Saturday, February 14, 2015

First bite at Kanzhu

Place: Clean and spacious. Just a little dark though. The dining table is not wobbly and the chairs are comfortable. Also, the toilet is clean.

Food: Generally, OK. Flavors are pronounced and quite strong. The place offers Chinese food and specializes in dishes with hand-pulled noodles.

While waiting, we are munching on complimentary Sweet Peanuts (Php 120 a bottle). Large peanuts coated with caramelized sugar and sesame seeds. Delicious! Despite the sweet coating, one can still taste the earthy flavor of the peanut.

First on our table is the Kanzhu Plain Noodles (Php 90): a big bowl of hand-pulled noodles swimming in broth, with bok choy, radish, and coriander. The broth's taste is vibrant, because of the five spice and the coriander. Its flavor is reminiscent of pho. The noodles are too soft though.

Next, Yuxiang Eggplant with Minced Pork (Php 175): a [supposedly] spicy dry-noodle dish with sautéed minced pork and sliced eggplants. The minced pork component tastes like menudo. It doesn't taste bad, just ordinary. And it lacks the heat promised on the menu. And of course, we find the noodles too soft.

Next, some dimsum. We have some Shrimp Hakaw (Php 150). Delicious! Kanzhu's hakaw has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it a little different from those of other Chinese restaurants. Also, the wrapper is a little rough and grainy. Then, some Shanghai Dumplings (Php 95). These steamed treats are teeming with punctuated, meaty flavor. The filling is well seasoned. Yummy!

For dessert, we have the Green Tea Taho (Php 65). It has an authentic green tea flavor. And the sweetness is just right. But the dessert item is not taho, but pudding. Lastly, the Mango Sago (Php 80): a big bowl of mango purée with tapioca balls and slices of ripe mango. The flavor of this one is artificially tasting (mango concentrate). Good thing the mango slices are a little sour, to add contrast to the fake mango taste of the purée. Also, this one could be better with crushed ice.  

Price: Considering serving size, taste, and quality, food here is reasonably priced. And NO service charge!

Service: Good! Our waiter is friendly and very attentive.

Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles is along Marcos Highway, San Roque, Marikina City.

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