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PHNO TRAVEL & LIFESTYE (FOOD)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports)

SOL JOSE VANZI's  LIFESTYLE & FOOD PAGE THIS WEEK

FEATURING HER 'TIMPLA'T TIKIM' (Manila Bulletin)
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

ALIVE AND FRESH!


AUGUST 4 -Baked tiger lobster with cheese  Two years in Hong Kong as an expat wife of a foreign correspondent in the early 1970s opened my eyes to the rich world of Chinese cuisine. A short course in conversational Cantonese allowed basic conversation with street food peddlers at Wanchai and Central markets near our Mid-levels flat. I tried hard to speak, shop, eat, and cook like a native. STREET LESSONS The street food cooks appreciated my interest in Chinese food, and answered questions as best they could. We began with Cantonese names for common vegetables, fruits, seafood, and meats and graduated to dried food, sauces, oils, flours, and seasonings. I bought a heavy cleaver and locked up all the other knives in our kitchen. Vendors called me “Kolo Tai Tai,” which means “tall man’s wife,” referring to my husband’s height (six feet four inches) and my small five-foot frame. Private cooking lessons with old grandmothers living around the markets gave me a grasp of very traditional family dishes like stews, soups, and stir-fries. Old books explained in detail the origin and lore of recipes like “Buddha Jumped Over the Wall” and “Beggar’s Chicken,” in which the beggar becomes a thief, depending on who tells the story. READ MORE...

ALSO: XIU FINE CANTONESE DINING RESTAURANT


They did a magnificent job with the modern Chinese interiors. A lot of the artwork as well as the mural by the stairs were painted by a local artist. Remember the original Lugang along Connecticut street in Greenhills? I remember it was the hottest and hardest table to get for the first few yeas. Now that Lugang has branches in the malls the owners reinvented the space to a fine dining Cantonese restaurant. They did a magnificent job with the modern Chinese interiors. A lot of the artwork as well as the mural by the stairs were painted by a local artist. The glass leaves that dropped from the high ceiling draws everyones eye as soon as you enter. Good news for the seniors and pwd is the new elevator. The second floor was a big open area that could be subdivided into private rooms of different sizes. This was painted by a local artist with the face of the owner! So cute. “Coming from a long line of respected restaurateurs, Lawrence Koo from West Villa, brings his vast knowledge of Cantonese cuisine to the table, while Executive Chef David Cheung boasts three decades’ worth of experience overseeing the action in the kitchens of Hong Kong and China’s premier restaurants such as West Villa and Lei Garden.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Alive and fresh


Baked tiger lobster with cheese

MANILA, AUGUST 8, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Sol Vanzi August 4, 2016 - Two years in Hong Kong as an expat wife of a foreign correspondent in the early 1970s opened my eyes to the rich world of Chinese cuisine. A short course in conversational Cantonese allowed basic conversation with street food peddlers at Wanchai and Central markets near our Mid-levels flat. I tried hard to speak, shop, eat, and cook like a native.


SOL JOSE VANZI THEN (PHNO PHOTO)

STREET LESSONS

The street food cooks appreciated my interest in Chinese food, and answered questions as best they could. We began with Cantonese names for common vegetables, fruits, seafood, and meats and graduated to dried food, sauces, oils, flours, and seasonings.

I bought a heavy cleaver and locked up all the other knives in our kitchen. Vendors called me “Kolo Tai Tai,” which means “tall man’s wife,” referring to my husband’s height (six feet four inches) and my small five-foot frame.

Private cooking lessons with old grandmothers living around the markets gave me a grasp of very traditional family dishes like stews, soups, and stir-fries. Old books explained in detail the origin and lore of recipes like “Buddha Jumped Over the Wall” and “Beggar’s Chicken,” in which the beggar becomes a thief, depending on who tells the story.

READ MORE...

REFUGEE CHEFS

Elaborate lauriats in Hong Kong’s best restaurants were great lessons in Chinese fine dining, from chopstick etiquette to very old recipes as well as new ones developed by Hong Kong’s growing population of chefs who fled the mainland for better opportunities in the British Crown Colony. Descendants of the first wave of refugees preserved the old country’s recipes and culinary traditions and brought them over to their new home.

