Authentic Chinese Dishes at DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Up until now, McKinley Hill was an unexplored territory for me. I would see pictures taken at the Venice Grand Canal or hear about newly opened restaurants in the area, but I haven’t found the opportunity to visit them.

Thanks to an invitation extended by Saan Sa PH, I was able to explore the area and sample the authentic Chinese dishes of DaTang.

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

The restaurant occupies a sprawling area along the The Venice Piazza’s Grand Canal. Its interiors feature a mix of classic Asian and modern influences, with panels of traditional Chinese paintings adoring one of the walls, bright red Chinese lanterns providing soft illumination, dark brown furniture and grey tiles highlighted by gold accents. The round tables are equipped with lazy susans, rotating trays that help in distributing food among the diners, particularly useful in Chinese restaurants wherein large varieties of dishes are served all at once. The restaurant also provides a magazine rack style implement with cover for bags, quite a boon for those who lug around their purses, camera bags and other items.

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Jazmin Laboriente, the restaurant’s marketing manager, shared that unlike dishes served by most of the Chinese restaurants in the metro which are rooted in the Cantonese regions, DaTang’s offerings dishes originated from the Sichuan and Hunan provinces which are characterized by their propensity towards bold and spicy flavors. This direction in menu items is driven by Fan Li, the restaurant manager, as well as the three Chinese chefs who oversee the kitchen’s operations.

No wonder, then, that the restaurant is patronized by so many Chinese customers.

The spice factor of some of the restaurant’s signature dishes may have been tempered for the Filipino palate, but those seeking the heat can simply request for the authentic spicy version of the viands or ask for liberal amounts of chili oil or chopped chilis to get the kind heat that they want. (As for me, the tempered version is fine, hehehe!)

Our Chinese food feast consisted dishes which were exotic in both taste and appearance, such as:

Appetizers

Preserved Eggs in Ginger Sauce (Php220)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Beef and Scallion Dumpling (Php280)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Pork, Shrimp and Mushroom Spinach Dumpling (Php260)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun (Php120 for 3 pieces)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Stir-fried Chinese Brocolli (Php195)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Braised Pig Feet (Php350)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

The appetizers are mostly mild-flavored food – usually either steamed or braised — which serve to whet the diners’ appetite for more.

Mains

Mapo Tofu (Php280)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Sliced Beef in Hot Chili Oil (Php580)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Sweet and Sour Pork (Php280)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Shredded Pork Fried Rice with Egg (Php195)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

This is where things get interesting. 🙂

The Mapo Tofu and the Sliced Beef in Hot Chili Oil are both characteristically spicy and oily (though I’ve heard from other attendees that they’ve tasted spicier versions of these dishes elsewhere).

The appearance and texture of the pork slices in Sweet and Sour Pork can be likened to katsu: they are firm yet tender to the bite. Unlike the sweet and sour dishes we’re used to at home, its sauce is more sour than sweet.

These three main dishes are well-complemented by the Shredded Pork Fried Rice with Egg, which balances out the spiciness of the viands.

Dessert

Fried Sesame Balls (Php75 for 3 pieces)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Snow Pear (Php150 for 3 pieces | Php300 for 6 pieces)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Fried Milk (Php240)

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Being a certified sweet tooth, of course I would have something to say about DaTang’s dessert offerings! The mung-bean-filled Fried Sesame Balls – buchi to most of us here in the Philippines – are pretty much standard fare in many Chinese restaurants. The Snow Pear and Fried Milk, however, are quite unique in look, feel and taste. The Snow Pear are actually glutinous rice filled with custard, very sticky and quite yummy. The Fried Milk bars are actually breaded custard that, when served hot, melts in your mouth in a mild burst of sweetness.

A meal at DaTang is guaranteed to be a journey to a side of Chinese cuisine seldom experienced in the metro.

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

Curious yet? How about checking out this resto and its offerings on or before February 10 to take advantage of a 45% discount on all food items?

DaTang, The Venice Piazza

DaTang is located at Ground Floor, Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley Hill, Taguig City, open Mondays to Fridays from 11am to 11pm and Saturdays to Sundays from 10am to 11pm. For reservations and inquiries, call + 63 2 8452792 or +63 917 8620075. You can also order and pay via WeChat for your food and just have them picked up at the restaurant.

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a food tasting held in this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

DaTang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine at Fantaste, Salcedo Village

Sichuan (also called Szechuan) cuisine, which originates from Chinese province of the same name, is known for its bold flavors, resulting from the variety of seasonings and cooking methods used.

Newly opened restaurant Fantaste brings a taste of Sichuan into the heart of Makati City.  Along with a selected group of bloggers and foodies (as well as my daughter, #ExhibitA), I was able to attend its Grand Opening and sample its many food offerings.

The restaurant’s mascot is reminiscent of Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda, chosen because, according to the wait staff, the panda symbolizes friendship, unity and world peace.

Fantaste’s claim to fame is its rice bowls.  These dishes are individually cooked in their own clay pot bowl, topped with hearty servings of viands, accompanied by steamed bok choi and half a salted egg, then doused with a secret sauce upon serving.  Its heated clay pot container maintains the rice bowls’ heat during the entire meal, even giving the bottom grains a slightly toasted crunch and flavor.

Given a choice of which among its twelve rice bowl choices to sample, I opted for the Chicken and Mushroom (Php260) while my daughter got intrigued with the mysteriously titled The Best of Fantaste (Php220).  To be honest, I think I had the better choice, my bowl having a better mixture of tastes and textures.

I overheard from my seatmates (and seconded by my daughter who is more well-traveled than I) that the dishes feature the taste of mainland China’s provinces, rather than the taste we normally associate with Hong Kong which is more familiar to the Filipino palette.  We all welcome the variety that these bring to our dining experience, although some would be an acquired taste: the Red Jujube and White Fungus Soup (Php120) for example, had a seemingly bland broth with explosions of sweet and tartness from the date fruit and the meat flavor of its chicken bits.

The restaurant also has a breakfast menu which we were all also able to sample: the Congee (Php120) and Beef and Lettuce Congee (Php140) which, to me, served as a subtle palette for toppings; the Steamed Vermicelli Roll (Php120) which had a nice spicy kick; the carbo-loaded Yangzhuo (or more commonly known as Yang Chow) Fried Rice (Php160); Pork Ribs coated with Glutinous Rice (Php140); the Dry Fried Noodles with Beef (Php180) which had a nice peanut-ty taste; and the Fried Noodles with Three Shreds (Php180).

Those looking to complete their taste of authentic Chinese food can even opt for drinks imported from the mainland such as Chinese versions of our favorite softdrinks, flavored yogurt drinks and flavored teas.

Given the novelty of its food offerings, I would suggest to the restaurant manager to consider having a menu with pictures and descriptions of the dishes.  That way, the really adventurous foodies would know which items are in line with their palates while the less gastronomically conservative patrons can choose those which more closely align with their taste.

I would also suggest a less upbeat background music: the resto’s offerings are somewhat traditional and some can even be considered medicinal (particularly its herbal teas) .  If the resto would like to capitalize on the health benefits of its cuisine, a more languid and traditional background music would be more appropriate.

Just my two cents… 🙂

Foodies who will journey all the way to Makati to visit this resto should also consider where they can park.  Parking spots are severely limited and the nearest pay parking area charges Php80 for just two hours.

Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I was invited to attend this restaurant’s Grand Opening.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Fantaste Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants: