DUE to market demand for an “upscale Chinese dining experience,” Seda Vertis North in Quezon City is introducing Chinese menu items in their banquet facilities and opening a Cantonese restaurant by year-end featuring authentic Chinese flavors mixed with Filipino-Chinese favorites.

“We have a lot of banquets in the hotel and many of our clients who are Filipino-Chinese often ask us for Chinese dishes,” Cinty Yniguez, director for sales and marketing at Seda Vertis North, told the media during an intimate dinner in late July.

Since the hotel is located in Quezon City and is near the CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela) area, it can serve a considerable number of Chinese-Filipino residents who want authentic Chinese dishes.

The yet-to-be-named restaurant, located on the third floor of the hotel, will have a contemporary feel with high ceilings and big windows. It will expand Seda Hotel’s food-and-beverage offerings, which consist of Misto, an all-day interactive buffet; and Straight Up, a roofdeck bar that offers views of the city.

“And because this is Seda, the new Chinese restaurant will have understated elegance with added value,” Ms. Yniguez said.

The restaurant will have 130–150 seats and two to three private dining rooms which can fit 12–16 guests. Seda tapped Hann Furn Chen, who previously worked at the Mandarin Oriental Manila’s Tin Hau Chinese restaurant, as the executive Chinese chef.

During the dinner, Mr. Chen, alongside the hotel’s executive chef Kerpartrik Boiser, served a few of the signature dishes which will be included in the banquet menu and the new restaurant.

Some of the standouts during the dinner were the (Old Beijing Style) Braised Seafood Soup with Pastry Puff and the (Singapore Style) Wok-fried Lobster with Chili Sauce and Golden Chinese Bun.

The seafood soup included prawns, scallop, sea cucumber, and fish maw or air bladder. Some restaurants serve the same soup with shark fin but Ms. Yniguez said that they will not serve shark fin or any other ingredients from endangered species in their restaurant.

Mr. Chen explained that the richness of the seafood soup would work well with the slight sweetness of the pastry puff, which it did. The majority of the diners declared that it was their favorite dish as the soup was comforting and, thanks to the pastry puff, textured.

The chili lobster was a perfect balance between sweetness and spice. Although the dish went well with the fried mantou bun, this writer couldn’t help but wish for a cup of rice since the sauce was just so flavorful.

The dessert, Mango Sago Collision, was a novel way of serving the typical mango and tapioca pearl dessert. The dish was served on a bowl of dry ice for drama with a side of mango puree and honey on a pipette for more flavor. It was undoubtedly the prettiest dish served during dinner and the mango was really sweet.

Other dishes served were Prawn Ravioli with Salted Egg Beurre Blanc, Caesar Salad with Crispy Shimeji Mushroom and the Seda banquet favorite, Braised Short Plate with Mashed Potato and Seasonal Vegetables.

The short plate is said to be a banquet favorite because it features a good-sized portion of beef cooked until very, very tender — it jiggles — served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables. — Zsarlene B. Chua