Today, 118 years after the British signed up to lease Hong Kong, the territory remains a gold mine where generations of Chinese chefs who are experts in different aspects of Chinese cuisine are recruited for international five-star restaurants and hotels regularly.

FRESH, AUTHENTIC


Quiet elegance

A new fine dining restaurant in North Greenhills shows the importance of using only the freshest ingredients and nevering resort to substitutes. XIU describes its offerings as “fine Cantonese dining” and does not disappoint.

All the dishes we tried over a long lunch were indisputably first class, with not a single wilted leaf or deformed ingredient. Chinese cooks have been known to market twice a day to ensure freshness.


Honey glazed prime cut char siu


Cantonese style crispy pork belly

We started with familiar pork dishes: honey-glazed prime cut Char Siu and Cantonese-style crispy pork belly. Both were superb and made from choice parts.

Our soup was from an ancient recipe: double-boiled fish maw and almond, recommended for good skin because of its high collagen content. More modern was baked stuffed sea conch French-style, which had chopped conch and scallops, mashed potatoes, and mozzarella all baked inside the beautiful shell.


Baked stuffed sea conch French style

Several cheeses went into the giant baked tiger lobster, which was swimming in a glass tank before we sat for lunch.


AUGUST 4 -Baked tiger lobster with cheese

A must at lauriats, our steamed fish was Lapu-Lapu cooked the traditional way. It was followed by HK chicken in claypot and very tender, fat-free sweet and sour pork. For greens, we had crunchy Chinese lettuce with shrimp paste to prepare us for large wok-fried crab with garlic in the style of Hong Kong’s typhoon shelters.

Black rice baked with seafood ended the meal, with longevity balls thrown in for good luck.


Steamed lapu-lapu traditional style


Premium soy sauce Hong Kong chicken in clay pot


Sweet and sour pork loin


Chinese lettuce with shrimp paste


Fried crab with garlic, typhoon shelter style


Baked Black Rice with seafood in claypot

I will remember that lunch as one of the best Cantonese meals I have ever had.

XIU is at 115 Connecticut St., North Greenhills, San Juan; 02 650 7189, 02 650 8428 


XIU FINE CANTONESE DINING RESTAURANT August 1, 2016 by Leslie


They did a magnificent job with the modern Chinese interiors. A lot of the artwork as well as the mural by the stairs were painted by a local artist.

Remember the original Lugang along Connecticut street in Greenhills? I remember it was the hottest and hardest table to get for the first few yeas. Now that Lugang has branches in the malls the owners reinvented the space to a fine dining Cantonese restaurant.

They did a magnificent job with the modern Chinese interiors. A lot of the artwork as well as the mural by the stairs were painted by a local artist.

The glass leaves that dropped from the high ceiling draws everyones eye as soon as you enter.

Good news for the seniors and pwd is the new elevator.
The second floor was a big open area that could be subdivided into private rooms of different sizes.

This was painted by a local artist with the face of the owner! So cute.

“Coming from a long line of respected restaurateurs, Lawrence Koo from West Villa, brings his vast knowledge of Cantonese cuisine to the table, while Executive Chef David Cheung boasts three decades’ worth of experience overseeing the action in the kitchens of Hong Kong and China’s premier restaurants such as West Villa and Lei Garden.”

READ MORE...


Owner Peter Chua and Lawrence Koo from West Villa HK

Xiu brings authentic Cantonese cooking from Hong Kong to Manila

It’s about two hours by plane from Hong Kong to Manila, but if you’re really hankering for food from this cosmopolitan city hailed as a “Gourmet Paradise,” take a drive to Connecticut Street in Northeast Greenhills, San Juan, where a restaurant masterfully captures the flair and flavor of authentic Hong Kong cuisine.

