Once in a while, my family decides to stop by Chinese restaurants for our Sunday dinners. We have very high expectations with this type of cuisine, so it’s always a big challenge to see if we’ll enjoy our meals or not. Last Sunday, we visited a place that my parents have tried once before. They didn’t find anything very special about the food, but Dad wanted my brother and I to give a try.
Upon entering the place, my brother and I were impressed with Kao-Chi Restaurant’s interiors. The place was mostly in red and gold, and there were a lot of Chinese ornaments (like the figurines of the Chinese zodiac animals) displayed. The restaurant looked very upscale; it reminded me of imperial courts.
Dad was the one who took charge of the selecting our food that night. We started the meal with two types of appetizers: The first one to arrive was the Wine Marinated Chicken, which garnered a lot of praise from Dad and my brother. The chicken was very tender and the wine wasn’t overpowering at all. We wouldn’t mind having this again.
Next up was a serving of Jellyfish Head. This was a bit of a disappointment for me because it didn’t have the spicy kick that I was looking for; theirs was more of just black vinegar. What was nice about it, though, was that it was crunchy!
To be perfectly honest, I’ve been trying my best to keep my intake of carbohydrates to a minimum…but then my Dad ordered the Seafood Fried Rice. My willpower failed me miserably, and I ended up consuming three small bowlfuls. I found it to be delicious, although I would have preferred to have it a bit saltier. By the way, a serving of their fried rice was good for 2-3 folks, so this was just right for our group.
I wanted to have veggies as part of our meal, so I suggested we order a serving of Spinach with Garlic. This was just your average Chinese restaurant fare.
The last ones to arrive were the servings of Xiao Long Bao. They’re said to be Kao-Chi’s specialty, and since it’s one of my favorite types of dimsum, I was really looking forward to eating them. I can be such a glutton when it comes to xiao long bao and my family knows that very well; they even told me I could have one entire basket to myself (yay!).
I’m very happy that Kao-Chi’s xiao long baos had very thin skin / wrappers and still had the soup inside, unlike other restaurants’ versions. I had trouble getting my first xiao long bao without puncturing a hole and spilling the soup, but Dad demonstrated a way to pick them up without making a mess (thus, the photo above). After that, I was happily eating my xiao long baos without any trouble! 🙂
Overall, I think this place’s food is pretty okay (biggest number of points go to the xiao long bao, if it’s not yet that obvious :p). Their price range is somewhere in the higher end of the spectrum, though. If there’s anything that might need some work, then it’s going to be their level of service. It didn’t take them very long to serve us the food, but their staff could definitely use some extra training when it comes to courtesy. Having well-trained servers really carry a big weight on the entire dining experience (please, no gossiping with colleagues while you’re in the process of placing plates of food on your customer’s table. If you really, REALLY have to do it, I highly suggest that you be discreet!).
**Kao-Chi Restaurant is located at #109 N.S. Amoranto (formerly Retiro), Quezon City.