6.031 TEITY 34 : Fried Fish Skin

6.031

5 (Thu) January 2015

Fried Fish Skin

3.0

at Tao Yuan

-Malate, Manila-

with various K colleagues

TEITY (Try Every Item at Tao Yuan*).  Attempting to eat my way through the restaurant, all 222 items (excluding shark’s fin and desserts).  From what I’ve seen so far, it would seem to be one of the best in the neighborhood, solid on all counts: taste, quality, variety, service, vibe, proximity, maybe price.  Once I’ve tried everything, I’ll know exactly what to get, depending on the circumstances, whether it’s for a quick bite on my own, a casual night out with friends/colleagues/family, or a formal occasion hosting bosses/VIPs.  That kind of certainty, in the unpredictable culinary landscape of Manila, will be invaluable.

*The domain has recently expired, but I leave the link in case it comes back up.

The masochistically gluttonous “Try Every” series: (i) TERRP (…in Robinsons Place) (see completed 5.247 TERRP 85 KFC : Original Recipe Fried Chicken…); (ii) TEITY (…Item at Tao Yuan) (see most recently 6.009 Awful); (iii) TERNWPPD* (…Restaurant in New World Manila Bay Hotel, Pan-Pacific Manila, and Diamond Hotel Philippines) (see most recently 6.015 Jou Nigiri Sushi Moriawase); (iv) TERSK (…Restaurant in St Kilda) (see completed 5.339 Roasted Squid); (v) TEKREM (…Korean Restaurant in Ermita/Malate) (see most recently 6.029 Steamed Egg); (vi) TEIBR (…Item at Bistro Remedios) (see most recently 6.014 Kare Karentang Butot Baka).

14 new items tonight, total 201 down, 19 remaining, 34 visits so far, averaging 5.91 items per visit (as of tonight), on pace to finish at TEITY 39–I can see the end.

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BLUE: highly recommended / GREEN: respectable / YELLOW: mediocre / ORANGE: better avoided / RED: never again / GREY: off-limits (ethical concerns)

In stark contrast to the weird/icky stuff that we had last time, this meal focused on my favorite thing in the world: fresh seafood, including lobster.

The highlight was the fried fish skin.  Not knowing what to expect but fearing the worst, I was quite surprised to the contrary.  Deep-fried to a perfect crisp, nary a trace of oil.  Whether dunked briefly in the broth or as is, worked well either way.  Remarkably clean and delicate flavor, almost to the point of being tasteless, making me think that it’s from a large white saltwater fish.  While the lobster was the best part of the meal, the fish skin was the most interesting.

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XO Sauce (3.0)–never seen XO sauce for sale on a menu; it’s nice, slightly fishy, in a good way, adding more depth of flavor to the dip; but not really necessary as the spread of free condiments is just fine (see generally 5.299 Tangho).
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[Slipper] Lobster (3.5)–also known as “bugs” (see for example 5.180 Mahi Mahi…), but referred to incorrectly on the menu here as “rock lobster;” in fact, the “original lobster” is rock lobster.
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As far as I can tell, these are just as good as regular lobster, but a double-double better value as they’re cheaper by weight and they don’t have huge heads to weigh them down (I’ll have to try these in white pepper sauce next time my family comes)
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Crab (2.0)–my New Year’s resolution was to stop eating crab, solely because they’re a pain to eat.
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As a party of five, a four-seater table with the built-in induction pad would’ve been too tight.

This kind of arrangement is not recommended.  First, the lazy susan and portable stove raise the pot so high that the inside is visible only when partially standing.  Second, each cluster of diners is focused on their own pot, impeding a larger group dynamic.  We tried it once with a single pot, but then it had to be rotated back and forth on the lazy susan so that people on the ends of the table could get their food.

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Black Fungus (1.5)–otherwise known as “wood ear mushrooms;” okay in stir-fries, not so much in hot-pot.
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Lapu-Lapu (2.0)–as suspected, the flesh kinda fell apart in the broth; decent flavor.
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Tangho (previously covered) + Japanese Mushrooms (previously covered) + Pumpkin Slice (1.5)–mushy.
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Squid Paste (2.5)–spooned by the server into bite-sized pieces and dropped into the broth; pretty good.
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Egg Tart with Birds Nest (1.0) + Osmanthus Flower Cake (1.0)–judging by how they just dump everything on the same plate, they must know that I don’t give really care about these kinds of quasi-dessert items.

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ADDENDUM

10 (Fri) April 2015

Finished (see generally 6.095 Done).

13 thoughts on “6.031 TEITY 34 : Fried Fish Skin

  1. i remember you don’t like the tables in the hall. dishes look so beautifully delicious except fried fish skin–indeed, an interesting dish, but i wonder if it has any nutritious value.

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