MANILA -- One has got to have good taste to be the only Department of Tourism-certified five-star hotel in the Seda Group.
Seda Vertis North has this in spades as seen in its new Chinese restaurant, Pin Wei. Literally meaning “good taste,” this restaurant is sure to delight Chinese food lovers with flair and flavor as it serves old favorites and new dishes.
Located on the second floor of the hotel, Pin Wei’s neo-Oriental interiors are opulent and comfortable. There are secluded tables within the main dining area for families and friends if you want to be separated from the crowd. For business meetings and groups that need exclusivity, there are private dining rooms on the far end of the restaurant.
Have a sip of Pin Wei’s blooming tea as you soak in the surroundings and prepare for the meal ahead.
Going into Pin Wei is like meeting old friends who’ve moved to a new house. At the front of house is maitre’d Caren Ong, who’s a familiar face if one has made the rounds of premiere Chinese restaurants in five-star hotels around the city. She certainly knows her Chinese food and one would benefit from listening to her recommendations.
Malaysian-born chef Hann Furn Chen helms Pin Wei’s kitchen after stints around Asia and the Middle East. Local Chinese food devotees may recognize him as the cooking master behind the old Tin Hau of Mandarin Oriental, Manila. He brings his mastery of the Chinese banquet, dim sum, and eye-catching entrees to the tables of Pin Wei.
Here's what you can expect at Pin Wei:
The hand-pulled Zha Ziang Noodles features a mellow mix of minced pork similar to the Taiwanese lou rou fan noodles.
Pin Wei’s Beggar’s Chicken is guaranteed to shock and awe guests. There are legends that talk about the origin of the dish but the common thread is that the chicken is baked inside a hard shell. This version is made with flour and Pin Wei adds pomp with a ceremonial cracking of the shell with a hammer. The chicken inside is juicy and packed with flavor.
South American superfoods maca and goji berries highlight the health benefits of this double-boiled soup. This bak kut teh-like soup is rich with dried scallops, collagen, and sea cucumber.
What’s a Chinese restaurant without dim sum? Pin Wei’s deluxe dim sum basket has an exquisite collection of xiao long bao, siumai, vegetable dumplings, hargao, and dim sum with duck meat.
Beijing duck is known for its rich crispy skin. The wait staff at Pin Wei takes the duck and carves it right in front of you. Available in two ways with a cucumber strips and oyster sauce. If you are a vegetarian, Pin Wei has a version with crisp chewy tofu skin that approximates the texture of the duck.
This dish is a balance of flavor and texture. The crunch and slight sweetness of the golden corn flakes complements the mayonnaise topped prawns and alfalfa sprouts.
This plate contains chicken done two ways. One way is wok-fried bite-sized chicken, and the other more unconventional way is using chicken skin to sandwich shrimp mousse.
Pin Wei’s version of suckling pig has that classic crispy skin and juicy meat that can be put into the accompanying pancakes with a spritz of orange for a delectable bite.
The freshness of fish is highlighted in any Chinese restaurant’s steamed dishes. Pin Wei’s Hong Kong-style steamed garoupa with light soy sauce, cucumber strips, coriander and scallion is no exception.
The super tender sweet and sour-like Zhi Jiang-style beef ribs is really meant to be made into sandwiches with the included mantou buns.
Pin Wei also has its own assortment of artful desserts. Included in this Chinese petit four is a salted egg custard bun, azuki taro puff, mango sago with slivers of grapefruit, and a fortune cookie.
Pin Wei can be found on the second floor of Seda Vertis North. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 6-10 p.m.