Sunday, November 28, 2004

Not just your ordinary Chinese dinner

After an unexpected lengthy absence, we're back! The past two weeks had been kind of hectic, what with conferences, work, and acads. (In point of fact, the past two weeks were sem break! ^^) On to the blog!


Chinese food is one of our favorite kinds of food. If we get a craving for it we usually go to such places like Causeway, which offers a wide variety of choices and has the traditional dimsum cart.

Stormcrow and I went to Greenhills one weekend. We saw this very intriguing Chinese place situated in the newly-opened multilevel covered parking lot. It was aptly named "Hua Lan" and the poster invited us to partake of an eat-all-you-can meal for only Php200. The restaurant had conveniently placed floor-to-ceiling glass windows that allowed us to peak at their buffet table. It looked interesting enough that we set a dinner date to try out the place.

This poster caught our attention 2 weeks ago..

In we went one night, and it must have been during the peak of dinner as we almost couldn't get a table. The place was modest in size, and could probably seat around 25-30 people max. We got a very small table for two, and ordered two glasses of bottomless iced tea (which might be a bad idea, as it will war with the food over stomach space ^^ ).

The buffet table was long, and was divided into sections: appetizer, viands/meal proper, dimsum, soup, and dessert. To my delight Hua Lan had radish cakes in cute triangular slices. (To the uninitiated, radish cakes are basically thicker hash browns made of..well, radish. ^^ You can put a kind of a thick red paste that tastes like hot sauce.) I gleefully put on several slices on my first plate.

The buffet table

The viands were varied. From what I remember, there was a dish of beef in oyster sauce (we liked that a lot), fried chicken parts, pork spareribs, pancit, and other chinese dishes that had, strangely enough, more than a touch of Filipino influence. The dimsum were your usual siomai (in pork and shrimp), siopao, and shrimp dumplings (which I didn't eat, lest I die XD ). There were also two kinds of soup, a hot and sour concoction and a reddish hued soup with pork bits.

Stormcrow with his first dinner plate. ^_^

Since it was eat-all-you-can, it was a no holds barred kind of meal. I helped myself to more of the radish cake and that excellent beef in oyster sauce dish. I think I got around 2 or 2 and a half plates worth of the main course, a couple of servings of the allowable dimsum, and maybe two cups of soup. Stormcrow ate maybe just a bit more than I did. (I think I was very hungry then! XD )

Sometime in the middle of the meal, Stormcrow got some samples of dessert. The choices included buchi, a mango-and-sago cold soup, and coffee jelly. We tried the coffee jelly, and it turned out to be pleasantly nice. It was a bit weird (all new things are a bit weird) but it had its charms. At that point I was getting full and wasn't able to take more than a couple of spoons of it.

The sweet conclusion

All in all, it was a very satisfying meal, even though their viands weren't very chinese. In fact there was a distinct lack of seafood in their buffet menu. The price of the meal isn't that far from any other eat-all-you-can places, and you have the option of a bottomless drink as well. The ambiance is quiet and the place is airconditioned. Is it worth going back? You bet!


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