Partially because last Sunday was Father’s Day (父亲节) but mostly because this restaurant is awesome, King Chef in Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo was completely packed with people. Still, the queue outside seemed unending. Why not? King Chef’s exterior and interior designs shine exuberance while its dishes give every flare and flavor that one would expect from an upscale and authentic Chinese restaurant.
Plenty of à la carte selections are available on the menu, but the fun is in the set or packaged offerings for groups which taste all like the good life…like royalty (including the cost). 😛
Review of King Chef Seafood Restaurant (Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo)
This branch of King Chef in LCM has just celebrated its first anniversary, after opening last June 8, 2012. After one year, the design and ambiance have been kept quite the same. Everything inside spells “class” and everything in terms of theme is coordinated. Walls, chairs and tablecloths are in gold, as well as the teeth of waiters assigned to your table. Ting!
Nah, I’m just kidding on that last one. 😛
Since time immemorial, we have been eating out at Chinese restaurants with likely the same menu and ambiance. I can probably say that King Chef has about similar rate of grandiose and bright setting as Gloria Maris, Tao Yan, Crystal Jade and Lugang Cafe — where “fine-dining” and “festive” can be put as common denominators.
Aside from occupying the “ballroom” dining area, guests can sit inside function rooms by reservation. We took two tables and were accommodated inside the exclusive Princess Yang Kwei-Fei’s (貴妃) room.
There was no hovering and no rushing patrons to leave so they can fill the next table. While the rest of their service and treatment were great, there was one quibbling thing to point out: waiters at times failed to deliver food in a timely manner. However, I can be considerate to acknowledge their busyness. Indeed, there were so many customers and so many orders coming into and from the kitchen. Eating a full-blown Chinese lauriat lunch combo helped make wait time for the arrival of the next dish tolerable; there were still loads of food left on the lazy Susan anyway.
Large dishes at King Chef take “large” to its very literal sense. Here are dishes we ordered, which were served in this order:
Yang Chow Fried Rice (Large, PHp 525)
Kung Pao Chicken (Large, PHp 875)
Seafood with Spinach Soup (Large, Php 620)
King Chef Vegetarian Hot Pot (Small, PHp 300)
Shellmeat Brocolli (Large, PHp 920)
Cha Misua (Large, PHp 420)
Steamed Lapu Lapu (Large, PHp 960)
Fried King Fish in Mango Sauce (Large, PHp 1160)
Hong Kong Spare Ribs (Large, PHp 750)
Mango Sago (Complimentary Dessert)
With dynamite blend of flavors and textures, everything tasted perfectly — though my favorite was hands-down the staple Yang Chow Fried Rice because it is rice and viand in one.
A beacon of ingenuity, the standout dish had to be the Fried King Fish in Mango Sauce which I’d be glad to get the recipe of. Its glory lies in the textual contrast between the taste of salt and pepper mix and mango. If you can’t imagine that, just take the “more ordinary” steamed lapu-lapu and add sip into mango sago at the same time. Probably that would do justice.
Additionally, every platter of food was technically immaculate, clever and beautifully presented. Yes, presentation added huge value on creativity while sticking to the essence of traditional Chinese food. We ended up with happy tummies before leaving the place. 😛
Next time I’d love to try their dim sum delights. King Chef runs a regular promo wherein prices of their dim sum are discounted at about 50 percent every day from 7AM to 9AM, 2PM to 5PM and 9PM to 12AM. These dim sum (or snacks, in Chinese) go beyond the usual pork siomai and shark’s-fin siomai, mind you, but everything!
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
Set in a landmark building, King Chef boasts a fine ambiance and service to match, so high prices aren’t exactly a surprise. A number of my friends are asking me for good restaurant recommendations where they can gather for business meetings and celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Well, guys, I have shown you the way. The ball, now, is in your court. 😀
King Chef Seafood Restaurant
2F Lucky China Town Mall, Binondo, Manila
For inquiries, contact (02) 720 8594 or (02) 466 5765
Daily – 11AM to 11PM
989 Banawe St., Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 410 4919