Emerald Garden is one of those restaurants in Manila that is regularly frequented by those in the filipino-chinese community. Not only do they serve some of the best shrimp and crabs, they are also excellent when it comes to fish and traditional Chinese dishes. But I have to say, the main reason I love going to Emerald Garden is because of their shrimps and crab! Oh so yummy! :p
Whenever my fiance visits me here in the Philippines, I always drag him to Emerald Garden and we always order the same thing (or should I say I do? hahaha It’s always me who does anyway :P). Crabs and shrimps should always be in our order list. I drag my mom to Emerald Garden too whenever she visits me here. Talk about being addicted to a food place.
Here is what we ordered during our last two visits:
- Szechuan Soup (Php 140)
Aside from Sibut, Hot & Sour Soup (otherwise called Szechuan soup) is another famous chinese soup that I like. It has a distinct taste that you would absolutely love. This soup will really take a great cook in order to master the dish, it’s one of those soups with a fair amount, probably around 10-15 ingredients in all. We’re just 2 diners, but we were able to finish it hahaha! Sometimes we really just forget how much our body can take if the food is too good.
- 300g Steamed Shrimps (Php 264)
We usually call this suahe. It’s really your basic shrimp. What I love about Emerald Garden is just how fresh the shrimps are. You can literally see the staff take the live shrimps out of the aquarium just before they cook them, talk about FRESH! I can finish this on my own! It’s really just that good. It’s one of those menu items that once you start eating, you won’t be able to stop until the very last one is on the plate :p It was so easy to peel the shrimps as they’re fresh. If you’re a a person who’s poised, you don’t have to worry. I actually peeled them all without using my hands (just the spoon & fork) 😛 Steamed is still the best way to cook shrimps, yumyum!!
- 1kg Fried Crab (Php 1,200)
Awwww… Emerald Garden’s fried crabs! Just the best there is! Pretty affordable too! It’s Php100 per 100g I believe. Oh my! I’m literally craving for it again as I write this. I’m finishing this article today, but yesterday while preparing for this post, I just had to decide at the last minute that my mom & I would have our meal at Emerald Garden. Again, we ordered this too. The crab is meaty, perfectly cooked, just the way we all like it. I just can’t stop raving about this dish! This is definitely the highlight of the entire meal! Fried crabs that is actually seasoned well, with moist crab meat too. It’s really a totally different eating experience as to steamed crabs. It just has more taste, a bit of that crispy and saltiness to it that you really must try! I promise, it’s worth it hehehe :p
- Fresh Scallop w/ Broccoli (Php 300)
Not my favorite. This is one dish I surprisingly didn’t like considering I love scallops maybe I expected too much since I love the other dishes so much! hehehe. I honestly wouldn’t recommend this dish, but we tried this only because we had just tried some of the best scallops at another restaurant, and it seemed like we were really craving for more scallops. I didn’t really think they presented or make the dish as focused as it should be. They could do with less veggies, more scallops, and really try to season the scallops a bit more. This is almost basically a veggie dish chopsuey style and they added scallops in the end.
The way I envision a dish like this is maybe if they marinated the scallops a bit and maybe seared it, added some steamed veggies, season a little, and it would be a much more excellent dish. But that’s just me :p
- Mapo’s Bean Curd (Php 190)
A unique way to cook Mapo Tofu. I was actually expecting something different then got surprised when this was served. I’ve always pictured the dish as having soft tofu in a bowl of meat & lots of sauce. This was totally a different twist but I welcome it. It’s good in a certain way & we also finished this dish. I must admit that the dish isn’t presented as nicely as it should, but it doesn’t take away from the taste. I think they could do with less of the meat and sauce and balance it better with a little bit more tofu. And yes, this dish presented in a bowl would probably be a better choice.
But, again, the seasoning and the combination of flavors is just right. It’s a simple dish, but the way the cook it is really why it’s also a great dish to try out.
- Mango Sago Soup (Php 70)
This can also serve as juice but I’ve always loved having mango sago as a dessert. Plus, they put less water in this item thus the mango really stands out. Chilled and with sago, this is a must-oder especially if you love eating after such a sumptuous meal. And the mangoes they use here is fresh and oh so sweet. It’s the next best thing to actually eating fresh mango.
We had lunch at Emerald Garden when Nick visited me here in the Philippines (on both instances). See our happy faces. Very satisfied customers, shall I say stomach? I think it will always be a memorable place because of so many reasons, not just the food, but because of the company. A restaurant that caters to all types of diners, with food that warms the stomach and where you can spend a lazy Sunday, or go on a date, spend type with family, or just enjoy a wonderful conversation with friends and family. Now, why wouldn’t you want to go right? :p
Emerald Garden is one of those places, where it’s affordable, the food is good, and sometimes you just have to take your time and enjoy the wonderful and delicious fresh foods that they have to offer. Even if you’re not Chinese, this is a highly recommended place that I suggest. It’s truly been a great dining experience for me ever since I can remember, and this is definitely why Emerald Garden is the place that is frequented a lot by the Filipino-Chinese community.
1170 Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines