Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant : Modern Chinese Cuisine at its Finest

Growing up, I remember Papa telling me that what makes the Chinese cuisine different and special is its endless variety of dishes. He told me about this age-old practice that for one to be considered a good Chinese chef, he/she should be able to find 100 ways to cook an egg. This may or may not be true but what it really means is that the Chinese cuisine continues to evolve and innovate itself thus making it a popular cuisine all over the world.

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I just had such an unforgettable dinner last Monday at Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant along Wilson street. This has been around for 12 years already and I've had fond memories of spending almost everyone's birthdays and a number of Chinese New Years with my family here. Aside from it being really close to our home, we have grown fond and addicted to a number of Hai Kang's specialties too. However, we have been around town trying a number of new restaurants thus it has been a while since we've dined at Hai Kang.

This is the reason why I quickly said yes to an invitation to have a small group dinner at Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant last Monday. Despite the bad weather, Paul and I agreed that we will still go no matter what -- rain or shine.

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As soon as our group was complete, our Chinese feast began with the Hai Kang 4 Kinds Hot Cuts (Php. 1,200 / Php. 1, 500). We normally have cold cuts platters in lauriat dinners that consists of my favorite jellyfish and century egg. I was impressed that this platter was a couple of notches higher than the usual appetizer platter with crispy squid, hot chicken salad, sweet and sour spareribs, stir-fried shrimps with veggies and fresh jellyfish in the middle. I really can't say which one I liked best as I enjoyed all 5 of them! The jellyfish had the right bite and was sweet and juicy just the way I love it, the hot chicken salad had just the right amount of mayonnaise and was crunchy and tender too. The spareribs were addicting that I couldn't help but take an extra piece more than I really should, the squid had the right mix of spices and the shrimps was good too.

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I seriously had to stop myself from getting more as I was warned that there will be a total of 10 dishes to be served that evening. Oh.my.goodness.! Our next dish was the Laksa Prawns (Php. 180/piece). You know the feeling when you've tasted something so good...so heavenly that you just can't stop smiling? Not minding the fact that I may look silly to my dinner companions, I fell totally in love with the Laksa Prawns. I love how big and meaty the prawns were giving me the impression that it was really worth the premium price tag. Hey, I wouldn't mind paying for 10 pieces if I get the chance to. The sauce was very flavorful and it is a must to mop up the sauce using the delicious mantou bread served together with the prawns. I love the sweet, slightly spicy sauce that will make you want more! In my next visit, I will make sure to have a plate of Laksa Prawns to enjoy again. This is definitely love at first bite. ♥

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My husband Paul loves beancurd sheet (tao pe) thus we always make it a point to order this whenever we're having a dimsum meal. He loves this steamed and at times filled with seafood too. However, it was our first time to try the Fried Tao-Pe Roll with Country-Style Sauce (Php. 400 / Php. 600 / Php. 800). Take my advice, do not under estimate the Country-Style sauce. Try it and I'm sure you'll agree with me that it's really one delicious creamy sauce that goes perfectly well with the fried beancurd sheet filled with meat. We were on our third dish and we're all in such a happy mood that counters the temperamental weather outside.

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To warm our tummies, we had the Pumpkin Seafood Soup (Php 500 / Php. 750 / Php. 1,100). Save for the inclusion of clams, I enjoyed this creamy soup as I love anything with pumpkin! The sweet flavor brought by the pumpkin made it so yummy and once again each bowl was filled with an assortment of seafood such as shrimps, clams, squid and crabstick.

At this point I was ready to wave the white flag but our host joyfully told us that we were just half way through. What?!?! Times I this I hope I have four stomach chambers just like a cow. *sigh*

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As I tried to sit up straight hoping that a small space will clear up inside my tummy, out came the Steamed Eel on Lotus Rice (Php. 1,800/kilo). I love all types of flavored rice and it was my first time to have boneless steamed eel making it such a breeze to bite into. The rice was so delicious as it was cooked with the eel, chinese sausage, asado-like sauce and veggies. This dish is a meal on its own and when you get to visit Hai Kang, I recommend you try this.

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Who would have thought that egg whites can be so flavorful? We were in for a surprise as we tried the Egg White with Seafood (Php. 600 / Php. 900 / Php. 1,200). My never thought egg whites can taste THIS good! Perfectly stir-fried with chopped seafood pieces and topped with pork floss. Fellow blogger Jo even declared that she will marry the man who can prepare this dish for her! She's right, after all, it's not an easy dish to create as it takes a certain amount of skill, patience and lots of love to make this simple looking yet totally mind-blowing dish.

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I really couldn't take another bite thus the last dish that I tried was the Fried Soft Shell Crab with Salt and Pepper (Php. 600 / Php. 900 / Php. 1,200). Normally, we get steamed or fried crabs during lauriat thus it was really a welcome treat to have something different. Something that won't require you to get your hands oily. I love how you can eat the entire thing without biting into a piece of shell. It was perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper too.

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We also had the Udon Noodles with Seafood Sate Sauce (Php. 350 / Php. 525 / Php. 1,700) which can be a good alternative to the traditional Birthday Noodles. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try this anymore but it seemed like my companions all enjoyed it.

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For dessert, we had the Hot Black Sesame Seed Dumpling Soup (Php 250 / Php. 375 / Php. 500). Don't be intimated with the dark black soup as it's really one delicious sweet dessert that is pretty unique to Hai Kang. I love Black Sesame and this one was really good. The dumpling is actually made of sticky glutinous rice with black sesame filling inside. This is similar to the peanut-filled sticky dumpling (tsiong-wan-yi) that we normally have during Chinese New Year.

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We ended our meal with the Fried Masachi (Php. 80 / 4 pieces). Paul loves Masachi which is also a glutinous dessert filled with black sesame paste too. This was okay for me but I prefer having buchi (glutinous balls covered with sesame seed) in any given day.

I had such a great experience that I am wishing that Papa's birthday would come sooner for us to be able to have another lauriat dinner at Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant again.

Click here to see their Set Menus. 

*photo credit: Paul Ang

Visit Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant at 227 Wilson St Greenhills, San Juan. Call them at 570-6325. I suggest you go early as parking is pretty limited.

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