20 (Fri) Feb 2015
Pan-Fried Egg Bean Curd, Scallop, Shrimp
at Li Li (New World)
with the family
Lunar New Year with the Family in PHL, Day 3 (see previously 6.045 Tortilla Española).
After spending the earlier part of the week in Seoul, we flew into Manila together late Tuesday night (see 6.043 Bibimbap). As on the prior family trip to the Philippines (see most recently 5.357 Chicago Cowboy Steak), which had gone so well that the wife was willing to come back so soon, the itinerary primarily involved water play for the kids and fine dining for the grown-ups. Flying back late tonight.
In search of higher quality fare than the joints on the streets of the neighborhood typically offer, I’m eating my way through the three 5-star hotels within walking distance of my apartment. One meal per restaurant, 9 in all, not including lounges, bars, coffee shops: 3 in New World, 5 in Pan-Pacific, 2 in Diamond. Bound to be expensive but maybe worth the hassle of going to Makati or Bonifacio. However, I may fold the project if the on-going returns suggest that I’m wasting my time/money/energy/concern.
This is the 6th restaurant to be covered, the 2nd from New World. 4 of 10 remaining.
The following tiers (“Would I go back for more?”) are based on the overall dining experience, including all the dishes sampled, cost, ambiance, cleanliness, and any other factors that may apply, cumulative through multiple visits (if any).
Tier 1 (looking forward to it):
- (6) NW-2 Li Li (6.046 Pan-Fried Egg Bean Curd, Scallop, Shrimp) / 4.0
- (4) PP2-Asunaro (5.348 American Lobster Aburi Gunkan) / 2.0
Tier 2 (sure, but not enthusiastically):
Tier 3 (only under dire circumstances):
- (2) D1-Corniche (5.095 Peking Duck) / 1.0
Tier 4 (to be avoided at all costs):
- (5) D-2 Yurakuen (6.015 Jyou Nigiri Sushi Moriawase) / 1.0
Li Li is a Chinese restaurant. Menu leans Cantonese. The priciest and fanciest Chinese restaurant in the area.
Based on this initial visit, I’m thinking that Li Li may also be the best Chinese restaurant in the area. Everything was well-constructed, well-seasoned, well-presented–exactly what TERNWPPD is supposed to be about. I might even consider TEILL, though the cost, such as that abalone dish, would make me think twice.
The Pan-Fried Egg Bean Curd, Scallop, Shrimp was fantastic. A cube of deep-fried egg tofu, topped with a pan-seared sea scallop and shrimp–each cooked to luxuriously silky perfection–smothered in a delicate scrambled egg sauce, plus steamed broccoli. Embodying Cantonese at its finest: simple yet sophisticated, light yet hearty. One of the Top 5 best dishes that I’ve had over the past 5 years.
The masochistically gluttonous “Try Every” series: (i) TERRP (…Restaurant in Robinsons Place) (see completed 5.247 TERRP 85 KFC : Original Recipe Fried Chicken…); (ii) TEITY (..Item at Tao Yuan) (see most recently 6.031 Fried Fish Skin); (iii) TERNWPPD (…Restaurant in New World, Pan-Pacific, Diamond) (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 6.035 Ulkeun Chicken Gizzaed); (vi) TEIBR (…Item at Bistro Remedios) (see most recently 6.014 Kare Karentang Butot Baka).