22 August 2011

on impromptu dates: Yam Cha Seafoods and Dumpling Restaurant

Last Saturday, Gus and I were able to meet up despite our busy schedule. I stopped by Tiendesitas to check out the pair of shoes I've been eyeing on for months, then decided to wait for momma in Starbucks while reading the book I've been trying to finish. An hour later, Gus called to ask where I was because he couldn't find me at home. 20 minutes later, we were already talking about our day.

Since he hasn't eaten a decent meal the whole day, we decided to look around for a place to eat. It was already past midnight so our choices were limited. We checked out Tiendesitas but he didn't feel like eating there. It was too crowded and noisy and I think they were closing, since most of the food stalls were already closed. I gave him a list of areas we could check out. He decided to visit Home Depot first but there was nothing he could find there. We decided to eat at the Korean complex behind UA&P since they were open until 2 am and Gus wanted to try the duck ramen I told him about, but when we arrived there, only the fancy Korean restaurants were left open. The simple, carinderia-style stalls, where the duck ramen I told him about could be found, were already closed. Since we were already in the Ortigas area, we decided to head to Banchetto instead. Unfortunately, there was no Banchetto that night. After going around other places, Emepror's Tea House in Wilson, restaurants around the Scout area, Lugawan Republic and Dampa in Timog, we decided to eat at Yam Cha, which was only a couple of restaurants away from Lugawan and Dampa.

When we arrived at Yam Cha, we looked at the menu first, just to see if there was anything that would interest us. After flipping through their menu a couple of times, something caught his attention, and he asked if it was okay if we ate there. Thus, another foodiementary began!

P.S. Forgive the pictures. We were really hungry, we forgot to take pictures of the food when it arrived. >.<

Gus was able to decide what to get immediately. He ordered Peking Duck Noodles, while I, as always, had a more difficult time choosing so I told him to order his first. When the waiter came back with his noodles, I ordered a bowl of Yang Chow fried rice, Kikiam, Spareribs in Tausi, and Spring Rolls.

Peking Duck Noodles 

The Peking Duck Noodles was really good, according to Gus. The soup wasn't just the common soup base some restaurants use for all their noodle dishes. You could taste the flavor of the duck in the soup, not just the in the meat. I took a sip, and true enough, this wasn't just the soup base for all noodles. You could already taste the duck in the soup alone. Apart from the rich duck flavor of the soup, the dish also had not just a few slices of peking duck, but five, large chops. We were actually surprised at the generous serving of duck meat. Other restaurants would give you the same number of meat chunks, but will be comprised of two or three large chunks and two smaller pieces. All five pieces of this dish were big. And for a really reasonable price of only P150.

Yang Chow Fried Rice

I ordered a cup of Yang Chow Fried Rice. For P50, this cup of rice can satisfy any hungry tummy. It looks small or regular in size, but once you start eating, you won't notice that your tummy is slowly filling up because the bowl still looks full even after a few spoonfuls of it. Like Gus's Peking Duck Noodles, Yam Cha did not deprive me of any ingredient. My Yang Chow was filled with generous portions of scrambled egg, peas, leeks(?) or was it, spring onions? and diced meat. I guess the only negative thing I can say about it is that it didn't have any shrimp pieces in it. Overall, I really enjoyed eating my fried rice. It was already a meal in itself. :D

Spareribs in Tausi Sauce

Throughout all our food trips, I noticed that Gus has a certain liking for spareribs, so even if he didn't order any, I decided to get one for us. I'm not an expert on Chinese food, I just enjoy it, so I can't really say if a certain dish is supposed to taste like this or that. I enjoyed the spareribs because it was really tender. The meat pieces fell off the bones on its own, though Gus said the flavor was just so-so. I guess we can give this dish a 4 out of 5 rating, based on a Chinese man and a food lover's opinions.


Another dish I got was Kikiam. I tasted authentic Chinese kikiam months ago when Gus brought me to a Taiwanese food stall somewhere in Ortigas/Gilmore, and I absolutely loved it. Prior to this experience, the only kikiam I had in my mind was those sold by street vendors, so tasting a real Chinese kikiam was something new, and exciting for me. I decided to order one from Yam Cha since I wanted to have a taste of Chinese kikiam again. I really liked the kikiam, though it was a bit expensive. It had skin on, just like the one I first tasted, and the meat filling was good. According to Gus, their kikiam was a combination of Binondo kikiam and the first kikiam I tasted. Let's not forget the dip! He also enjoyed thedip that came with it. I don't really know what it was, I'm guessing it was some Chinese sauce used commonly for dipping since Gus seemed to be familiar with it. It wasn't ketchup, it wasn't oyster sauce, it wasn't worcestershire.

Spring Rolls

My idea of spring rolls were either meat, or vegetable filling wrapped in lumpia wrapper. Yam Cha's Spring Rolls was a combination of both. Generous stuffing made of both meat and vegetables filled the lumpia wrapper. I was already a bit full but I just had to taste their spring rolls, and I was amazed at how generous the filling was. Unlike the lumpiang shanghais or lumpiang togues some of us may be used to eating at birthday parties or restaurants that were mostly skin (wrapper), this had unnoticeable wrapper. The stuffing was so generous that it was the first thing, the only thing you'd notice, if the wrapper wasn't crunchy. With the generous and delicious filling, I think this dish was also reasonably priced at P65.

Almond with Lychee

When I was a kid, I enjoyed going to Chowking with my aunt because it was there that I first had a taste of Almond Jelly. Eventually, it was phased out of their menu. I never really got the chance to look around for restaurants or stores that sold almond jelly as good as what I remember from Chowking, so upon seeing this on hteir dessert page, I quickly told Gus I wanted one for dessert. It wasn't good, but it wasn't bad too. The almond flavor was weak, and I think that is the only basis we have in judging almond jelly. I liked how they didn't cut down on the lychees. The dessert came with four, whole lychees on top of the jelly and ice. That was the first time I saw almond jelly with whole lychees. Four, whole lychees at that.

We ended our food adventure with a bottle of beer and cold water. I'd say we really enjoyed the meal. Yam Cha was very generous with their ingredients and didn't hold back. We got enough out of what we paid for, not to mention the kind sir who attended to our every need. He was the one who approached us at the door and handed us their menu to check out. After deciding to eat there, he led us to our table, and waited patiently four our orders. Whenever we needed something else, he would personally go to us, and when he can't, he would immediately notify a free attendant to go to us.

As I've mentioned in my previous food report, a good meal will always be composed of good food and good service. We got both in this adventure, and we were fortunate enough to have extra money to give to the sir who gave us such great service. The other attendants responded quickly to our needs too, but they didn't look happy doing so. :( This other man showed such great interest and joy in helping us out that we felt really welcomed and satisfied after. 

Price Range: P200/person

4 out of 5 for Yam Cha

Yam Cha Seafoods and Dimsum Restaurant
44 Timog Avenue cor. Scout Tuazon
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Number: (63 2) 373-1359, (63 2) 372-8136
Contact details courtesy of http://food.clickthecity.com/b/ny188b1

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