Is King Chef Banawe still Chinese Food Royalty?

Relatives from my Dad’s side flocked home for my cousin’s wedding last month. Most of them stayed at our house and since they haven’t been in Manila for several years now, it was the perfect excuse for us to go out for meals. It rained hard during one evening, so we decided to not go too far from home and have dinner at King Chef Seafood Restaurant.

A carafe of Avocado Tease

The aunts missed avocado terribly, and decided to order the Avocado Tease (Php150.00). Unfortunately, this drink didn’t satisfy their cravings. They said it didn’t taste like avocado at all.

Assorted cold cuts

I normally don’t request for cold cuts when we eat out at Chinese restaurants, but we ordered one this time since my aunts were with us. The Assorted Cold Cuts (Small, Php550.00) had too little stuff in them, in our opinion, especially for the price we were about to pay for. We thought each item which comprised the platter was just so-so, and we didn’t like how soggy the skin of their roast pork belly already was.

xiao long bao

I love soup dumplings and I want to partake on only the best of these little treasures whenever I can. The Xiao Long Bao (Php150.00 for six pieces) we ordered from King Chef this time was eons away from being the best. There was no liquid inside and the skin of each piece was tough and thick. Talk about the complete opposite of what a really good xiao long bao is supposed to be. 🙁

salted fish fried rice

After feeling disappointed with the xiao long bao and the cold cuts, I was glad something tasty was served next. We made the mistake of ordering too much Salted Fish Fried Rice (Medium, Php450.00) during our visit, so we had to take a third of the serving home. If I wasn’t trying to control my food portions, I’m sure I would’ve eaten an extra serving or two! Thankfully my willpower was strong and intact. No emotional eating happened here. :p

Fried Chicken

The King Chef’s Fried Chicken (Half, Php280.00) we ordered was too dry and wasn’t a joy to eat. The sauce provided couldn’t rescue the dish from its misery. Better skip this if you’re dining here, unless you’re a fan of dried out chicken meat.

seafood sotanghon

I’m not a fan of sotanghon in general, so it wasn’t surprising that this Seafood Sotanghon (small, Php390.00) dish wasn’t my thing. This makes me a bad source of review for this item. :p Dad and my aunts liked it better than I did, although they did mention that the dish could use less sweetness.

baked seafood taro

We highly enjoyed their Baked Seafood Taro (Small, Php480.00) for its perfectly creamy texture. I haven’t eaten a decent baked taro dish in a while, so this definitely hit the right spots.

cuttlefish cake

Dad said we try their Cuttlefish Cake (Small, Php420.00) which became one of my favorite dishes during that night. I loved the golden color and the chewy texture of each. They’re best eaten while they’re hot as the oil can get nauseating once the fried cakes have turned cold. I happily ate three pieces of this. Yes, that’s half of our order. :p

It seems that prices at King Chef Banawe became a bit higher compared to before they closed down last year. Putting the price adjustments aside, I think our dinner at King Chef was definitely a wild mix of hits and misses, plus I really can’t forgive them for serving really bad xiao long bao’s! Better not serve any if they won’t be up to par. :-/

*King Chef is located at 20 Igdalig St. Brgy. Manresa, Quezon City.

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