Saturday, September 21

Heritage on a plate

by ALISHA DANIELLE M. GREGORIO

photo by SHANA ANGELA S. CERVANIA/ THE FLAME

IN THE Philippines, family and heritage are two important things. They are the roots of tradition and, up to this day, people still value them. Food is another thing that can characterize the Filipino culture, which is why Shantung Restaurant decided to combine all three to share with everyone else.

The Chinese-themed eatery is located along West Avenue in Quezon City and prides itself in offering authentic Chinese food derived from Shantung province in China. Manager Justin Chang shares that his late grandfather Joseph Chang Men-Chi was the one who migrated to the Philippines to begin his food business in Manila. The family-owned restaurant has been open for over 60 years and is still going strong.

They offer a variety of Chinese food that has been somehow tweaked to suit the taste of Filipinos—and it truly does. Shantung Restaurant was the first to offer Hot and Sour Soup in Manila. It is served hot and contains murm, black vinegar, egg, and pork blood which perfectly suits those craving something warm for their tummies.

Another specialty is their crunchy and juicy Fried Chicken, which will surely satisfy chicken lovers everywhere with each bite.

Of course, what Asian celebration is complete without rice? Shantung offers their special signature Yang Chow Fried Rice that goes with everything. It is served with ham, egg, carrots, crab meat, peas, and shallots. It is definitely one for the books and worth every bite.

For the dumpling lovers out there, get ready for their mouthwatering version of Steamed and Fried Dumplings, which are said to be “pot stickers” since they stick to the pot as they cook to perfection. One just has to pair it with the classic toyomansi combo and it is good to go!

Shantung also offers unusually delightful surprises in their dishes such as their Fried Intestine, which is served hot and flavorful as it is marinated in their “secret spices” and fried to attain that perfect texture. Chang admits he actually eats this dish as comfort food, something perfect to cheer someone up and satisfy one’s cravings.

Beef Mami is also something that everyone can enjoy especially on a cold and rainy day. It is served with perfectly cooked noodles, topped with braised beef, cabbage, and egg all complemented by the warm, flavorful, and homey taste of the broth.

The restaurant’s Lemon Fish is a sweet, citrusy twist to the fish fillet Filipinos know and love. The fish is tender and served with an irresistible lemon sauce that will certainly leave one wanting more. Each bite is delectable as the soft and chewy fish fillet satisfies one’s taste buds.

Another unique twist to a common recipe is the Bacon Shrimp Roll, which is made with fresh ground shrimp cooked to perfection and wrapped with fried bacon. For sure, bacon lovers will fall head over heels for this irresistible number.

Of course, who can forget another Filipino favorite, the Sweet and Sour Pork? No Filipino birthday, baptism, or karaoke night is complete without this classic dish as it is served with their signature sweet and sour sauce and topped with green pepper and onions.

To wash down all of these delicious dishes, it is best to indulge in Shantung’s signature House Blend Iced Tea. To ensure the best quality, it is brewed and mixed with calamansi and ice to create the perfect blend of iced tea that pairs well with anything.

If there is anything Filipinos know best, it is to always save room for dessert. Shantung Restaurant offers their delicious Buchi to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. These sesame seed balls are made with the best sticky texture and contain irresistible bread bean filling.

Truly, Shantung is a hidden gem in the north that offers homey Chinese food just one ride away from the University. Chang shares that one will experience “A taste from simpler times” when eating at their restaurant. After all, it is best to remember that in the end, nothing makes food taste better than the strength of family and heritage. F

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