Taitong Treats
- Jen F. Vega () - June 14, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - They’ve been supplying dim sum eats for beach resorts in Mactan, city hotels and school canteens in Cebu for two years now. Supplies even reach as far as Butuan and Surigao City. Manila also gets to savor their scrumptious siopao. Is this enough to convince you to try out, coming from the regulars’ recommendations, by far the best dim sum restaurant in town?

Taitong Steamers Foods is a hole in the wall, discreetly situated beside AA’s Barbecue along the business strip of A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue. Coming from Banilad area, slow down while approaching the grill house or else you’ll miss this unassuming 45-square-meter diner.

Owner Pua Tong Aik of Malaysian Chinese descent said the business started with a good principle – to spend time and money to upgrade the food quality. He commissioned Malaysian chefs to slowly run Taitong and purchased key ingredients overseas to ensure authenticity in taste. Spices and soy sauce, for example, are from Singapore and Malaysia. Originally, he started as a dim sum and siopao supplier, running a commissary two years ago until he opened his first restaurant. Together with Malaysian business partner Kim Tan, they operated last year with 10 dishes until the menu grew to 80 choices that’ll take eight to 10 days for a diner to try everything.

To begin with, cuisine is Cantonese, Malaysian and Singaporean. And the front-liners are the siopao and dim sum.

Taitong siopao is a must-try because of its spongy and soft dough which according to Mr. Pua uses special, quality flour. There’s Chinese sausage, bola-bola, asado, siomai and humba filling. These five fillings are combined in the best seller, special siopao which is already a meal on its own. Another hot catch is the deep-friend siopao that underwent a cooking technique, making the dough surprisingly non-greasy, crisp on the outside yet soft in the inside.

Dim Sum Delights

Here, they serve them fresh without reheating, steamed upon order.

For siomai, they use lean meat (specially grind for Taitong) and custom-made wrapper. The look is appetizingly luscious and the taste is absolutely delicious that I grabbed more bites! The Japanese siomai wrapped with nori is a special creation stuffed with crab stick while the Empress Roll has marinated veggies. The shrimp fan, meanwhile, can’t go wrong with Hakaw (shrimp dumpling) made from the fresh catch of shrimps. The chicken feet doesn’t also take the back seat with its distinct, succulent taste, painstakingly prepared – deep fried then steamed for almost an hour.

The chili sauce can make or break a dim sum meal, that’s why Taitong has whipped up a ready-mix chili sauce that compliments the taste of each dish. The taste, the spiciness isn’t too overpowering.

Their siopao and siomai are commercially available via all Fiesta Grande convenient stores, packed and frozen.

More Munch

For groups of four, go for Claypot Chicken Rice – semi-cooked rice is slowly cooked in a hot pot, with tender chicken marinated in a special Chinese sauce and Chinese sausage, then topped with spring onions. This is Ms. Kim’s recipe that uses class A rice grains. Other personal sumptuous creations are Chili Pork with Malaysian style sauce and the Mee Goreng (Malaysian Spicy Noodles) that closely equals Phad Thai in taste. Both are truly impressive!

To cap, sip cups of on-the-house hot Jasmine tea.

A budget of P500 can already feed three pax. Taitong opens its doors to foodies from 10AM to 2PM; and 5PM to 10PM daily. Go Asian, call them at 316 2438.

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