When five-star hotel Seda Vertis North decided to open a specialty restaurant, Chinese easily came to mind for obvious reasons. First, they had seen the gap in the market, says general manager Brett Patrick Hickey. If you live in the north, you probably head off to San Juan, Makati, or Manila to fulfill your craving for good Chinese food in an upscale setting, simply because Quezon City doesn’t have that many choices to offer. Second, Chinese food is well-loved not only by the Chinese, but also by other nationalities, observes Hickey. And for many Filipinos, dining in a Chinese restaurant almost seems like a default tradition for celebrating special occasions like birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries.
When the hotel opened Pin Wei Chinese Dining, it was meant to live up to the name. (Pin Wei means “good taste.”) This 130-seater restaurant is, so far, the first specialty restaurant to open among all seven Seda Hotels. It offers traditional Cantonese specialties by executive Chinese chef Chen Hann Furn, who has a wealth of culinary experience from cooking at luxury hotels in Asia and the Middle East. Most notably, he was at the former Mandarin Oriental’s Tin Hau restaurant for nine years.
You may also like:
- 10 dining spots to celebrate Chinese New Year—takeout and free radish cake included
- Lung Hin welcomes Lunar New Year with rich, decadent dishes
- These 8 elements are believed to bring luck to your Chinese New Year dinner table
- The 5 most deluxe dim sum lunches in town
“My father had a Chinese restaurant in Malaysia,” shares Chen. “So I’ve been dabbling in the kitchen since I was 13. My dad and the chefs from Singapore taught me the basics of Chinese cooking.”
Pin Wei takes a different approach when it comes to its interiors. There is none of the lacquered dark wood furniture favored by older establishments. Instead, natural lighting coming from floor-to-ceiling windows bounce off the bleached wooden panels and streamlined seats with woven rattan backs. The restaurant has three private dining rooms, with one of them dividing into two. There are round tables perfect for big groups and families (the hotel caters mostly to the staycation market on weekends), and square tables which are busiest during weekdays when there are a lot of business travelers.
Hickey is quick to note that the hotel chooses to offer only sustainably-sourced food, with almost all of the ingredients locally sourced. For instance, you can’t find salmon on the menu because they would need to source it from abroad. But they make up for this with a wide variety of offerings which, he stresses, are reasonably priced.
Easily, one of our favorites is the Deep Fried Prawns with Mayonnaise and Golden Cornflakes. It’s good to note that the prawns remained delightfully firm and juicy despite being fried. The Beijing Duck with Chinese Pancakes will keep you asking for more—the tender but firm pancakes beautifully contrast with the duck’s crispy skin and moist slivers of meat smeared with homemade hoisin sauce.
Popular among weekday diners is the Deluxe Dimsum Basket which is basically a flavorsome siomai sampler of caviar tobiko, baby abalone, scallops, and shrimps. Other popular dim sum items are the carrot-shaped Glutinous Dumpling with Black Pepper Minced Beef and the Steamed Buns with Minced Duck in Oyster Sauce shaped and colored to look like large mushrooms. The Xiao Long Bao, with their delicate wrappers enfolding a delicious medley of pork and shrimp, and warm comforting broth, are also a must-try.
A popular Chinoy favorite is Sweet and Sour Pork, a dish that appears to have a following only in the Philippines but not in Indonesia, Singapore, or Dubai, notes Chef Chen. Two Ways Chicken offers two versions to enjoy. The first highlights wok-tossed chicken coated with a piquant honey-vinegar sauce. The more decadent second version features the chicken skin stuffed with a shrimp mousse. For pescatarians, the melt-in-your-mouth Braised Lapu-lapu is a hands-down choice. Additionally, Pin Wei’s wide selection of barbecued meats and duck, seafood, and beef, is best paired with the finest collection of teas.
For Chinese New Year, you can choose from Pin Wei’s lavish buffet menus symbolizing joy, good fortune, and prosperity ranging from PHP 1,888 net to PHP 2,888 net per person. The set menus will be served on January 24 from 6 P.M. to 10 P.M., and on January 25 from 11:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M.
For those checking in at Seda Vertis North from January 25 to 31, the hotel is giving away free Beijing Duck for a group of 10 persons with a minimum spend of PHP 15,000 at Pin Wei. Those who avail of the room packages until February 29 are entitled to a 20 percent discount on à la carte and set menus (excluding Sunday buffet) and complimentary dessert at Pin Wei.
Pin Wei is on the second floor of Seda Vertis North, Quezon City. For inquiries, call (02) 7739-8888.