New eats: Panda Express now in Manila with exclusive PH-only dishes

Kara Vibal Guioguio

Posted at Dec 11 2019 05:36 PM

A la carte boxes are available with prices starting from P130. Handout

MANILA, Philippines — Food evokes many wondrous memories and some of mine come in an all-red Chinese takeaway box with a friendly panda. 

Panda Express, the iconic international food chain, opens its first Philippine restaurant to the public at SM Megamall on Thursday, December 12, just in time for the holiday Season. 

Everyone queuing in the canteen-style counter will be at a momentary daze in deciding which of the Chinese-American dishes to try first from a plethora of offerings that Panda Express is known throughout the world. 

“It’s the same Panda Express experience the world loves,” said Ned Bandojo of Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC), which brought the beloved food franchise to the country. 

Nick Myers, international marketing manager, who flew from the US, added: “Our journey started being trailblazers in food, cuisine, and culture. We’re working side by side with the JFC team who has amazing passion and energy.” 

The ala carte menu includes the iconic Original Orange Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Broccoli Beef, Asian Grilled Chicken, and Eggplant Tofu. The restaurant, in promoting healthier eating habits, is known for publishing the calorie count of the dishes. They have a healthier meal alternative in Wok Smart selections which is 300 calories or less per bowl. 

The chain is known for publishing the calorie count of the dishes on their menu boards, as seen here in their SM Megamall branch. Handout

Filipinos are in for a treat as Panda Express has come up with Philippines-only exclusive items such as the egg drop soup, mango sago, coffee jelly, and crinkles desserts.

Diners will be asked to choose between a Bowl (one entrée and one side, P195), Plate (two entrees and 1 side, P245) or a Bigger Plate (three entrees and one side, P295). Those who might have a hard time choosing a side dish can always opt for a half and half serving of the all-time favorite ried Rice and Chow Mein combo. 

Groups dining together can avail of the Family Feast box (two large entrees and two large sides, P1,200). 

“We offer a lot of variety of authentic Chinese cooking and serve quality items like freshly-cut vegetables. But at the heart of it all, are our people,” Myers said.

A Red Panda plate. Photo by author