MANILA -- Sup? Chow by Francis Lim (NAV, Tipple & Slaw) presents Makati urbanites with another option for Chinese/Asian cuisine, with some delectable twists.
Located at the second floor of Antel Corporate Center in Salcedo Village, the spacious restaurant, with its modern industrial interiors, serves unapologetic, “modern” versions of Lim’s take on Chinese and Asian dishes.
Palates will find familiar flavors put together in different ways. In the Birthday Misua, for example, Lim takes misua, with broccoli and char sui pork, and wraps it in rice paper. When the dish comes to the table, sauced with three kinds of vegetable purees, it seems far removed from what we know of “birthday noodles,” but with a bite, it takes us to familiar territory.
While the restaurant draws a crowd during lunch (thanks to its rice bowls, and for-sharing portions for ala-carte dishes), Sup? Chow at night provides a great option for relatively quiet dinner and/or drinks, after the hustle-and-bustle of a workday.
Here are some suggestions:
Mapo Tofu Wantons. Jeeves de Veyra
Mapo Tofu Wantons
Starting your meal with flavor will never be a problem in Sup? Chow. Combining salt, sweetness, spice, and texture, the Mapo Tofu Wantons are crispy wanton shells piled high with mapo tofu, topped with chili threads, sauced with a leek sauce. It’s a filling starter, a quick snack, or a dish that will go well with a cocktail or beer. Remember to top it with some of the table-side pickled radishes and chilies for a more balanced bite.
Cong Yu Bing. Jeeves de Veyra
Cong Yu Bing
Can’t decide on what to get? Order the Cong Yu Bing. Lim’s version of the scallion pancake transforms itself into street tacos. These “pancakes” have three types of toppings. One has miso fried chicken with nori and burnt onion puree, topped with pickled onions. Another would be a taco of braised duck with broccoli. This author’s pick though is the vegetarian option, which has stir-fried mushrooms with a green sauce, topped with fried shallots. It’s a light and earthy option, very easy to eat, again with Lim’s pickled radishes.
Hot & Sour Soup
While the Beef Noodle Soup also gets this author’s raves for being refreshing and delightful with chewy housemade noodles, its tender beef, and sweet-salty (think pares) broth, those looking for intense flavors must try Lim’s Hot & Sour Soup – Laksa Style. Potato glass noodles with a thick, rich, and creamy sauce of coconut, seafood, and spices, tempered with some sourness (perhaps from lime/lemon), enriched with a ramen egg makes for a laksa lover’s delight.
Tan Tan Misua. Jeeves de Veyra
Tan Tan Misua
One of this author’s favorite dishes in the Sup? Chow menu, the Tan Tan Misua takes dandan noodles into the logical direction of a tantanmen, giving it a "soupier" sauce. Misua gives it another level of flavor (there’s more nuttiness to the bite), and the dish is a harmony of peanut and spicy chili goodness, with shrimp for protein. A must -try.
Korean Beef Stew. Jeeves de Veyra
Chow Suey & Korean Beef Stew Bowls
Rice bowls are a popular option in Sup? Chow, with many bowl options of its ala-carte dishes like the Char Sui, the Braised Pork Belly, and the luxurious Duck Rice. Our top picks for I-can-eat-this-everyday-dining are the Chow Suey, and the Korean Beef Stew Bowls. The former takes the idea of a chop suey and mixes it with fried rice -- think mixed vegetables in your fried rice, with liver shavings for richness and umami. The latter takes the sweet-salty-sesame tinged flavor of a dark and fork-tender Korean Beef Stew, serving it up with kimchi rice.
Duck Curry. Jeeves de Veyra
This off-menu item has rich yellow-tinged sauce that packs on the heat and the flavor, the duck beautifully stands up nicely to the heat. Heavenly with white rice.
Two kinds of Masachi. Jeeves de Veyra
Dessert can be masachi (the Chinese version of the Japanese mochi) in two different preparations. One is the more flavor-forward Masachi Black Ginger in Ginger Milk, which has masachi swimming in ginger milk. This author much prefers the uncomplicated deliciousness of the Masachi with White Chocolate, masachi stuffed with white chocolate dusted with soy powder.
The Thai Milk Tea will be quick to quench any of the spicy heat from Sup? Chow’s dishes, but if you’re looking for a alcoholic options, the restaurant offers beers, spirits, and various cocktails.
For a hot night in Makati, there’s the Mango Margi. This tropical margarita made from mango, mango rum liqueur, lime juice, and of course, tequila, is topped with mango boba for some fun.