A few weeks ago, I was able to try out the dimsum buffet offering of New World Hotel in Makati, one of the 5 star luxury hotels in the city. At P660, you get unlimited dimsum and a free soft beverage, making it one of the more affordable dimsum buffets compared to other hotels in the metro. I also happened to enjoy a meal at New World’s Jasmine restaurant last year, and their ala carte menu was also quite delicious and MSG free. These two reasons were compelling enough for me to head back to Jasmine and try their dimsum feast.
I expected to be greeted by a table line full of bamboo steamers for you to pick up but instead, the restaurant just looked like it usually was – a sophisticated blend of Oriental design and modern art – with the exception of one cart full of bamboo steamers which the waiters were moving around.
It turns out that only a portion of the dimsum was available from the cart. The rest were being served upon ordering. I was pleased with this setup because 1) I didn’t have to stand up to get my food (yes, I know, lazy me) and 2) I was ensured that the food was freshly prepared.
We started out with the basics – chicken feet, asado siopao, hakaw, pork siomai, fish siomai and beef ball. The hakaw was the star of this first line-up. A bite of it and you can clearly tell that the shrimp was absolutely fresh. And very plump too! The shrimp was packed inside the wrapper (which may I say was prepared just right – thin enough for the contents to shine, but thick enough to be noticeable and chewy). I instantly ordered another set of hakaw.
The pork siomai came in 2nd place. Again, it was fresh and loaded with meat inside – not the scanty ones you get in fast food joints. The fish siomai tasted a tad too fishy for me.
My appetite was certainly perked up and ready for another round of new goodies. So I decided to order the Wagyu mango roll, Asado pastry, congee, and glutinous rice wrapped in leaf (Ma Tsang – forgive me for my spelling).
The Wagyu mango roll is one of the hotel’s more contemporary, unique dishes, and was presented in an interesting way. A generous strip of Wagyu beef and mango were encased inside a deep-fried cage. A bite of it was a beautiful combination of textures and flavors. The taste of the wagyu did not overpower the dish – but I confess I actually wanted that to happen.
I’ve loved the Asado pastry of the hotel since Emperor Court and I was pleased to find that they still got it right! You take a bite of the sweet crispy airy pastry shell then get into the soft, sweet and salty asado filling. It was a perfect balance of texture and taste.
I was actually anxious about eating the glutinous rice. Sticky rice tends to be very filling so I was afraid I would become too full to enjoy more of the dimsum. But I took the risk anyway and dove in. Opening the leaves revealed a very unassuming clump of rice with brown streaks. I actually went “uh-oh” in my head at that point. I felt like I had made a big mistake. When I cut it open with my fork, I found that it was mostly rice with just little bits of meat. That made me even more nervous.
It was a refreshing surprise when I took my first bite. It tasted very flavorful! Flavorful enough for you to finish the whole piece without feeling nauseous and too full.
Perhaps the overall winner of the day, however, was the radish cake with XO sauce. My whole family loved it! The XO sauce really gave the radish cake a flavorful kick with just a touch of heat. The cake itself was crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.
After a few more bamboo steamers, we were ready to get down to dessert. I had the almond cream soup. It was a very light, refreshing dish full of the aroma of almond, just the way I like it. They had chocolate and peanuts glutinous dumplings too, but everyone was too full to try it.
Overall, the experience was great. I look forward to them providing more dimsum variety in the future. Beancurd roll please? More unique dishes would be very welcome as well. I realized at the end that while getting your dimsum upon ordering had its advantages, it had one big disadvantage too – the speed of service. As expected, there were lulls in our meal while we waited for the dish to be prepared, which sometimes makes it a tad difficult to really get into the full buffet mode. None the less, I think the advantages still outweigh the disadvantage.
One thing you need to know: they have a strict no leftover policy, something I respect as it discourages people from ordering so much then letting it all go to waste.
Lunch is open 1130AM – 2:30PM and Dinner starts at 6PM – 1030PM.
You may call them at (02)811-6888 for more details and reservations. Ideally, you should make reservations, especially on Sundays.