Chinese food may be common and easy to find but if you want the best, Choi City Seafood Restaurant is the place to be. Now that Choi City is in Cebu, Hong Kong is just minutes away from wherever you are in the city.
I've heard that Choi City has excellent food but is expensive. This remark was what has been hindering me from trying this resto. To my surprise, I was recently invited by the resto for dinner and I was privileged to invite family and friends. I invited my dad and two of his closest friends, Tito Mark and Tito Nic, so they could experience what I usually enjoy during blog invites. :D
|the babe with the dudes |
(from left) Aaron Go, relative of the franchisee, Tito Nic, Tito Mark, and Dad
Like most typical Chinese restaurants, the dominance of red meets the eye. The sincere and warm welcome of the staff make you feel comfy in such a classy ambience (talk about a revolving chandelier!). No wonder celebrities like to frequent this place. Annabelle Rama was right across my table that night.
A shabu-shabu set was prepared on my table. Before the shabu-shabu platters were served, the first dish they offered me was their Roast Layered Pork. Succulent, tender cubes of meat with a considerably thin layer of fat and a tasty crisp skin met my palate. This was accompanied by a mustard sauce.
This was followed by their signature dish, the renowned Xiao Long Bao, which I've been hearing about. The only and last time I've eaten this soupy meat dumpling was when I was in Xiamen,China back in 2005. It was one of my indulgences there and the memory of the taste and texture lingers. The reunion with this dish after so long was just invigorating.
|roast layered pork, shabu-shabu set and xiao long bao|
|Roast Layered Pork|
|the renowned dish: Xiao Long Bao|
To refresh my palate throughout the meal, I was offered their Tropical Coolers which came in choices of 5 flavors: Pink Lemonade, Orange Sparkle, Tropical Delight, Coconut Fizz and Banana Fizz. This special beverage offering changes every two months for that interesting appeal and is only P99. I took the recommendation of the Coconut Fizz. It was a pleasant surprise to find that it wasn't overwhelmingly sweet like most shakes. It had a gentle coconut flavor and colorful gulaman (jelly). Now that's a quality shake. :)
And finally, the shabu-shabu came; two platters with raw/fresh vegetables, glass noodles, dumplings and soup balls in one, and a variety of meat in the other. The broth is first brought to a boil before adding the substantial components for them to cook quickly and properly. You can create your sauce or have the waiter assist you to make it according to your preference, whether you want it spicy or salty or whatever.
1) Cover the pot to make the broth boil sooner.
2) Add whichever components you want....
3) Cover the pot again to bring to a boil and wait for your meat and vegetables to cook.
Then you get..... This! Scoop some soup and whatever contents you want into your bowl.
I loved the shell-less crab claws! This was definitely special. I couldn't get enough. Though I'm no food expert, I can say the broths were very flavorful. There were two kinds, a light-colored one that was probably chicken or vegetable based, and a darker one that was probably pork or beef-based.
Choi City's shabu-shabu is actually EAT ALL YOU CAN for only P398 per person! With quality broth and what the platters come with at a reasonable price, that's one irresistible deal! It's served for LUNCH daily until Sept. 30. Really, take the chance. I craved for it right the next day. ;)
The new fried rice was also really good. It was neither too dry nor was it distinctly moist either. It had a balanced ratio of rice to mixed add-ons. The dudes enjoyed this. Definitely a perfect match to the shabu-shabu. :D
And as if the food wasn't enough to stuff me, the jovial and accommodating Manila-based Managing Director, Jay Tan, offered me some live seafood as well! What a feast it was. Since my dad and his friends had to leave early, I invited a few friends to help me finish the food.
The live seafood offered to me were steamed garlic rock lobsters and fried sea mantis. Rock lobsters, I love; but the sea mantis (my first encounter of such creature) looked like some huge sea roach to me. I still dared to try it of course, and I found that the meat was actually like that of shrimp -- sweet and tender.
And for dessert, I was given Coffee Jelly. I'm not the biggest fan of jelly or gelatin-based desserts but this was exquisite. Definitely the best coffee jelly I've ever tasted. The sweetness was just right and the coffee wasn't overwhelming.
After having (more than) our fill, we were toured in the first floor where the aquariums of the live seafood were. All the seafood here are imported and yes, I had to see the live version of that sea
roach mantis. They're actually kept in mineral water bottles (i think) because they tend to fight each other.
|the sea |
It was truly a memorable dinner for me and I enjoyed ALL the food so much. It's been a while since I've had fine authentic Chinese/Cantonese cuisine. And I'm sure their extensive menu still has more delectable dishes to offer. The secret of this resto is their imported chefs from Hong Kong, led by Executive Chef Siu Bing, and of course the impeccable service.
|from left: Ms. Kim Mahidlawon (Executive Assistant), the babe, Sheena, Barry, Ejay and Rachel|
The resto may not look like it but it can actually accommodate 500 guests; approximately 200 in the first floor and 300 on the second floor. The second floor has function rooms which can individually accommodate 12 persons but collapsible walls can conjoin these rooms to accommodate up to 200 people. They even offer free use of audio-visual equipment and they can customize your menu to suit your taste preferences and budget.
Who says Hong Kong is far away? It's closer than you think. ;)
Choi City Seafood Restaurant
G/F South Arcade, Banilad Town Center (BTC),
Banilad, Cebu City
Contact: (032) 239 0800/ 239 0999
Operating Hours: 11 AM - 2 PM, 5:30-9:30 PM DAILY
Like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/choicityseafood
To know Cebu, eat Cebu! :D
Babe for Food
- your BFF in Cebu dining! :)