New Restaurant Alert: Victoria Harbour at Resorts World Manila, Pasay
Hong Kong food for those 21 and over.
Resorts World Manila, Newport Boulevard, Pasay City
Tel. No. 908-8000 (7201)
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) There is one immediate problem: you have to be 21 or older to enter Victoria Harbour. As if you could put an age limit on enjoyment. As if anyone younger couldn't appreciate this kind of Chinese food. This is all not true, of course, but that may be the price of putting it inside a casino. It could be some sort of delayed gratification.
We might be overthinking things though, because Victoria Harbour is not the least bit complicated. It's Hong Kong street food refined to fit the conveniences of being indoors. Chef David Choo, who also mans Genting’s VIP restaurant Happy 9, makes everything from scratch, from the noodles to the sauces.
Radish Cake (P115) and Fried Shrimp Wonton (P165)
Pak Choy and Beef
You can determine the difference in quality immediately after a bite. Take the Pak Choy Rice with Beef Brisket (P230). It's the picture of unfussiness with the brown and green mingling over sauced-up white rice. The thick, golden layers of fat are visible, but they disappear into natural juices with the beef when you take your first spoonful. "The more fat, the better," says Chef David, with a big smile. That’s usually the case, chef.
Wonton Noodle Soup
Victoria Harbour nails your classic Hong Kong fare straight on the head: noodles-all thin, all springy noodles in warm soup (get the one with steamed wontons for P200); dim sum (the hakao is tightly packed with fresh shrimp and the siomai is delightfully savory), and congee.
Steamed Rice with Roast Pork
Steamed Rice with Roast Chicken (P200)
Chef David's handle with the rice, however, is especially noteworthy. At this point in your life, after all the Chinese food you’ve probably consumed, yang chow has become an indistinct variation of fried rice, but his version (P165) is especially flavorful, perfectly salty with whole fresh shrimps instead of grudging bits and pieces.
The Roast Pork (P200), more commonly known here as Lechon Macau, has a crisp skin that blankets those alternating layers of meat and fat that you'll once again want to savor. It's paired with a plum sauce that's tamer than usual. Perhaps, Chef David's way of highlighting the flavor of pork belly.
Milk Tea with a moat of ice to avoid diluting the flavor
Victoria Harbour makes a bid for your entire day-which shouldn't be too hard when you've found luck in the slots and you don’t want to leave-with all-day Chinese breakfast options. There's simple toast with butter and sweet kaya or coconut jam (P80). It also comes in delectable peanut-butter (P80), which kids would fight you for. But unfortunately for them, they're not here. Perhaps that's why. Some things are much too good for children, after all.