According to my mom, Aloha Hotel where Sze Chuan House is located was a very popular place among their generation. Celebrities & politicians used to go there a lot. Well, now it’s a different thing, the place isn’t that popular anymore. I believe though that Sze Chuan House is still one of the best places to go for a family dinner. They serve good Chinese food with a lot of selections that will cater to a variety of people’s taste.
Sze Chuan House even has a menu specially for vegetarians. That was basically one of the major reasons why my mom and her siblings decided to dine there. One of my uncles is a vegetarian, along with his whole family. The rest of us of course would have to eat the same food hehe. Well, no complaints, at least we were able to eat healthy for once 😛
My mom and I arrived 30 minutes early. Sadly, we ended up waiting for almost 2 hours because everyone was late. We were really starving and the free nuts just didn’t cut it.
I asked if we could order 1 or 2 items just to keep our stomach from complaining (it was growling already hahaha!). We ordered some non-vegetarian items, since we knew for sure that we would have loads of vegetarian dishes later.
Here are the dishes that we pre-ordered:
- Pork Siomai
This pork siomai was good but partly because I was starving. I did really enjoy the food though, I was able to finish like 5 pieces I think. It was meaty and with calamansi, it tasted better. The good thing about this siomai is that you could tell that it hadn’t been sitting there for hours, it was moist but the wrapper and the siomai itself was not soggy, which can sometimes happen if the siomai has been steaming for too long. The reason why I love siomai that is steamed perfectly is that the flavors are not lost, and the seasoning still comes through with every bite.
- Hot & Sour Soup – S (Php 240)
This was definitely not a favorite among the items that we ordered. I just felt that it was a bit too salty, and yet we were still able to finish it haha :p Definitely proof that we were just a bit too hungry. This was definitely a good distraction from our already growling stomachs.
Hot and sour soup is one of those dishes, and soups specifically, that I try to order if it’s a Chinese restaurant. But, I’m picky with this soup because I already know what a good hot and sour soup is supposed to taste like For me, if a dish is too salty or is not seasoned correctly, it’s definitely one of the major sins when it comes to cooking, and could be the fault of the chef, or whoever conceptualized the dish. Hot and sour soup is supposed to be a great marriage of contrasting flavors, light but with a slight sour taste that compliments the lightly salted broth.
- Fresh Buko Juice (Php 90)
I was able to finish my order of fresh buko juice before we officially started our meal. I stuck with the free service tea afterwards. There’s really nothing more to add here, fresh buko juice is just one of my favorite all time drinks. It’s just so refreshing!
When everyone came, we officially started our vegetarian meal. It’s rare for me to eat vegetarian meals but I welcome it. I know it’s good for our health plus I want to lose weight too. So here goes:
- Bamboo Pith with Veg. Ham & Mushroom Soup – M (Php 360)
I honestly am not a vegetarian, and I don’t think I will ever be. Vegetarian dishes, especially soups really lack that solid broth that is needed in so many soups, and unfortunately many broths are meat based: chicken, beef, and turkey broths are just some examples.
So with this dish, I didn’t like it at all. It wasn’t tasty, the seasoning couldn’t help with the base of what this soup was made of. I guess vegetable soup doesn’t really cut it for me. Ingredients in this mushroom soup are vegetable ham, bamboo pith and some vegetables.
- Sliced Abalone with 3 Treasure (Php 800)
I noticed that vegetable dishes are mostly imitations of popular meat dishes. I usually don’t appreciate it except for this dish. It’s a work of art, and boy the tofu replacing the abalone? It tasted sooooooooooooooo good!
- Double Cooked Sliced Veg. Duck (Php 425)
Another dish that I appreciated. It may look like meat but it’s not. Vegetables all the way. We just wrap the fake meat in lettuce and put the special sauce. I ate a lot of this, I enjoyed it like I enjoyed the previous dish (tofu abalone-like).
- Diced Veg. Chicken with Hot Pepper (Php 395)
Surprisingly, I loved this too! The dish does look spicy but this definitely was the opposite, it was SWEET! Yes, you saw it right, it was super sweet! I can’t tell exactly what the fake chicken is but as I tasted it, I felt it was ‘sweet potato’. This is their vegetable version of the kung pao chicken hahaha truly unique! Love it!
I must admit, when it comes to vegetarian dishes, it can either be good or just really bad. I’m really glad though that I was able to try this dish. The great combination of flavors really made this dish stand out, the peppers gave it even more flavor and that spice that we all look for in kung pao chicken.
- Spinach & Black Fungus with Egg – M (Php 350)
I dislike this dish. Enough said.
- Beancurd with Veg. Ham & Mushroom Brown Sauce – M (Php 320)
There’s something with vegetable ham that I don’t like. urrghh but I love tofu though. So with this dish, I just decided to pick out the ham and eat just the tofu. Nothing special about this. But that mushroom sauce did taste good, and they cooked it well with the tofu which absorbed a lot of that flavor.
- Vegetable Pancit Misua Guisado – M (Php 375)
Finally, fried misua that isn’t oily! I didn’t like the ingredients though but it was a decent dish. I love the noodles! I would definitely have left out some of the greens, maybe added some spring onions, and added a bit more garlic. I think with the right balance of ingredients, fried misua whether it’s vegetarian or not will taste good.
I know that Sze Chuan House serves good crab but unfortunately we went vegetarian. I might go back again just to eat normal food! hahaha! Then I’ll share with you guys, but right now, my post is all about their vegetarian offerings.
It was good, we loved it! Very smart of the chef to be able to imitate famous meat dishes and make them healthy by having only vegetable ingredients. Pretty good presentation of the dishes too! Though the dishes were good, I can’t say it’s enough to convert me to be a vegetarian hahaha!
If you’re a vegetarian and want to have more choices of restaurants to go to, Sze Chuan House is a good addition to that list.
Sze Chuan House
2150 Roxas Blvd. cor.Quirino St. Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines