AKA Asado), Yang Chow Fried Rice (totally worth ruining my no-rice diet for), Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup (perfect for rainy days), and the savory Hong Kong Style Stir-Fried Egg Noodles.
What I liked from the dimsum selection are classic favorites such as Steamed Pork and Shrimp Siomai, Deep-fried Wonton, Steamed Crystal Shrimp Dumpling or Har Gao, Custard Bao (it’s not too sweet), and two adorably shaped ones: the chick-shaped Ham Sui Kok or Baked Pork Barbecued Puff and the pig-shaped Volcano Bun, which also had custard in it.
Volcano Bun (pig) and Ham Sui Kok (chick)
You tick off each item you want from the menu, which the staff will provide in checklist format. Each item is served by piece so you may want to indicate how many of each item you’d like. I suggest you sample each first, then order more of what you like in the next round if you still have room to eat, since you will be charged for leftover food.
The interiors of Red Jade are beautiful, exuding understated elegance and refinement. Red is the dominant color on the chairs and walls with intricate and ornate details, surrounded by decor and figurines. The art on the walls are said to tell the story of the philosopher Confucius.
Red is a popular color in Chib?nese culture, symbolizing luck, happiness, and joy, as well as a time of celebration. On the other hand, jade is a precious stone associated with good luck. The Red Jade name was inspired by the restaurant’s vibrant red theme and design, combined with the lucky jade name as a symbol of good health, success, and prosperity.
Red Jade also has several private rooms you can book for your special occasions, where you can enjoy a special menu similar to what I had described here.
Red Jade is located inside Manila Hotel where Mabuhay Palace used to be. For reservations and inquiries, you may call the restaurant team at (632) 527 0011 ext. 1262 to 1264 or send an email to email@example.com.