While it is not uncommon to hear suggestions of eating dim sum, dumplings, fish and oranges to attract good luck, Red Jade—the newest addition to the historic Manila Hotel’s food outlets—takes dining for prosperity to a whole new level.
Red Jade, for those who have been long-time patrons of the 109-year-old hotel, has opened in place of the former Mabuhay Palace Chinese restaurant.
“We have the shame shell of space as the former Mabuhay Palace but everything else, from interior to menu, is completely new for Red Jade,” Manila Hotel’s Vice President for Marketing Therese Necio intimated to The Manila Times during a special lunch gathering.
On soft opening for only a month now, Red Jade zooms in on two opulent symbols of the Chinese culture—the color red and the precious stone jade—in order to spread good fortune to diners even before they order classic Cantonese cuisine delights.
Red, as everyone knows, is a popular color among the Chinese to symbolize luck, happiness and joy, as well as a time of celebration. Capitalizing on this color, red is the dominant color of the restaurant as reflected on their chairs and walls with intricate and ornate details. The interior is finished off with tastefully chosen Chinese decor and figurines.
“We partnered with Rachy Cuna, a well-known interior designer and event coordinator to come up with a restaurant that has refined elegance, and not jarringly red in terms of the color palette. This way, we still celebrate authentic Chinese culture but in a very subtle and visually pleasing way,” Necio added.
On the other hand, jade is a precious stone long associated with good luck. Thus, using these two elements together for the restaurant’s name, Red Jade hopes to bring good health, success and prosperity to everyone who comes to partake of its of its delicious offerings.
As for the menu, Red Jade has not left anything to luck, what with its promise to serve authentic Cantonese food for discerning Filipinos diners.
“Within China, its people rate Cantonese as one of the best cuisines,” Necio noted.
As such, fans of Mabuhay Palace’s flavors will be happy to know that Sun Bing carries on as Chef de Cuisine. For Red Jade, however, he adds on dishes inspired by the provinces of Sichuan and Hunan and the cities of Shanghai and Beijing.
“The best thing about Cantonese cuisine is that tastes are always fresh so that ingredients are not masked in so much sauce. If you don’t cook it right, it’s very telling that’s why it’s a very difficult cuisine to prepare as well. But I am proud to say that we do what is difficult in serving our menu,” Necio remarked.
Starting off with dim sum, lovers of bite-sized delights will immensely enjoy Red Jade’s steamed pork and shrimp “siomai,” steamed shrimp dumpling “hargao,” and pan-fried radish cake “bi fung tang” style, among a long list of other classics in this category.
Then there are the various appetizers and barbecued specialties to further whet the appetite such as Red Jade’s five-dish combination, suckling pig combination, roasted suckling pig and roasted Peking duck, which can be served three different ways.
Instant hits among the crowd during the lunch preview were Lobster Glazed with Sliced Almonds and Fried Stuffed Scallops with Crab Roe Sauce. Piping hot—in terms of temperature and spiciness—Dan Dan Noodles Szechuan Style also hit the spot.
For main course, diners will be pleasantly surprised with the choice of Pan-Fried Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Honey Pepper Sauce, Wagyu Beef with Olives Fried Rice beside the option of having live seafood cooked in various ways.
Finally, for dessert, Red Jade guarantees its Fried Ice-Cream with Mango Sauce, which gives off that hot and cold, sweet and savory medley, will become everyone’s favorite meal finale.
“As you can see, we have taken Cantonese cuisine to a higher level while not forgetting about authenticity, and we pride ourselves in that,” Necio ended.