By Valerie Tort
Chinese cuisine became a part of the Philippine culture due to the long history of Philippine-Chinese trade and economic relationships. Lugao, Siopao, Tokwa, and Pansit will always remind us instanly of how sumptuous Philippine-Chinese dishes are.
Hap Chan Tea House introduced various authentic Chinese dishes to the Filipino palate since 1997. The first tea house was located in Manila, making it a popular restaurant for people working within the vicinity and passers-by.
The perfect ambiance for lunch meetings and dinner dates stole the attention of people in all walks of life. With its vibrant red and white-colored logo and the well-lighted interiors, one will surely be intrigued of what appetizers and meals Hap Chan offered their diners.
“My family loved Chinese cuisine because of its distinct taste and aromatic dishes, plus the restaurant’s attendants make sure that your teapot will never be without their house tea,” Charrie Imperial said while she waited for another takeout order of Hakaw.
“My husband preferred Hakaw over an ordinary shrimp siomai (dumpling). Hakaw was made of whole shrimps infused with herbs, brushed with sesame oil, and wrapped in a dough-like wrapper,” described Charrie, a frequent diner of Hap Chan.
Frequent diners are Filipino-Chinese and people who prefer and enjoy Chinese fare in a moment or most of the time. Chinese patronized their own goods and definitely satisfied the exotic and savory taste they were used to.
No one will ever go wrong in dining, entertaining friends or holding familial celebrations such as christening and birthday, in Hap Chan Tea House. “A friend and an officemate of mine introduced this restaurant three years ago. I thought that Hap Chan is another restaurant forcing to imitate authentic Chinese cuisine, but I was wrong,” an avid Hap Chan diner said while sipping her fresh fruit shake.
She continued that since she was half-Chinese, she can distinguish authentic and original dishes. “Since I was young, flavorful spices and herbs like oyster sauce, anise and cardamon are cooked together with the meat and vegetables in a dish became familiar to my taste,” she added.
Their menu is divided into 10 sections namely Dimsum, Noodles, Congee, Chef’s Choice, Vegetables with Oyster Sauce, Roasting, Rice Toppings, Pulutan, Desserts, and Drinks.
“They have two variants of Beef Brisket that my daughter craves. One is categorized in the Pulutan section and the other is in the Noodles section. The difference is that egg noodles are added to the Beef Brisket in the Noodles section of the menu. For only 120PHP for the Pulutan size, she is satisfied,” Charrie said.
According to the waiters of Hap Chan Tea House their bestseller in the Dimsum section was the bola-bola siopao, pork siomai, and Hakaw. Their bola-bola siopao consists of Chinese sausage, pork and chicken bits, red egg, and a special sauce enclosed in mantao bread. Pork siomai is made from real ground pork and seasonings to make it yummy even without adding soy sauce to it.
Congee favorites ranged from pork, beef, and even fish congee. People with allergy or who liked their congee to be plain to serve as a soup, then they could order a plain congee in two sizes—small and large size. They also have the classic favorites goto congee and chicken congee made with a special broth and finely milled rice grains.
Chef’s Choice is a category for their other house specialties that does not fit any other categories. Steamed fish fillet Hong Kong Style is a dish smothered with fried garlic, sweet soy sauce, and topped with spring onions. An order can be generously shared by two persons. Another variant of their steamed fish is dressed with lemon sauce. The lemon sauce is perfect for persons who like their dish to be a little bit sweet.
Roasting consists mostly of meat substitutes for chicken, squid, pork, and beef. Soyed Chicken, Soyed Squid, Soyed Pork, and Soyed Chicken Hong Kong Style tasted like their real counterparts minus the added fats and cholesterol. Health conscious people may enjoy the foods they like worry-free. Lo-suey or a special soup stock made by their cooks is used to simmer the meat substitutes so it can absorb the taste of real meat and seafood.
Vegetables are either poached or steamed to retain the crispness and freshness of the vegetables. It also ensures that the essential nutrients are still in the greens. Broccoli flower, Kaylan or Broccoli Leaves, Asparagus, and Taiwan Pechay are some of the choices and bestsellers in Hap Chan Tea House. Seasoned oyster sauce can poured over the veggies or served at the side, depending on the customer’s request.
Typical Chinese desserts such as Almond Jelly, Almond Lychee, Black Gulaman, Buchi, and Chilled Taho can be ordered and served instantly. For someone who prefers to have a fresh dessert, fruit shakes and mixed fruits are their options.
Drinks will always be a part of every meal. Aside from their house tea served in every table, soya milk is the frequently ordered drink in Hap Chan Tea House. Soya milk can also be mixed with fresh fruits in the fruit shake by request so anyone can take pleasure in sipping a protein-packed drink as well. Special drinks such as Hot Lemon Coke and Cole Lemon Coke made the drink choices intriguing and interesting at the same time.
Price for their meals ranges from 60PHP up to 250PHP.For their drinks, it is from 25PHP to 50PHP. The dishes can be served and eaten by two or three persons. For budget-conscious people, this is the place to go.
With a growing number of frequent diners in the metro, they started giving franchises in 1999. From their original Manila branch, additional 15 branches are added. In Visayas, they already have a branch in Tacloban. Entrepreneurs in Mindanao can also acquire franchises of Hap Chan Tea House.
Good food will always be a part of the Filipino culture. Our appetite only prefers what is the best. Our hunger for the best meal in town will only be satiated through cheap and quality foods just like in Hap Chan, one of the best chinese restaurants in the Philippines.
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Posted in Dining Guide |