Dim sum bites and Cantonese cuisine in Cebu

Of apples and lemons

BEST Premium Buffet, Best Chocolate Cookies, Best Cheesecake and Best Ensaymada. These are four of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu’s awards from SunStar Best of Cebu in 2018. But it looks like the hotel is gunning for another award with the addition of a new food outlet—the Hai Shin Lou.

Hai Shin Lou, the Seafood King, is a popular Manila-based restaurant specializing in authentic Cantonese cuisine. After 15 years in the dining scene, it opened its first restaurant outside of the capital city and chose a stately, hilltop address in Cebu City—Marco Polo Plaza.

What makes Hai Shin Lou special? First, its line-up of chefs— all from Hong Kong and wizards in their field of specialties, and that makes authenticity of the cuisine unquestionable. Heading the culinary team is Executive Chef King Kwong Chan, one of the best roasting chefs from Hong Kong. With him are two other fellow chefs from Hong Kong, Chinese Dim Sum Chef Wong Hon Chau and Chinese Wok Chef Raymond Hui.

Second, Hai Shin Lou uses the freshest and the best imported and local ingredients. With that on the prep table, you are assured of the crisp, natural taste of every dish. Flavor is not compromised.

On a recent trip to Cebu, a hearty lunch was waiting for me at Hai Shin Lou. I left it to my host, Manna Alacaraz, to present the specialties of the house, which two people can feast on. What she picked from the menu were also my all-time favorites that included the Hakaw (yes, fresh shrimps with no after taste), Salt and Pepper Squid (very tender and flavorful), and the Garlic Pepper Ribs (I could go for a second order of this).

The spread can actually feed not-so-hungry four people, but over a long, winding lunch filled with conversation, we (well, me mostly) got to enjoy it to the last bite.

Will I go back? That’s for sure. Many of Cebu’s diners will agree with me. I was told that the restaurant, barely a year old, has already established a list of loyal clientele—and the list is growing. Go try it out, you might just end up on their list.

With this new Cantonese restaurant with delectable dim sum bites and more, looks like Marco Polo Plaza Cebu is up for another SunStar Best of Cebu award soon.

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