Place: A little dark and cramped. But the furnishings and decor are good. And the place is cool. A bit noisy though.
Food: Generally, the food was O-K, ordinary tasting. We had a bowl of noodle soup with 3 toppings and laksa broth, a bowl of noodle with two toppings and their plain broth, an order of Hakaw, an order of Pork-Shrimp Siomai, and one Siopao Asado.
At Mogu Tree, one creates his own noodle soup. First, one choose two toppings (Php 125) or three toppings (Php 175). Then, one chooses the kind of noodle he wants for his soup (Hong Kong noodles, ramen noodles, or flour noodles). Finally, the broth: plain (chicken-pork broth) or laksa? Voilà, your own noodle soup.
For the laksa noodle soup, our toppings were braised chicken, asado pork, and crab balls. The noodles, the Hong Kong style. For the plain noodle soup, we had Enokitake mushrooms and mozzarella balls as toppings, then ramen noodles.
Among the toppings, the mozzarella balls were the most interesting. The outside tasted like luncheon meat, then the creamy cheese filling was yummy, though it didn't taste like mozzarella. The mushrooms were fresh and crisp. The braised chicken and Asado pork were a little salty. The crab balls didn't have a hint of crab flavor. In fact, they tasted like squid balls.
Between the two kinds of broth, laksa was the more noteworthy. It had depth, the right mixture of spice and heat. Very appetizing. The plain broth was SALTY. No hint of meat flavor whatsoever.
The Pork-Shrimp Siomai (Php 80) was packed and meaty. The taste though was ordinary. We could think of many other Chinese restaurants that offer better-tasting dim sum.
The Hakaw (Php 95) was O-K. The filling was fresh and amply delicious. The problem though was the wrapper. It was too thick, and its flour taste was a tad too pronounced.
Finally, the Siopao Asado (Php 55). Not bad, the pao itself was soft and of high quality. The filling was well flavored, although it had hints of laksa flavor. Weird.
Price: Considering serving size, prices are reasonable.
Service: Bad. Waiters were not helpful and were inattentive. Worse, they were noisy! They were like a bunch of high schoolers at the counter of the place.
Mogu Tree is along Lilac St., SSS Village, Marikina City.