Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Love at First Bite: Canton Road

I have been wanting to visit Canton Road ever since I saw its panda bun stuffed with salted egg yolk. It was a powerful combination of two things I love and I couldn’t help nag R about it. However, our weekend schedules were uncooperative and we couldn’t find the time to drop by this new Chinese restaurant in Shangri-La at the Fort. And while I was weeping with sadness, I got an invite from the lovely gals of Zomato to feast on some of Canton Road’s spectacular dishes. Woohoo!

Hello, Canton Road
I have never been to the hotel and residential side of Shangri-La at the Fort so everything looked so new to me. But as expected from a notable establishment, the hotel lobby was majestic and every single staff member was courteous and assisted me to Canton Road.
As I walk closer to Canton Road, I was greeted by beautiful interiors in dark hues and touches of gold. The place screams Asian elegance. 

I first sampled the Jiangnan Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs (PHP618) which had nice black vinegar taste. The serving size is just a tad too small for sharing with the whole family if you want at least three or four portions of this dish. 
It was a Cooking Master Boy moment when I got a mouthful of the Barbecue Trio Sampler (PHP2,288). The honey-roasted Iberico pork was succulent and each bite would give you waves of its delightful flavor! The roasted Peking duck was cooked to perfection as it was juicy, tender and had a nice crispy skin. And the suckling pig… oh where do I begin? It was simply marvellous. Crunchy on the outside and juicy in the inside. I didn’t even have to dip any of the meats in the sauces provided as each one was already flavorful enough. Just make sure that you do not skip the jellyfish side dish as it goes well with the meats with its slight tangy taste!  
Another stellar dish served to us was the Yangzhou Soft Bean Curd Soup with Yunnan Ham (PHP388).
You’d think that this dish would be nothing special but a live demonstration on how it is prepared made us think otherwise. The silken tofu is sliced so thinly by an ordinary knife or axe with so much precision that you’d think you’re enjoying misua. I was amazed by the demonstration and it made the soup taste so much better knowing the hard work and mastery behind it. (It took the chef 15 years to master such skill!)
Then again, even without knowing it, it was already a pretty good dish. It had a nice light taste with a burst of flavors when you get a mouthful of ham and dried scallops. 
I wasn’t so thrilled with the Mingan Five-Spiced Marinated Pork Belly wrapped in Dried Bean Curd Sheets (PHP748, 6 pcs) when it was compared with kikiam. I’m not fond of kikiam so I was thinking of just having half of the dish.
But I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked this dish too. Though a tad oily because it was deep fried, I liked that the stuffings were sliced instead of minced. The flavors from the sliced pork and water chestnuts were harmonious and the contrast in textures were delightful.
Soon, the dumplings and buns were served.
The Steamed Iberico Pork Dumpling with Abalone and Black Truffle (PHP468, 4 pcs) is your usual siomai but ten times better.
 
Each bite was so succulent and flavorful thanks to the prime Iberico pork. But it wasn’t good enough for Canton Road hence they decided to top the already good dumpling with abalone and black truffle. It was absolutely delicious. It would be a crime to mask this dumpling with soy sauce or black vinegar as it is already perfect. 
The Steamed Custard and Salted Duck Egg Bun (PHP228, 3 pcs) is probably the cutest dish I have ever eaten.
It was so adorable that it took me quite some time before I decided to take a big bite.
And it was a bite to remember. I went head over heels with the mantao used. It was so soft and had the slight chewiness that I really love.
The salted egg filling was also divine. It had beautiful consistency and addicting salty and slight sweet taste. Everyone loved this one and some even ordered a few to bring home. 
The Steamed Crystal Skin Shrimp Dumpling (PHP248, 4 pcs) was also delightful as Canton Road used king prawns to ensure that no bite will be just a sad bland wrapper.
However, with the dozens of dumplings to choose from, I’d probably skip this one despite being a hardcore hakaw lover. 
I was reminded that Halloween is fast approaching when plates of Baked Pumpkin, Black Truffle and Chicken Puff (PHP228, 3 pcs) were served. I enjoyed munching on the slightly flaky puff stuffed with chicken and black truffle.
I fell in love with its wonderful and mouthwatering aroma that I immediately took a bite. And it was hot. So make sure you poke this one a bit to let the filling cool before indulging in this lovely dish. 
Last savory dish served to us was the Canton Road Signature Fried Rice, Sea Urchin, Shrimps and US Scallop (PHP848) and despite needing to unbutton my pants, I managed to enjoy several spoonfuls of this dish.
I liked its light taste and it sure is perfect for the rich dishes we had earlier. 
Finally, we have reached the final dish—Mango Pudding with Baked Swan Taro Puff and Seasonal Fruits. It was a beautiful and colourful plate of sweets and it was hard to behead the detailed swan taro puff.
The thin layers of pastry had a lovely flaky texture similar to croissant. The taro filling was smooth and mildly sweet. This puff is a great treat for the elders who are not fond of overly sweet desserts. 

The mango pudding is your usual pudding and very similar to Summer Palace’s. 
Throughout our meal, we were given some beverages to help cleanse the palate.
One of which had lapsing souchong which had a nice smoky taste.
But my favorite was the Signature Canton Road Garden Tea.
It was sweet and very refreshing.
It's hot version was pretty good too! and you could buy tea leaves if you want to enjoy it at home.
I will definitely visit Canton Road again and try its other dishes and order more of the Barbecue Trio Sampler and Panda Buns! 
Canton Road is located at Shangri-La at the Fort, 3rd Floor, 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Canton Road - Shangri-La at the Fort Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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