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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Seeing Red (China) And Liking It

On a day like today when work took me to the north (Quezon City and Caloocan City), I opt to have a not-so-short lunch with one of my best friends based in QC, Liza. I (wisely) left the car in favor of the Mass Rail Transit (MRT), and requested that we have lunch at Trinoma Mall, since the train station connects directly to the mall.

After meeting up, we proceed to the Concierge, since we are both not too familiar with the restaurants there. I was saddened to learn that Peking Garden has closed shop (insert groan here), and we proceed to review the list of eateries that would interest us.

We knew we wanted Chinese fare (big whoop), so we first went to Mann Hann. With a line that looked like we would be seated by 2PM, we then proceeded to Red China by Super Bowl.

(Courtesy of

It was both our first time to dine here: I haven't seen this restaurant in Makati, and Liza wasn't too keen on anything related to Super Bowl, as she finds their flavors a little bland.

Having no clue or recommendations as to what's a must-order here, we decided to order the first item featured on their menu, guessing that this would be a dish they're proud to serve.

Yes, yes, and yes. 

The Roast Pork Belly (PhP 175) has the aroma, crunch and taste that hits all the check marks in our book. The crackling sound heard when you take a bite of the bronzed exterior is melodious, and the succulent, flavorful porcine taste that follows compliments it wonderfully. 

The odd thing was that mustard was served as the "default" sauce (seen above), which I immediately identify with hotdogs. But it is served separately, so it's a matter of taste to use it. (Liza liked the condiment, I wasn't too much a fan.) No matter, it's the pork that's the star, and we concur that this should be the item that's front and center on the menu.

We also ordered the Roast Chicken with Mala Sauce (Half Order, PhP 350; Whole, PhP 675), as we were intrigued what Mala Sauce was. We asked them to serve the sauce separately, as our server told us it was quite spicy.

 Red China's Roast Chicken...

...and the Mala Sauce.

The chicken itself was not bad, but the Mala Sauce was delicious, after a few bites. (Only because the first few tries, we were busy deciphering what were the components) It seemed like a combination of chili sauce with tamarind paste, with an oily base. Some may find this an acquired taste, but we ended up finishing the sauce faster than the fowl itself.

(You can ask the server to serve the Mala Sauce without the spicy component, if you're not a fan of spicy food. Without the spice, it tasted about 70% sour and 30% sweet.)

Of course, we had to pair it with our choice of carbohydrate, one which appealed to us both from the name and the menu picture.

Chinese Chorizo Fried Rice (PhP220) is a sinful concoction, and my only negative point is that the rice could stand to have a teeny bit more moisture, but the sausage slices were very flavorful, and this dish could very well be eaten on its own. It's Chinese Chorizo, so you know you're in for a treat.

Good thing we had excellent (complimentary) tea to lessen our guilty feelings about what we had just ingested over lunch. And in such cute containers too.

I've always associated the color red with China, and this is one restaurant that can fly its' colors proudly. (Despite the political tensions we are experiencing with the country in this restaurant's name.)

Our countries may be at odds, but common ground might just be found on the dining table.

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