Yumchee at BGC Stopover Pavilion is a newly opened premium fastfood restaurant that aims more toward serving traditional Chinese comfort food in a contemporary, hip setting. Chinese comfort food can be a dangerous game to play now with fierce competition in Metro Manila. So many places mess it up, and the catastrophes tend to be bigger than those at more straightforward restaurants. But I tell you, Yumchee does it incredibly well. This is where savory Chinese dimsum and congee sit nicely aside bowls of noodle soup and some delicious combinations of viands. I had lunch here with my KTG foodie friends two weeks ago. 🙂
Review of Yumchee (BGC Stopover Pavilion, Bonifacio Global City)
Arriving at Yumchee felt very much like discovering a little-known gem. The setup is similar to regular casual fastfood joints where dining guests view the menu behind the counter to order and pay. What’s notably different though is that the menu is animated. 🙂 Photos of food are enhanced with hot steam smoke, an effect that makes dishes look more appetizing.
Yumchee is outfitted with simple fixtures, comfortable furnishings, clean flooring, and bright lighting. It’s spacious enough to accommodate big groups. For business lunches, family dinners, or after-work meals, this is the place to be.
Everything was pleasant. Dishes came out fast as what you would normally anticipate from a fastfood or quick-service restaurant. We met the owners and they were very accommodating. Staffs were also attentive and helpful. I hope that this positive attitude will remain consistent even after their soft opening.
“Dim sum” is to the Chinese what tapas is to the Spanish. It’s all about small servings of different dishes representing a variety of great foods and tastes. We tried the following and thought they were absolutely well executed—a far cry from food stalls normally selling such a hearty delicacy in the busy parts of the city.
The Pork Shrimp Siomai (PhP 85), the Beancurd Shrimp Roll (PhP 85), and the Shrimp Dumpling (PhP 85) were stuffed to the brim without overwhelming the wrapper. I guess it’s worth mentioning that the wrapper was moderately thick and not doughy. It was tender but with a bit of elastic chew. Translucency was made perfect, barely revealing what’s stuffed inside. The fillings were moist and packed with the true flavor.
Not skimpy on the meat filling as well, Fried Wanton (PhP 85) had a crisp crust and the sauce served with it was quite delicious. It could have been a deeper golden brown though, to add points for attraction.
Yumchee’s Asado Siopao or BBQ Pork Buns (PhP 85) had three defining components: the fluffy steamed bun, tenderness of the pork, and its aromatic asado flavor. When combined, it resulted to a messy, colorful, glorious snack of sweet delight, with multiple textures to boot. It’s one of the dim sum you can order and eat while on-the-go.
Clean and thin in texture, the Wanton Noodle Soup (PhP 159) in itself was a filling meal with delicate flavors and a soul-satisfying warmth. Bouncy pork was the star. Overall, this entree tasted okay but not at par with the wanton soup of my youth, the one that originally made me fall in love with the salty, slippery comforting soup dish. I thought the difference lies in the broth. It’s a worthy dish to try at Yumchee nonetheless.
Two times better than the Wanton Noodle Soup, the Beef Brisket Noodle Soup (PhP 159) had sizable portions of juicy and tender beef brisket that lent body and flavor to the broth for the most part. The soup tasted like it was made with care in a real kitchen using real ingredients. This version was good enough as it did not come out strong on MSG. Would I want to hunker down on a cold night with only this bowl to keep me company? Probably yes, when I’m in BGC. 🙂
Congee or Chinese porridge is a staple in our home. The right water to rice ratio is the key to cooking it perfectly, and both Yumchee’s Pork with Century + Salted Egg Congee (PhP 159) and Mixed Seafood Congee (PhP 189) were able to pass our taste test. They’re silky and comforting while not being sludgy or overly heavy. The grains of rice were soft and thoroughly blended together. Yummy!
Set meals at Yumchee consist of one main dish, one side dish, and rice or soup. Options are as follows: Steamed Rice + Soup, Vegetable Fried Rice + Soup, Stir-fried Noodles + Soup, Seasonal Vegetables. I highly recommend the Chicken Chop (PhP 199) which reminded me of Taiwan’s crispy chicken chops, Orange Chicken (PhP 199) for its sweet orange-y kick, Beef Brisket (PhP 219) for the well-marbled meat, and the Fish Fillet with Tofu (PhP 199) which was presented in a mild sauce with melt-in-your-mouth soft fish fillet and tofu.
Drinks and Desserts
Drinks and desserts served were wickedly refreshing. I had the Iced Milk Tea (PhP 68) and was successfully satisfied. It was smooth, creamy, and fragrant. 🙂 Shaved ice with fruits (PhP 78 each) were awesome thirst-quenching concoctions with condensed milk. The combination of fruit selections kept every bite an interesting one. (Note: You get to pick two toppings for each order.) In the hot and sticky heat in the Philippines, a bowl of Shaved Ice will hydrate and cool you down fast.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
I have to admit, I entered Yumchee with low expectation and some trepidation. I grew up and still live in Chinatown, so pretty much, tasty and authentic Chinese food is easily accessible both in restaurants nearby and at home.
Biting into our first dim sum at Yumchee, I wondered then, could this possibly be any good? The answer is yes! Prices are no way on the steep side and their menu is solid, too—better than most Chinese fastfood joints away from Binondo. 🙂
On the same venue, we also got to greet Boss Spanky a happy birthday since he had just celebrated his birthday a few days ago. The birthday cake with The Kain Tulog Gang’s logo was made by Goldilocks. The cake’s print design looked really adorable and it’s incredibly edible! 🙂
Operating hours: 10:30am-10pm