“You have to get well, otherwise you’ll miss all the great food on your father’s birthday!”
My aunt tells me as soon as she learns that I’m down with pharyngitis. Taking this to heart, I decide to go on an ‘absolute no-talk marathon’ for two days and a half, with a strict medicine schedule. Hopefully, this will help me recover in time for my dad’s big birthday celebration in the new Chinese restaurant around Tomas Morato, Golden Leaf Hong Kong Fine Fine Restaurant.
This is supposedly easy as cake (emphasis on supposedly) but my ‘absolute no-talk marathon’ just had to hit my Status Report Presentation at work. Just imagine a mime with a Powerpoint presentation – well, that’s me! So yes, I’m the butt of all jokes for a day at work but honestly, I don’t really care. It’s all eyes on the prize, baby – a great Chinese meal on my dad’s birthday!
Everything works out just as I planned it and I find myself ready to eat and eat and eat my first real meal after a seemingly endless and tiring string of congee-lugaw-noodles diet. I do stumble across another Noodle dish, but this time, its sweet soy sauce base and the you-can-never-go-wrong with ingredient, shitake mushrooms, seal the deal! The sauce showcases a beautifully balance and interplay of sweet and salty tones, leaving me wanting more. I know I said I’m sick of soft foods but I have seconds servings of this dish.
As with other Angtuaco family celebrations, our table’s large Lazy Susan is brimming with a variety of dishes, served on humongous plates (I guess it’s our family’s trademark). This set up barely lasts long as the waiters resort to smaller dishes to give enough space for all of the orders.
I take small portions of every dish and I must say, Golden Leaf is one Chinese restaurant to look out for! They’re just on their 6th month of operations, but they already serve food that’s up to par with other far more expensive Chinese restaurants around Metro Manila. Except for their Mango Sago dessert, all their dishes are fresh, well seasoned and served at the perfect temperature.
There are of course, certain dishes that stand out amidst the sea of dishes before me – dishes that unquestionably merit a return visit: their Golden Leaf Soup and Peking Duck Two Ways.
The comfortingly thick consistency of their Golden Leaf Soup warms up my throat and prepares me for my first real meal since pharyngitis. There’s a hint of tingling sourness with each gulp, yet its the soft sea cucumber that makes the soup extra special. I’m not exactly a big fan of bland sea cucumbers but for some reason, it works well in this soup, acting like a sponge and taking in the soup’s flavor.
Of course a great meal doesn’t end with a good bowl of soup, it gets only better.
My heart jumps at the sight of glistening red Peking duck skin shreds, sharing a plate with crunchy kropeck. And one-by-one, the elements of this Peking Duck roll come flying in the room: julienne-sliced cucumbers, rich, sweet hoisin sauce and its thin wrap.
I love finger food, especially if it includes Peking Duck. I know I sound so Chinese right now, but I have a very soft spot for Peking Duck. <3 So I go crazy, making one Peking Duck roll after another and loving every crunchy bite brought about by the crispiness of the skin, the cucumber and the kropeck, all rolled in together, producing a massive crunch.
But Golden Leaf goes even further and brings to life yet another Peking Duck roll, it’s Peking Duck 2nd way! This time, it includes seasoned ground Peking Duck, topped off with sesame seeds and crunchy cabbage leaf to keep it all together in a roll.
So the rest of the evening turns into a Peking Duck rolling session, alternating the two varieties, one after the other, and seriously deliberating which way is better. And this routine continues on for quite awhile: I place the ingredients on the wrapper, roll it up and take 3 bites and I go back to step 1.
The sauce of the ground Peking Duck becomes quite overpowering after my 3rd roll (I need rice to tame its mighty flavor!), so I go back to my first love, the Peking Duck roll 1.
Soon, everyone else in my table exchange their plates for desserts, so after 10 minutes of resistance, I sadly give in to social pressure and leave my Peking Duck shreds, waiting to be bagged as part of the take home package. I easily regret this decision as I take my first sip of their Mango Sago. Good thing there’s also cake for dessert! The Quezon Chiffon Cake from Chocolate Kiss saves the dessert!
My dad’s dinner later ends in the ever favorite Filipino activity, Karaoke! My throat still needs rest so I sadly pass on the microphone to my dad’s friends. I think they read my mind and they add a Gary Valenciano song in the playlist. Now, that’s a great way to end my dad’s birthday dinner!
Next time I get sick, maybe I should just go head over to Golden Leaf. Who knows, I might get well again just in time.More Info on Golden Leaf: Address: #83 GenMar Bldg. Roces Ave, 1200 Quezon City, Philippines Map: Click Here Landmark: Across KFC/Mister Donut Contact: 413-1479/ 4131502/ 09179942854 Operating Hours: Mon – Thu:10:00 am-10:00 pm Fri – Sun:10:00 am-11:00 pm Budget: Php250/head Payment Method: Cash, Visa, Mastercard Attire: Smart Casual Other Blogs on Golden Leaf: Mrs. Martinez’s Raves and Rants – New Find: Golden Leaf Hong Kong Fine Dine Restaurant Travelin’ Man – Golden Leaf Sushi Bytes – Golden Leaf