Hole-in-the-Wall LSQ Chinese Home Cuisine in Poblacion Serves Some Damn Good Beijing PieJune 4, 2015
I hopped into the assignment thinking I would be reviewing spicy Chinese cuisine, which sounded exciting. However, real adventures are always unplanned and several minutes later I found myself considering eel for lunch.
Let me clarify. There were three of us that day, and since most of the specialties of the restaurant we had planned to review were unavailable, we found another one within the area. Across the much busier A.Venue mall in Makati Avenue and tucked in a side-street behind a small hotel was a humble traditional Chinese restaurant that offered home-made meals for a very cheap price.
The place was simple but comfortable with a high ceiling, good ventilation, and Chinese decorations everywhere. There was a steady flow of customers, but they came and went quickly, usually in small groups or individually, so the small room was never crowded. The waiters were quick to attend to our needs and gave us the menu, which were two sheets of paper filled with long columns of listed food items. We were amazed at the variety presented, which ranged from familiar Chinese restaurant items such as sweet and sour pork to exotic eels and turtle soups. They also provided us with a menu containing pictures of the dishes to help us choose.
None of our orders went above PHP 200, yet the servings were enough for three people. The first that arrived was the Double-Boiled Duck with Tripe Soup. The soup was rather pale but tasty; it reminded me of native chicken soup. It was slightly salty with some hints of sweetness, and you get a prelude of what the meat tasted like from the first slurp. The soup tasted better with soy sauce, though, and it also mixed well with the meat, which gave an impression of firmness from its appearance. True to its form, the duck meat was smooth to the tongue, but it actually crumbled when you bit hard into it. For some reason the taste of the fine meat reminded me of liver. The only negative thing I could say about the dish was its rather rubbery aftertaste.
Next came the pork intestines. They was served with an assortment of chopped onions, peppers, and strewn chilis, which obviously added flavor to the dish, however I did not like how oily it was. The first two or so intestines were quite delicious and the sharpness of the spice and peppers went well with the burst of juice that came with every bite. The intestines had just enough firmness for you to chew on, making you forget about how fatty they actually were. After several bites, however, you might want another order to counter-balance all the oil that just slurped down your throat. Thankfully the Three-Cup Chicken, our next order, arrived on time.
The Three-Cup Chicken was based on a traditional Chinese recipe that was said to have dated back to the Song dynasty, when a sympathetic prison warden made a chicken recipe for a national hero using three different sauces, hence the term “three-cup.” Prior to learning this, I imagined that the chicken would taste a bit sweeter, since its presentation struck me as a cross between chicken adobo and Bon Chon. Luckily it was not as oily as the previous dish, and I was pleasantly surprised by the richness of the meat. It was still a bit fatty, but there was a relatively good balance between meat and skin. There were pricks of different flavors in the sauce–a touch of sweetness here, a pull of vinegar there, a slight sourness here, a hint of saltiness there. I had a rather hard time making anything out of the sauce because there seemed to be no dominant taste. Overall it was my second favorite dish in our entire meal.
We had Pan-Fried Pie Stuffed with Pork next. These were very filling, and we were already quite full by the time this dish was served. The pie was already a full meal by itself–it had bread, ground meat, and some vegetables. It was crusty and crunchy on the outside, and very soft and somewhat airy on the inside. Think siopao, but not as thick and a bit sweeter. I think the bread could also be a delicacy by itself. We added some chilli to the meat and vegetable fillings and the pie became even more delicious, with the bread soaking up the sauce and mixing its sweetness with it.
The highlight of the day, we all agreed, was our last order. We wanted to know the difference between the pan-fried pie and the curiously-named Beijing Pie on the menu list. The servings were bigger than the previous dish, around twice the size of the pan-fried pies, and yet we were able to finish all of them. They struck me as oversized gyoza stuffed in buns. It was the healthiest item we ordered, not to mention the cheapest at PHP 120, filled to the brim with tasty strands of kuchay that threatened to spill out with each bite. To make things even better, the vegetable filling was mixed with bits of sweet ground egg. Right now, I’m still craving for that Beijing Pie.
Everything was served quickly and we finished in about an hour–with take-outs. Needless to say, we highly recommend the Beijing Pie, but if you’re on a tight schedule and within the Makati Avenue area, you should give LSQ Chinese Home Cuisine a try, especially if you’re into traditional Asian food or home cuisine. Their servings are of a good size and are very affordable, and one dish is enough to fill up around three people, as evidenced in our experience. Just make sure to order a balanced meal with both meat and vegetables, and be wary of your blood pressure level.
Have you tried LSQ Chinese Home Cuisine? What were your thoughts about the place? Tell us about your experience with a comment below!
This review was conducted solely by the author, who did not accept any form of cash advertising, invitation, sponsorship, or payment. It was paid for by the author or Pepper.ph, and the views represented are purely the writer’s own. It is based on one anonymous visit to the restaurant.
LSQ Chinese Home Cuisine
Address: 4966 Guerrero Street, Poblacion, Makati City