CHECK IT OUT: Live Seafood at Jasmine, New World Hotel, Makati
You’ll find only the freshest seafood-and unlimited dim sum.
New World Hotel, Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Tel. No. 811-6888
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) If you’ve never met fish you didn’t want to eat, then you might want to visit Jasmine, New World Hotel’s signature Chinese restaurant. Here, you can actually shake hand and claw with that fat crab crawling across the tank or wave at the shrimp floating from one end to the other. Chef Wong Kam On understands that the best way to enjoy seafood is to have it as fresh as possible.
He’s a squat, accommodating man from Hong Kong who, like any hardworking chef, religiously visits and/or contacts the market for the day’s best catch, which are so fresh that they’re delivered still largely unaware that they’re moving from tank to jacuzzi in a moment. Jasmine regulars have grown into a habit of calling him up in advance for special requests-wishes he generously grants whenever possible.
Jasmine’s Live Seafood promotion, which began in June and will end in December, features such hospitality. Fish, crustaceans, and other saltwater favorites are up for bidding for the kitchen to prepare in any way the customer wants. Chef Wong has his personal recommendations, of course. The Singapore Crab sits in a nest of savory eggs. It’s a wide, wondrous specimen grazed lightly with a sticky and mildly spicy sauce (heat levels may be customized to preference) with freshness from the sprinkle of chives. The Salt and Pepper Crab is just as delectable: another large offering with a thin, crisp coat of delectable salty powder. The shell pulls apart so effortlessly, confirming the freshness.
Steamed Live Garoupa
Chef Wong finds favorites in two dishes: the briny Steamed Live Garoupa with the garlic-fried bits of it settling like a little mountain on top-seeming to have fused with the flavors of the fish so efficiently. Then there are the luxurious jumbo shrimps. Truffle oil doesn’t exist in the chef’s world, and he tosses enough slivers of the actual stuff with the plump shelled shellfish.
Jasmine’s Live Seafood promotion is an extra special treat to indulge in, but if you’re not one for picking your fish and eating it too, Jasmine also offers unlimited dim sum for lunch for P795 (with jasmine tea) or P995 (with a 650-mL can of Sapporo beer) per person.
Live Seafood prices depend on available items and preparation. Photos by Warren Espejo.