We love Chinese foods. 😀

It would probably require me or my wife, Tina (or worse, wait for our son, Gabby who’s only in Kindergarten) to enroll in culinary school (which we love to do in the near future) or to have several attempts at home-cooking before we can come up from scratch, a perfectly prepared and steamed dimsum! 

We value money. 😀

How do you stretch your budget nowadays on food without compromising your own cravings?  Your thoughts may be relative with mine –either you cook at home, or eat out at those food places where figures on the menu won’t injure the pockets.

We love value-for-money Chinese foods! 😀

We’re just glad that we have finally tried EMERALD GARDEN right across US Embassy and beside Bayview Park Hotel in Roxas Blvd., Manila. Yes, you read it right; it was only yesterday that we’ve experienced what we’ve been missing!  We’ve proven truth to a few posts about how this restaurant offers affordability coupled with great tasting dishes!

This Chinese restaurant is unique on its own.  When we entered Emerald Garden, we were politely greeted by the wait staff who immediately led us to our table. Gabby liked its spacious dining area that’s far from being intimidating. Emerald Garden, in fact has a homey-casual ambiance without pretentious decors whatsoever.  We also noticed that all servers, neatly clad in office attire-looking uniforms, were generally geriatric ‘matured’ compared to other restaurants’. We took that as a plus points on them for being focused and attentive, most of all friendly to their clients.

On our table :

FRIED CRAB STICKS, PhP 140 +  and HAKAO, PhP 75+

One of Gabby’s favorite finger foods (at least for him) is kani tempura in Japanese or  fried crabsticks for Chinese; so automatically, in the absence of pizza that he also likes, this should be ordered.  Emerald’s version is simple, logically priced and more importantly, it satisfied gabby’s picky appetite.

I love almost anything with shrimps, so Hakao is also a must for us when dining Chinese.  Tina and I shared similar views on Emerald’s Shrimp dumplings : they were only 3 compared to other restos that serve 4 per order; their Hakao’s wrappers were a bit dry but at least they came with those plump shrimps!

It was only 2005 during our 7-week-vacation in Auckland, New Zealand when Tina and I first tasted steamed dumplings called Cheong fan after we enjoyed a lunch treat by one of my cousin’s relatives.  After the first bite, it has always been one of those Oriental dishes we look in a menu. But sadly, not all Chinese restaurants here offer Shrimp Rice Rolls a.k.a Shrimp Cheong fan.  We haven’t explored the rest of the Metro’s food places yet but I only know of Le Ching’s Tea House and Gloria Maris that serve these shrimp goodies until we truly fell in love with Emerald Garden’s.  

SHRIMP RICE ROLLS, (I forgot it’s exact price but probably more or less PhP 75+ too).  Believe me, they actually taste greater than how they look in my photos.  The wrappers were not-too-thin-neither-too-thick;  they’re almost perfect in consistency.  Its sauce isn’t too salty nor too sweet.  

Despite our instant infatuation for Emerald Garden’s Shrimp Rice Rolls, most of its loyal patrons would never let a dining experience pass without having SIOPAO!    

BOLA-BOLA SIOPAO, small PhP 30; large PhP 85.  We were still lucky to order even the small ones at nearly 2 in the afternoon for we heard they easily ran out of these great steamed yummies especially the large siopaos as early as few minutes after 7AM (Emerald Garden opens at 7AM; closes at 2PM and reopens for dinner at 6PM onwards). 

I cannot blame them. These Bola-Bola Siopao are really delicious! The buns were the softest like that of Kowloon’s.  The filling has those chives but surprisingly not overpowering and just flavorful!  We would not mind having these for breakfast!

After stating my 2-cents worth about some yummies from Emerald Garden, our votes also go to this noodle dish that sky-rocketted our palates to other planets, LOL 😀 

EMERALD FRIED NOODLES, small PhP 140 (also available in medium & large orders).   Look at those fuchsia colored quailed eggs that are far from being usually orange!   Aren’t they enticingly different?  This Fried Noodle dish has generous volume of veggies and very tender breaded meat, all cut into strings and mixed with its tasteful  thick sauce!  The noodle itself was so good sans other ingredients making this as one of the best I’ve tasted! …Excuse me, I’m salivating as I post this. 😀

In one phrase, it was absolutely, heaven on a plate! 😀 

How many restaurants can serve all these or at least similar dishes for less than PhP 700 all in ?

Before me paying the bill, my wife with her sweet smile asked me if there’s Emerald Garden branch near our place in Quezon City; an evidence that this resto won even Tina’s discriminating taste 😀 

We’re going back, definitely!

😀 Have you tried dining at Emerald Garden?  What dishes do you like best?

😀 Where do you go on your usual Chinese food craving?


EMERALD GARDEN, 1140 Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila.

PS : Why do you think Tina, Gabby and I had to be in Manila on a Tuesday afternoon ?  Abangan! 😀


29 thoughts on “HALF-BLOOD CHINESE (PART 2)

  1. wow. i just ate in emerald garden today. it’s just a walking distance from our office kase. It’s a classic, and not too expensive. Merry Christmas to you and your family Doc Gelo!

