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October 4, 2013

Dimsum Battle in Banawe: Causeway Seafood Restaurant, King Chef, Wan Chai Tea House, Mandarin Sky

Hungry? Where do we go? 

BANAWE!!! 

What do we eat?

DIMSUM!!!

Banawe is our go-to place for dimsum especially when the clock strikes 9:00pm. Why? Well, mainly because most dimsum places in the area offers up to 50% discount on their dimsum selections. 

Now the question is, where is the best dimsum place in Banawe? I've compiled 4 of the Chinese restaurants we've tried in Banawe to come up with my answer- Causeway, King Chef, Wan Chai Tea and Mandarin Sky.

Siomai


The classic dimsum. We usually skip the siomai from Causeway (P48) 'cause we find it bland. King Chef (P52) probably has the biggest and meatiest siomai among the 4 restaurants. Wan Chai's (P52) siomai is pretty ok but expect a lot of fats on it. On the bright side though, it's juicy and flavorful. Mandarin Sky has the smallest sized siomai of all though it's still meaty and tasty.

Winner: King Chef- Although I recommend getting their signature X.O. Siomai (P60).. it's way better :)

Hakaw


Honestly, all hakaw tastes good to me. It's just a matter of how many and how fresh and plump the shrimps are inside it. Plus, I also don't like hakaw with very thick wrappers. Causeway's hakaw (P83) is not included in their promo so it's at regular price.  King Chef's (P60) as you can see has the plumpest hakaw among the 4 contenders. Wan Chai's hakaw (P62) is actually my favorite even though it's not as plump as the others. Mandarin Sky's pretty ok, but their wrapper is a bit thick.

Winner: Wan Chai

Shark's Fin Dumpling



I mentioned earlier that we seldom order siomai in Causeway. That is because we find their shark's fin dumpling (P48) better and tastier, so we order that instead. King Chef's (P52) version is always a hit or miss for us. Their meat is tender with some vermicelli, but sometimes their wrapper is dry and hard. Wan Chai's shark's fin (P48) is big and meaty with some shrimps inside as well. 

Winner: Causeway

Chicken Feet 


For the Chicken Feet, Causeway's (P48), King Chef's (P52), and Mandarin Sky's are all equally great. They are soft, tender and plump, covered in sweet sauce which I like. I guess they just differ with the sauce recipe. My least favorite would be Wan Chai's (P52) version which is a bit hard and less tasty. 

Winner: Causeway, King Chef, Mandarin Sky

Beef Ball 


We're not really fans of beef balls, but we order them once in a while. Causeway's Beef Balls (P48) are bland, while I cannot remember how Mandarin Sky's taste like. This would probably be a tie between Wan Chai (P48) and King Chef (P60) as both have equally tasty and juicy beef balls. But since Wan Chai's cheaper, then I'd choose Wan Chai as the winner. 

Winner: Wan Chai

Beancurd Roll


One of my favorite dimsum! I used to love Causeway's beancurd roll (P48). In fact, it's my favorite dimsum from them. However, during our last visit, we noticed that it looked different and tasted different too. King Chef's beancurd roll (P52) is really huge, so plus points for its serving and price. The meat is tender and soft with veggies inside. Wan Chai (P56) and Mandarin Sky's versions are both meaty and chunky as well. 

Winner: King Chef  

Kuchay Dumpling


Another dimsum favorite. Causeway's kuchay dumplings (P48) are generously stuffed with purely kuchay only. That is why my mom who doesn't like eating pork, enjoys this so much. King Chef's (P60) on the other hand has more meat than kuchay. Wan Chai's (P52) version is our favorite, having the right balance of kuchay and pork fillings. 

Winner: Wan Chai

Tausi Fish Head


My favorite of all time. I've learned to love Tausi Fish Head ever since I tried Causeway's (P48) version. But I shifted to Wan Chai (P56) since it's more meaty compared to others I've tried. I just hope they learn to remove the scales in some parts of the fish head. King Chef's (P60) fish head is not always available but I seldom order fish head here since it's less meaty. Mandarin Sky's my least favorite. Don't forget to ask for some ginger sauce to go along with your orders. :) 

Winner: Wan Chai

These are just some of the dimsum items we usually order in Banawe. Based from my reviews above, I don't think we'll be going back to Mandarin Sky for their dimsum. Plus, they don't offer promo prices after 9pm. I'd recommend going for Mandarin Sky's shabu-shabu though.

I used to love Causeway among all the dimsum places in Banawe. But after our recent visits, we noticed that their quality was way different from before.

Tally:
Causeway- 2
King Chef- 3
Wan Chai- 4
Mandarin Sky- 1

That makes Wan Chai our go-to dimsum house followed by King Chef.

As for the ambiance, I have to give it to King Chef's modern and elegant interiors compared to others' simple and straightforward dining setup.

For service, it's a tie between King Chef and Wan Chai. Wan Chai's servers see to it that you get your hot tea refills even without you asking. King Chef's servers on the other hand are quick to attend to all your requests and needs. I also have to commend their managers/supervisors who assist and guide the servers once in a while.

Overall, I think this is a very close fight between Wan Chai and King Chef. The only advantage of Wan Chai over King Chef is that their dimsum promo is valid at any time of the day. It also depends on what I am craving that day. If I'm craving for fish head and kuchay, then Wan Chai is the place to be. But if it's beancurd roll and chicken feet, then I'd go to King Chef.

Update: King Chef- Banawe is now back in business. Went there last night and their service was above expectation! I think everyone is eager and happy to be working again. Hope their service continues to be that way.

Update: Looks like we're not going back to Wan Chai any time soon because their quality changed big time. We think it's because they have an ongoing promo of unlimited dimsum from a group buying site.

That's all for now dimsum buddies :)