With that, I really give a lot of effort on thinking of places to treat my families and dear friends in. My birthday celebration began two Sundays ago when Irene and I treated the club to an afternoon merienda at Bag of Beans in Tagaytay. I love their Shepherd's Pie, Hot Chocolate and Bread! I'm glad that the rest of The Foodie Club enjoyed our simple merienda treat too.
This was followed with an intimate Chinese dinner with my best friend T, my sister Pan and of course, my husband Paul at the newly-opened Choi Palace at the Eastwood Mall. What made this dinner interesting was the fact that my friend T, who just had her teeth whitened, is not allowed to eat anything colored. Thus, I spent the entire morning racking my brain on where we should have our dinner. While others may find this quite challenging, I actually had a great time searching and thinking and finally, after asking one of my colleagues for suggestions and she told me to just go to a place that serves congee, a light bulb moment came when I remembered that I've been wanting to try Choi Palace for a couple of months now. I checked their menu, gave them a call to reserve a table and happily sent T an SMS that we're having dinner at Choi Palace!
Choi Palace is the sister restaurant of our favorite HK Choi in SM Megamall and Choi Garden along Annapolis Street in Greenhills. My family loves dining at Choi where we're assured of great service and delicious food all the time.
Paul and I were the first to arrive. We were led to our booth along a narrow hallway where the function rooms were located. If you walk further in, then you'll see a bigger dining area where bigger groups may dine here.
I love the dainty looking dining wares which makes it quite different from other Chinese restaurants.
Finally Pan and T arrived just about the same time and I began to order our meal. First off was the Steamed Fish Fillet with Garlic (Php. 450) specially ordered for my dear friend T. I requested the server not to add soy sauce so as not to stain T's pearly whites. As usual, the fish was delicious. Despite not having the soy sauce, it was very flavorful due to the minced garlic sprinkled on top of the steamed fish fillet. T enjoyed this as well together with her bowl of Steamed Rice.
I know I'm supposed to order dishes without color but I couldn't help but get the Curry Handmade Fish Balls (Php. 300) after reading about it in Richard's blog entry. I love anything with curry and I'm actually glad that I ordered this because it really was yummy. Even T tried a piece after wiping off the curry sauce from the fish ball. Paul enjoyed adding lots of curry sauce into his rice to add more flavor. I highly recommend this dish.
Another white-inspired dish was the Shrimp Rice Roll (Php. 140). Once again, we asked the server to put the soy sauce in a separate bowl. I'm so happy that the staff of Choi Palace did as requested. The shrimps were very juicy and plump making this dish worth every penny.
I can't help not ordering a vegetable dish every time I dine at a Chinese restaurant. All the more I can't resist not trying the Broccoli with Dried Scallops (Php. 350) where it has two of my favorite food items. I love how crisp the broccoli was and the dried scallops were just delicious. I just find the dish having too much sauce where the scallops where already swimming in the thick sauce. It was just a-ok given the expensive price tag.
Lastly, I got a plate of Yang Chow Fried Rice (Php. 320) to share. While T was happy with her white rice, I knew my birthday dinner will not be complete without a noodle or fried rice dish. Since Paul reminded me that we will be having an Italian lunch with my Grandparents the next day and that would be noodles overload for us, I opted to go for the fried rice instead. Choi Palace's Yang Chow Fried Rice was ok. Nothing extra ordinary about it. It was filled with a lot of shrimps, chorizo, veggies and peas and goes well with our dishes that evening but I felt like it was also a bit too expensive given that I've had better fried rice elsewhere.
I love Chinese food and I'm glad that I was finally able to try Choi Palace. While my heart still belongs to HK Choi, I'm glad that there's now a good dining option while shopping in Eastwood City.
*photo credit: Paul Ang
Choi Palace is located at the 3rd floor of the Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City. Call them at 706-7807 / 706-7809.