    1. wow, lucky you ms. ajay for having a workplace near emerald! 😀
      sarap dito, ano?! can’t wait to go back.
      …have a merry CHRISTmas too, God bless! 😀

    1. hey jp, you’re back here, salamat! 😀
      thanks too for guessing, but no, we didn’t revisit manila ocean park nor went to us embassy. how i wish i can accompany tina (and gabby) to apply for a us visa but she, being a registered in the california-board of RN and a US visa screen-certified, is just waiting for an employer to petition her at the embassy here for a visa (working or immigrant) making it untimely for her to apply for a tourist visa.
      …we went to 2 fun places near the area which i’ll post soon and no, it’s not star city, lol 😀

  2. Kakagutom!! Grabe, ang sasarap ng mga inorder ninyo. I like chinese food too aside from Japanese and Thai Food 🙂 Kakatuwa naman yun quail egss kulay pink, very attractive and cute sa plate. Yun shrimp rice rolls look so yummy too. Doc do you like Thai food too?? If you have time sa Thai Resto naman kayo pumunta ha para makita ko kung saan pwede pumunta diyan at saan magandang Thai Resto hehehehe kung pwede lang naman 😉 o kung nafeature mo na dito sa blog mo email mo na lang sa kin….salamas 😉

    1. hi missy! thanks for dropping by here again. kindly check your inbox as i also sent you an email re your querry about thai food/thai resto. fyi, tina and i had our honeymoon in bangkok almost 6 years ago but never been that partial to thai dishes unlike our palatal affiliation with japanese, italian, pinoy and chinese foods. anyway, if you and others out there are craving for thai, revisit my post about benjarong and dusit thani here :

      thanks! 😀

  3. ang cute nung quail egg! in fairness doc, ang mura nga ng food nila. i haven’t tried them. pero sa post mo, mukhang gusto ko ng pumunta ng roxas blvd at maghintay sa sunset haha! nagutom ako sa shrimp rolls. the last time i went to le ching’s eh wala sila nun.

    ps: doc, san sya malapit? i mean anung landmark?

    1. reasonably priced ang food nila, even the medium-to-large-sized dishes na pang family or barkada, to top it all, uniquely delicious!
      …with regards to the landmark, i think you miss this line on my post, dyanie :
      “We’re just glad that we have finally tried EMERALD GARDEN right across US Embassy and beside Bayview Park Hotel in Roxas Blvd., Manila.” 😀

  4. the siopao itself is worth the trip to manila, its up there with ma mon luk’s. Ang sarap ano? My dad loves this place. He used to go there very early and hoard the siopaos. LoL! we love their noodles and hotpot/claypot.

    About the cravings, it depends on the degree of damage my wallet can endure! ha ha ha Hinde naman pwedeng always dining out and eat yummy dimsum (although our minus Peewee days we used to do that). Now we eat out 2-3 times a week (which not bad pa din) and allot a portion of our earnings just for that addiction. Our favorite Chinese resto now is Gloria Maris; for moderately priced restos Mann Hann and Super Bowl and for all-out-makabutas-bulsa feast Peking Garden.

    hmm… fun places near the area? Luneta? Manila Zoo? Fun Ranch Macapagal? Fort Santiago? Bay Walk?

    1. you’re dining out more frequent than we do 😀 we only eat out once or depending on domestic budget and our schedules -twice a week.
      …for more than 20 months now, i have been working in kalaw ave, manila but tina and i haven’t brought back gabby after his infancy days to luneta, fort santiago and bay walk areas. fun ranch? we used to go to their branch beside tiendesitas. manila zoo? gabby hasn’t set foot either there or its kinder zoo. we’ve enjoyed other fun kiddie place near emerald garden. i’ll post it within the week 😀 thanks for dropping by, ingrid. have a great day!

  5. just got back from HK and macau and got an overload of chinese food…and i love chinese food. i think it matches my palate! 🙂

    will be waiting for your entry! 🙂

  6. Great review! Pupunta kami dyan ASAP!
    Sa Sunday na kaya?
    By the way, are reservations needed? Since weekend kami pupunta baka madaming tao. I can’t wait to sample their shrimp rice rolls. Three orders agad for me, hehe, tsaka isang order ng siopao at isang order ng hakaw. Bahala na si misis, basta ako may sariling mundo. 🙂

    1. salamat, rico. wow, talagang ganoon ka na-inspired sa pagkain agad sa emerald ha. you won’t regret; sarap dun! you and your wife will surely enjoy. just be careful, dining there might be habit-forming! let me know your comments soon.

  7. I’m a Chinese food die-hard and have always been one! 😀 I tend to have serious cravings for radish cake, chicken feet, and cheong fan with shrimp from time to time. I’ve never been to Empress Garden, but Wai Ying and Dong Bei in Binondo get two thumbs up from me any time and CityBest along Morato makes a really, really good pancit.

  8. i was checking out some reviews for little tokyo and i found your site. like you and your fam, i love to try out anything new and exciting foodie finds. it wasn’t hard liking your blog and definitely i’ll be checking your site more often. you may want to check out “Eat Well” in net quad, fort global city. many famous personalities (including politicians:D) had been flocking to that quaint little resto. happy holidays to you and your family!

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