Savortooth: Henry’s Place By Good Earth

Funny enough, while I’m always in Bonifacio Global City, I’m rarely in Burgos Circle which is a shame because amid the Ayala landscape, this small Megaworld oasis has some good eats.

I grew up eating in Chinese restaurants from Bicol to Greenhills to Banawe to Binondo so when I blindly entered Henry’s Place,  Chinese fare was the last thing I expected. The name didn’t have the words dragon or red or gold in it, or even some Chinese characters in pingyin. There are no Buddha and Lion figurines guarding the entrance. Except for a pair of paper lanterns, the classic red and gold hues were kept at a minimum.

Henry’s Place is a tie-up between Seachamp Export Corporation and Good Earth. The menu is extensive and fronted by modern Chinese dishes, or rather, Chinese fare with a twist. They have the usual suspects like Peking Duck, Pork Siomai, and Yang Chow, but they also feature items such as Tunaquitos and Chinese Paella.

Free hakao and xiao long bao appetizer. I didn’t try the hakao since I was still recovering from an allergic reaction (I’m terribly allergic to shrimps, but I still eat them anyway). I did a xiao long bao list for SPOT.ph last year and I was mildly surprised with this one’s darker hue.

Xiao long bao is a dumpling with piping hot, delicious broth masterfully encased in the rice dough. While we commend the presentation–already laid on a spoon sparing us from the complexities of chopsticks–it’s disconcerting to see the moat of broth outside the actual dim sum.

Green Mango Shake. I’m slowly but surely quitting my iced tea addiction.

Lily on the Pod. Prawn meat, water chestnuts, and Chinese mshrooms sandwiched between eggplant slices and doused with secret curry sauce. If you’re not a fan of eggplant, this may serve as your gateway dish. I avoid the stuff usually, but my sister told me that eggplant has very subtle flavors that rely so much on their spices, and now I’m starting to be a believer. It’s nicely peppery with a variation of textures that’ll all work well together inside your mouth.

Crispy Duck Roll. Shredded roast duck, green onions, and cucumbers in a crepe.

This was my favorite. I love how they used shredded duck instead of one hard and crusty slab of meat. It’s much easier and more delightful to eat;  no embarrassing moments of meat unattractively hanging from our mouths.

Chinese Paella or Kiampong. I love the slivers of chestnuts, but I’ve never warmed up to sweet rice. It reminds me of my ahma’s machang minus the leaf envelope. I liked the Good Earth fried rice with salted fish more. Pity I forgot to take a photo.

No-name noodles. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take note of this dish. 😦 It was the farthest from me on the table and I only had a little bite. The noodles aren’t flat and translucent, but the taste and texture reminded me of Pad Thai.

Orange Chicken. Though strictly not Oriental in origin, this Western innovation has become sought after in Chinese restaurants in the Philippines. Blame it on Jericho’s OW-range sa sarap Chowking ad.  When it comes to zesty chicken, I’m partial to lemon, but this might actually be my second favorite among all the dishes we tried. It’s zippy but not overpowering–an easy mistake when using orange to season. It’s also all chicken breasts (with yummy chicken skin) so we were saved from the trouble of deboning.

Steamed fish with tausi. Of course we’d try the fish! It wouldn’t be a Chinese feast without it. Melts-in-your-mouth softness. The flavor is mild but not weak.

Halo-halo. I would have liked this. I like my halo-halo simple, not too loaded, with only fruits providing the flavor profile. The fruits were on the icy side though, making them almost painful to eat! I would’ve waited for it to thaw a bit had it not been for the melting ice cream.

 

Edited (October 31, 2012) to add: I found out today that my photos will be used for the SPOT.ph feature. 😀

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