Lunch at Modern China

seafood hofan with pumkin sauce P720 (M)It’s only natural for most bloggers and diners to flock to new restaurants in Manila. Most food bloggers want to be first to review a new restaurant. I like to let a few months pass for a restaurant to normalize before I try the food. What I like best is discovering a restaurant that has been around for years and sharing them with my readers.

Modern China in Glorietta 4 has been open since 2005 and this was my first time to try it. I had dinner in my friend Deb’s house and she served the noodles pictured above. I was instantly enamored and I kept thinking about it so Deb organized a lunch at Modern China just so I can eat the noodles again and try other dishes.
Modern China-002

Modern China

I don’t really know why I’ve never eaten at Modern China before. Now that I have they’ll be seeing me there more often.
Modern China-003

Modern China-004

Most Chinese restaurants serve salted peanuts or fried wonton skin. These peanuts were lightly glazed with syrup for a sweet crunch. It’s highly addicting.
sesame glazed peanuts
sesame glazed peanuts

The cold cuts were ok. Pretty standard fare. I didn’t eat much since I was preparing my tummy for the noodles.
cold cuts P560
 cold cuts P560

Henry, the Chinese order taker recommend the uni fried rice. It was good but I didn’t really taste the uni (sea urchin). Just like foie gras I like to eat uni by itself to savor the goodness without any distraction. And with all the good dishes we had plain white rice would have been a better match.
uni fried rice P380
✔ ✔  uni fried rice P380

The XO sauce was very tasty but the clams were malnourished so there wasn’t much meat to enjoy.
clams with XO sauce P380
✔  clams with XO sauce P380

I don’t eat intestines but Deb who loves this told me to try it. It was super crispy just like chicharon but I still didn’t like the taste of intestines. If you like this then do try their version.
Southern fried intestines P280
Southern fried intestines P280

The stuffed tofu lacked ooomph but it wasn’t bad at all. I topped it with the spicy pork mixture from the eggplant casserole and it was delish!!
pan fried stuffed tofu P340-001
pan fried stuffed tofu P340

Of all the varieties of Chinese noodles my favorite has to be Ho Fan,  wide rice noodles used in soup or dry dishes. It’s also the same noodle used in the popular dim sum dish, cheong fan. I like it because  there is more surface for the sauce to stick to. The most common Ho Fan dish in Chinese restaurants is Beef Ho Fan. I love that dish but stopped eating it because it’s always too oily.

This was the first time I’ve encountered Ho Fan with pumpkin sauce. There was no oily taste and the uber flavorful pumpkin sauce thickly coated the Ho Fan noodles. This dish was even good when it cooled down and the noodles have absorbed more sauce. Love, love, love this.

Important note: This dish isn’t on the menu so you have to remember the name when you order it.
seafood hofan with pumkin sauce P720 (M)-001
✔ ✔ ✔ seafood Ho Fan with pumpkin sauce P720 (M)

Whether you like eggplant or not you will enjoy this mildly spicy casserole. It’s best eaten with a bowl of rice. It’s truly comfort food.
spicy eggplant with minced pork P340
✔ ✔ ✔ spicy eggplant with minced pork P340

All of the dishes were ordered by Deb based on what her family’s favorites were since they’ve been loyal clients of Modern China for years. I ordered this dish since it looked good on the menu. Oh wow! Good choice. Pat in the back, Leslie.

The cut of the beef is the same as the ones used in Korean restaurants. The short rib is cut flanken style and simply sautéed in their special sauce. The beef was super tender and very, very, very flavorful.
pan fried short ribs steak P770 (M)
✔ ✔ ✔ pan fried short ribs steak P770 (M)

These ribs were hands down everybody’s favorite. Meaty pork spareribs coated with a honey sauce and topped with lots of fried garlic. It wasn’t too sweet and the garlic balanced the flavors. Kids will surely love this too.
honey garlic spareribs P320
✔ ✔ ✔ honey garlic spareribs P320

Even the almond jelly was very good. It was milky and had more almond flavor than other restaurants where the almond jelly tastes watery.
almond jelly with lychee

You will know how much I really love a restaurant when not two weeks later I was back this time with my college friends to treat them for my birthday. I wrote down all the food I wanted to order and just handed it to Henry. Note: I just found out that Henry is executive Chef Henry Sy!! Such fab personal service too :D.
must order in Modern China

I ordered all my favorites from my first time and added a couple of new dishes.
must order in Modern China-001
✔ ✔ ✔ must order in Modern China

These simply fried bean curd were a better option than the stuffed bean curd.
salt & pepper bean curd P220
✔ ✔ salt & pepper bean curd P220

I don’t eat much green beans but after trying this dish I am now obsessed in trying to replicate this wonderful dish. The green beans were dry sautéed and topped with spicy ground pork. The special ingredient that made this crazy good was the addition of a little Chinese shrimp sauce or bagoong. It really made the dish pop.
minced pork with string beans P320
✔ ✔ ✔ minced pork with green beans P320

The first time we ate we were a group of 7 women and had some left overs. This time we had help from 3 guys and there was NO LEFTOVERS. Good job guys!!!
Modern China-001

Check out Modern China’s 47 page picture menu.  There are so many other dishes I want to try and yet order my favorites. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this restaurant. Do try this restaurant as soon as you can. I guarantee you will love the food as much as we all did.

✖ skip it
✔ not bad
✔ ✔ do order
✔ ✔ ✔ MUST order

Modern China Restaurant (right beside Ascott Hotel)
G/F Glorietta 4, East Drive
Ayala Center, Makati
telephone: 752-8728 to 29

4 thoughts on “Lunch at Modern China

  1. Thank you very much for blogging our restaurant..its an honor to be posted here in your blogging site and for recommending us to your friends and bloggers..we highly appreciated it. Thank You so the way the one you mention who takes your order is our Executive Chef..its Chef Henry Sy.


  2. No wonder the food is good. Chef Henry Sy is a very talented and skilled chef that works wonders in the kitchen. We had the privileged of having him as a consultant chef for a restaurant of ours at The Fort Strip way back early 2000 and it was truly an amazing line-up of dishes he generated uniquely for us.


  3. Wow… Everything looks so good! And I totally share the same sentiments about preferably trying resto’s that have warmed up in the scene a bit and sharing great resto’s that have been around for a long time. A much simpler resto (rather, a carenderia) quite similar in terms of menu can be found in downtown Cebu. Check out this post if you will,! Babe for Food – your BFF in Cebu dining! :)


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