Chinese translation for “elegance,” Xiu gives guests a true taste of Hong Kong the minute they walk into this well-appointed fine dining restaurant. A marriage of Old World charm and modern aesthetics, this two-floor, 230-seater restaurant with five private rooms exudes luxury and ease all at once: note the striking indoor fountain, blend of earth tones, rich golds, and calming shades of blue, and refined details like lattice wood work, silk, and geometric and floral patterns.

References to the Chinese phoenix (Feng Huang) in Xiu’s interiors reinforce this state of balance, as the creature, which is composed of the Yin and the Yang, symbolizes virtue, grace, and beauty, as well as the harmonious unity of opposite forces.

An array of traditional Cantonese dishes along with more innovative trends from the Hong Kong fine dining scene (focusing on live seafood) are the appetizing offerings of this restaurant that follows closely in the heels of Lugang Café, Tuan Tuan, and The Dessert Kitchen—three favorite food establishments brought to you by HTCG.

Known as one of eight major cooking styles of China, Cantonese cooking traces its roots back to the Guandong Province (formerly known as “Canton”). Today, the cooking style, largely responsible for shaping Hong Kong’s culinary scene, is characterized by its sparing use of spices, as well as the proper handling and preparation of ingredients to keep their freshness and enhance their flavors.

It’s a tall order, but one that Xiu achieves daily thanks to its fruitful collaborations with key players from Hong Kong’s vibrant culinary scene. Coming from a long line of respected restaurateurs, Lawrence Koo from West Villa, brings his vast knowledge of Cantonese cuisine to the table, while Executive Chef David Cheung boasts three decades’ worth of experience overseeing the action in the kitchens of Hong Kong and China’s premier restaurants such as West Villa and Lei Garden.

As Xiu’s chef de cuisine, Cheung leads a team of seven Hong Kong chefs, each with many years of training and exposure in a Michelin-grade restaurant. Cheung has also provided assistance in cooking up the menu for Xiu, bringing in the finest of Cantonese recipes to Manila.

The proof, of course, is in the pudding—or in Xiu’s case, dishes that are as much a visual feast as they are a gastronomic one.

Tease your taste buds with a Double-Boiled Fish Maw and Almond Soup, a specialty of the house that starts with ingredients placed in a ceramic jar or pot that is submerged in boiling water then steamed for several hours. Double-boiling, a traditional Cantonese cooking method, is clean as it does not let ingredients get in contact with boiling water, thus preserving their natural essences. One main ingredient, the rare and precious fish maw, teems with protein, collagen, complex carbohydrates, and other nutrients—but very little fat. It also possesses healing, energy-boosting, and anti-aging properties.

Served with almond soup, which is good for the lungs and skin, and you have a filling dish that is both healthy and delicious.
Birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions call for a plate or two of Honey-Glazed Prime Cut Char Xiu. This savory treat promises melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and juiciness with its combination of prime cut pork with perfect marbling, secret marination, and meticulous cooking and roasting techniques.

Seafood lovers, meanwhile, have a large range of live and fresh catches that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Try Elephant Clams with Truffle, Deep-Fried Eel with Fermented Red Bean Curd Sauce, or Steamed Crab with Vermicelli, among others.

Extensive selections of pork, beef, chicken, rice, noodles, and soup, all artfully plated by the chefs, are yours for the picking. Whatever your fancy, make sure to finish off your feast with delectable bites of Longevity Balls.

Suddenly, Hong Kong just got a little closer to home.

Xiu Fine Cantonese Dining Restaurant
115 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills, San Juan City
telephone: 650-7189 / 0947-7070228
website: www.xiu.com.ph
instagram: Xiuph | #XiuPH


SOL JOSE VANZI's PHNO PAGE


Photo from Kyle Victor Jose's iPAD
Lifestyle/Food and Arts & Culture columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin.
Signature title "Timpla't Tikim" EVERY THURSDAY OF THE WEEK.
http://www.mb.com.ph/lifestyle/


Sol in 1997 Photo: PHNO Editor/Travel & Leisure page
http://www.newsflash.org/staff/solvanzi.htm


Photo of Sol and young Kyle Victor Jose in March 2005 at PHNO/QCNet
office in Levitown, Paranaque. Photoshot by Leo Q. Carolino.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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