Prepare for Some Unusual Treats From This Michelin-Star Restaurant at The Podium

Putien's take on sweet and sour pork is a must-try.

5/F The Podium, 12 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday to Sunday)

( Despite our current circumstances, it’s pretty safe to say no one’s going to get tired of Chinese food anytime soon. It’s one of those inexplicably universal comfort cuisines, and as much as other countries may try, it just can’t be elbowed out. Still, there’s plenty about the regional dishes we don’t know—enter Putien.

The Podium outpost takes design notes from Putien's branches in other countries. Shown here is their Kitchener Road branch in Singapore.
Putien Facebook page

“[We serve] characteristically light, down-to-earth, flavorful food, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients. [These are] the flavors of my hometown,” says founder Fong Chi Chung, who hails from the suburbs of Putian, along the Fujian coast.

Mop that gravy up with the bread on the side!
PHOTO BY Michiko Manalang
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Lychee gives their sweet and sour pork an unexpected fruity kick.
PHOTO BY Michiko Manalang

The food is nothing like the Chinese food you know, and that can be hard to wrap one’s head around. There are familiar dishes like the Chilli Crab, but it’s served swimming (ha!) in a mild, sweet gravy that you can mop up with some of the smoothest toasted mantou you’ve ever had. The Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychee also seems familiar at first, but the feel of the meat is almost too tender to be real, and the lychee adds a surprisingly refreshing note.

The mantou makes multiple appearances on the menu, but is always a welcome bite.
PHOTO BY Michiko Manalang
The chili sauce they serve with everything is perfect with these prawns.
PHOTO BY Michiko Manalang

Seafood lovers will be completely at home here, but so will adventurous eaters. The Cereal Prawns are crispy, brimming with texture and fresh ocean-y goodness, while the Pig Intestines are totally okay for the faint of heart—they’re fancy hotdogs, in the best sense.

History buffs will love this place too; the signature Bian Rou Soup is “500 years of history in every bowl,” sporting a sourness that is cushioned by the deep umami of the dumpling wrappers, which themselves are made of pounded-down pork hind. 

It’s a unique experience, certainly, and its Michelin star is no mystery.

Putien is open tonight at Level 5, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City. Menu prices to follow.

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