Din Tai Fung, SM Megamall Manila

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Much hype has surrounded the recent opening of Din Tai Fung in Manila’s SM Megamall. The Taiwanese chain has several outlets in Malaysia, where they serve excellent soup dumplings (xiao loong bao), so I was excited to see if the quality was up to par here. I found it somehow… lacking.  It wasn’t that they weren’t good. Tender minced pork and melted gelatin forming a savoury broth was encased within thin and translucent wrappers, each with 18 perfect folds. What I can say it, it wasn’t the best Din Tai Fung I’ve had.. and they lose out to the unconventional (but deliciously addictive) versions at Paradise Dynasty (which I heard has also newly opened in Manila!)

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For something more substantial, there’s Braised Beef Noodle Soup. Opted for half meat/half tendon. The meat was tender and juicy, but tendon wasn’t so great coz it felt extremely fatty (as was the soup, although it was packed with flavour). The noodles were good though, with an al-dente bite to them.

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Shrimp and pork wanton soup was bland; had to dip everything in soy sauce. I’m not sure is it because being from Malaysia, I’m used to very strong flavours. But then I feel like Filipinos like pungent stuff too so idk what the reasoning is for this lack of flavour.  ._.

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Say what I will, the place was full of patrons. Expect higher end prices. Service was excellent and attentive.

DIN TAI FUNG

SM Megamall Building B, St Francis, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines

Opening hours: 10am-10pm

 

Dad’s Buffet @ SM Megamall Manila

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My time in the Philippines was well spent – I got to enjoy my vacation and meet up with a couple of close Stickam friends! I already met Geldy and Bonny in Tagaytay, so the last friend was Kris. I was in the mood for a buffet, so we had lunch at SM Megamall at a place called Dad’s. 

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The place was massive; spanning across several restaurants under the same roof, namely Kamayan (Filipino spread) and Saisaki (Japanese spread). There was also a dessert counter and Western food counter. For only PHP588, I thought it was a steal as the sheer variety here beats any similarly priced buffets back in Malaysia!

(Above) Appetisers of breads, cheese and cold cuts

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Onion rings, chicken tenders and other deep fried finger food.

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Tender, roast beef cuts.

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A Filipino buffet can’t be complete without the customary lechon, crispy pata and other similarly porky goodness.

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Get creative at the pasta station where guests can customise their noodles with different sauces and ingredients.

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I liked the baked mussels: they were huge, fresh and topped with loads of cheese. Other patrons must agree, since they were all gone by the time I went back for seconds and were not replenished D:

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Traditional Filipino dishes. Even trying a bit of everything was enough to make us full, and we weren’t even done with all of them ! There were easily 100 dishes and more at the buffet.

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Finally tried kare-kare, which is beef tripe cooked in peanut sauce. The gravy tasted similar to satay sauce but sweeter, and it went well with the soft texture of tripe. Would be great to go with rice.

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For me, the Japanese section alone was impressive, with over 70 types of sushi and sashimi. I liked their fried tempura counters, which had karaage (fried chicken), ebi (shrimp), veggie tempura alongside grilled teriyaki chicken, salmon and more. Tastewise, they weren’t particularly great but not bad either.

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The dessert counter had ice-cream, cookies, chocolate, cakes, puddings, sweets and everything your inner sweet-tooth could possibly want. Sometimes the sugar was too much to handle.

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Chocolate cake was thick, rich and creamy. I also liked the eclaires, but the meringue was too much; it was like eating pure sugar.

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Verdict: Dad’s is a good place to go to for special occasions, and for the variety it serves, the price is quite reasonable.

DAD’s
4th Level Bridgeway SM Megamall EDSA,
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
Opening hours:

Monday – Friday
11:30 am to 2:30 pm / 6pm to 10pm

Saturday – Sunday
11:00 am to 2:30 pm / 6pm to 10pm