Last time we were in MOA food hunting, we were ensnared by the design and colors of Xin Wang Hongkong Café. Apparently, it’s now Manila’s finest Hong Kong-style café. While I thought that Xin Wang originally came from Hong Kong as hinted by its name, I was wrong. It gained its roots from Singapore! Here is the link to its branch locations in Singapore.
I have been around all these places. But how come I have not noticed this super nice café-restaurant before when I was living there? I guess I was too busy looking for pure vegetarian restaurants or those serving local dishes…
Anyway, moving on, I have learned this branch in SM Mall of Asia is its first in the Philippines. Website reviews say that if you can’t fly all the way to the different Asian countries, “Xin Wang is the next best thing to take a food trip down to Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Singapore.”
Review of Xin Wang Hongkong Café (SM Mall of Asia, Pasay)
The walls, decorations, lights, fixtures and everything else were feisty. When we were inside, we somewhat felt like we were really dining in Hongkong, Macau, Shanghai or Singapore. Every table was filled with guest diners, and waiters were literally running their way to serve customers with satisfaction. Xin Wang is a busy restaurant with minimalist, friendly and alluring ambiance, far from the ones we frequent in Chinatown.
The security guard and not the waiter opened for us, and he also was the one who asked for the count of each group diners. As said, waiters were too busy attending to hunger calls of everyone that their job of receiving guests fell to the guard’s post instead. This is okay, as long as we were entertained well. The displeasing factor was when Mom ordered a glass of house water three to four times before it was given.
Because we are authentic Chinese, we go to Chinese restaurants almost all the time since we were little. Mom and the rest of the clan cooks Chinese food, and the same Chinese food is devoured whenever we have family celebrations and gatherings. So unless there’s really something special to the restaurant dishing up oriental-inspired food, we’d be too tired to give Chinese cuisine a try.
Xin Wang Hongkong Café proudly showcases the flavors of Hong Kong’s diverse cuisine. Its pictures on the menu are so nice and vibrant that we can’t just let the food pass without sampling them. There are Asian culinary delights, of course, such as dimsum, traditional curries, stews and succulent viands with rice. But there are also Western cravings with plates of sizzling chicken and pork chops slathered with gravy some French Fries and fried egg, as well as thick pillow-soft French toasts.
We ordered cheese baked rice with fish fillet, prawn and egg with hor fun, HK steamed mushroom chicken bamboo rice, and one plain rice. The crispy fish fillet came together as one with the mozzarella cheese and the baked rice tasted great. However, I prefer Swensen’s version of the same dish. The prawn and egg hor fun is a wet noodle dish that tasted just the same as the familiar seafood hor fun we have in our palates. The difference was that it was overflowing too much in a delectable sauce that comes nowhere close to the usual wet stir-fry rice noodles we have.
Next was the steamed mushroom chicken bamboo rice, one of their house specialties. I saw many other customers order the same. It contained only little bits of chicken and more of mushrooms and vegetables. I did not taste the bamboo flavor as I expected, but every morsel was overall okay. Mom mixed the sauce from the hor fun dish to the bamboo rice and it became even more fantastic.
For the drinks, we had iced HK ying yong (combination of coffee and milk tea) and iced grass jelly with lychee and nata de coco. Mom had especially researched on the ratings of these two drinks on the web. Ying yong is a signature drink that café regulars are raving about. I have to say that it’s REALLY good! The other one was also a likeable treat, but it has nothing unique taste-wise. The glass was just nice to hold because it was in the shape of a vase.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Prices of our ordered dishes ranged from PHp 195 to PHp 225. Drink was PHp 75 each. Total food bill amounted to PHp 417 only when original price without the discount was PHp 817. (Mommy bought us a voucher from Ensogo that gave us a discount of PHp 200.)
Without the Ensogo voucher, I would have to rate this three over five stars because clearly the dishes are relatively expensive considering the serving size. Still, Xin Wang Hongkong Café is a commendable and recommendable restaurant for hanging out with friends and family for any meal and any occasion. There are still more unique dishes to try out so we’ll have to give it another visit next time. :-p