Food

A Definitive Guide to the Best Chinese Restaurants in Manila for a Proper Lauriat

Looking for a proper Chinese lauriat? Here’s a definitive guide for every time, taste, and function! 
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The full glory of a bountiful Chinese lauriat is almost too difficult to match. From the complimentary peanuts to the heavy lazy susan to the too-elaborate table setting to the disorderly order of dishes, every aspect of this meal elicits excitement for diners of all ages. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings—every occasion is deemed fit to be celebrated via this extended feast.  

While there may be a handful of rules when it comes to the lauriat, one thing’s for sure—the quality of food is always top priority. Taste, texture, color serve as cues whether the feast will be more memorable than the last: The lapu-lapu has to be fresh and succulent, the sweet-and-sour pork has to be crispy and tender, the birthday noodles have to be abundant, the yang chow glorious, the mango sago soothing. 

Lucky for many Filipinos, Manila is profuse with amazing Chinese restaurants that check all these boxes. Some are tested through time and survived generation after generation of Chinese families; some are casual outlets sans fanfare but serve world-class platters; some are reinventions of classic fare.

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Here, find an unranked list of the best Chinese restaurants offering the best lauriat Manila has on offer. The list only includes nonspecific Chinese restaurants or the type Filipinos have grown to love. No specialized cuisines over here—that’s for another list, like this one on Hong Kong roasts.

TIMELESS WONDERS

1| Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant

There’s good reason why this legend causes a lot of traffic along Wilson on the way to Greenhills. The interiors may be too unassuming, but Hai Kang's food more than makes up for it. Do yourself a favor and order a platter or two of seafood still jumping a few seconds before making it to your table.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Three Kinds of Prawn
  • Braised Abalone
  • Buchi 

227 Wilson Street, Greenhills, San Juan

2| Oriental Palace

It was in 1978 when the Chua family first established a dining spot offering close-to-authentic Chinese dishes. These days, the same family, headed by the next generation, continues to champion the cuisine especially in the Tomas Morato area.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Fresh Prawn Salad
  • Baked Scallops and Cheese
  • Steamed Garoupa Unicorn Style

148 Tomas Morato corner Scout Gandia, Quezon City

3| Peking Garden

Best. Peking. Duck. In. Manila. Peking Garden’s menu may be peppered with every possible dish from Northern China, but it’s the world-class duck that will always stand out.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Peking Duck

4/F Greenbelt 5, Legazpi Street, Makati City

4| President Grand Palace Restaurant

Already an institution in Binondo, or the whole Philippines rather, President is the grand dame of all Chinese restaurants. From when it opened its doors in 1979 to this day, President has always purveyed Chinese dishes made especially for the Filipino palate. A side serving of nostalgia makes the lauriat even more memorable.

Esquire Recommends:

  • Crispy Salt and Pepper Squid
  • Fish Lip Soup

746 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila

5| Uno Seafood Wharf Palace

Eating at Uno is always fun. From the moment you enter its doors, all you’ll feel is excitement—thanks to the happy servers peddling the day’s fresh catch to the moment you suck on your suahe’s head for the first time. Gigantic seafood tanks situated right beside your table? That just adds to the experience even more. 

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Steamed Suahe
  • Braised Noodles with Assorted Meat

270 Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila

6| Summer Palace

With more than 25 years of experience dishing out some of the best Chinese dishes in the country, Summer Palace can be considered an institution already. Every dish that comes out of its kitchen will garner oohs and ahhs fom guests, both local and foreign. A scan of the menu might leave you confusedwhat with the numerous delicious possibilities on offer.

Photo by SHANGRI-LA.COM.
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Esquire Recommends:

  • Hot Prawn Salad with Fresh Fruit
  • Roasted Suckling Pig
2/F EDSA Shangri-La, 1 Garden Way, Ortigas, Mandaluyong

BEST FOR BANQUETS

1| East Ocean Palace

It’s already in the name, but it deserves a bit more emphasis: This Chinese restaurant is palatial. Situated near Pasay’s row of casinos, East Ocean is a favorite among patrons for every sort of celebration—or loss even. Milestone birthday, grandiose weddings, New Year’s Eve have all been celebrated within these halls. 

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Steamed Lapu Lapu
  • Crystal Prawns

Lot 37 Block 5 Aseana Business Park, Parañaque

2| Gloria Maris

What’s a list of best Chinese restaurants in Manila without Gloria Maris? Celebrating a monthsary, a salary increase, a basketball game win? Even the most mundane events can be celebrated at this legendary restaurant. Best part is the quality of its food has barely faltered ever since its opening in 1995.

Photo by GLORIAMARISGH.COM.
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Esquire Recommends:

  • Yang Chow Fried Rice
  • Fish Fillet with Beancurd in Pot

Branches in San Juan (the ideal branch), Quezon City, Muntinlupa, Manila; www.gloriamarisgh.com

3| Golden Bay Fresh Seafood Restaurant

If you’re planning to celebrate with platters and platters of fresh seafood, then troop to Golden Bay stat. Every type of fish, crustacean, and other sea dweller may be enjoyed here. Best part is some of its private dining halls are outfitted with couches for that post-feast nap.

Photo by GOLDENBAY.COM.PH.
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Esquire Recommends:

  • Steamed Suahe
  • Sea Cucumber 

CBP1 Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Baclaran, Pasay; goldenbay.com.ph

4| Golden Fortune

Here is a restaurant that is one of Binondo’s original residents. It has since branched out to a couple more spots in Manila, all thanks to the support of its loyal patrons. Golden Fortune is known for its midnight discounts on dimsum and shabu-shabu, but its seafood creations are just as worthy of praise.

Photo by GOLDENFORTUNESEAFOOD.COM .
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Esquire Recommends:

  • Crab 4 Ways
  • Fire and Ice Spareribs
  • Soya Cake

G/F Peace Hotel, 1283 Soler Street, Binondo, Manila; goldenfortuneseafood.com

5| Century Seafood

Sea mantis, abalone, razor clams, black moss hair, soft-shell crab--these are just some of the unique ingredients on Century's menu that you can order to make your celebration extra special. There are the classic dishes, too, to make sure there's something for everyone on your guest list. If the plan on your special day is to share excellent Chinese grub with loved ones, then Century should be your top choice.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Fried Prawn with Garlic and Pepper
  • Steamed Lapu Lapu with White Cream Sauce

G/F Century Park Hotel, P. Ocampo Sr. St. corner M. Adriatico Street, Malate, Manila; www.centuryseafood.com

No-Frills Favorites

1| Choi Garden

When one hears of Choi Garden, its red walls, lanterns, and chairs immediately come to mind. Choi is the best choice for grand celebrations or Sunday family lunches, friendly reunions or intimate dates, summer days and rainy nights. It’s that trusty all-occasion choice that doesn’t require much thinking.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Three-way Lapu Lapu
  • Roasted Duck  

Branches in San Juan, Mandaluyong, Taguig, Makati 

2| Golden Empire

Thriving in a neighborhood of Chinese-food purists is a testament to the quality Golden Empire offers. It offers classics, of course, but it also doesn't shy away from getting a bit creative in the kitchen. Up for some karaoke on the side? You know where to go.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Crab Kiampong
  • Cheese and Butter Fried Rice 

853 Banawe corner Santa Catalina Street, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City

3| Luk Foo

Looking for a place that offers a taste of comfort sans the frills? LukFoo should be your top pick. This unassuming restaurant actually hires Hong Kong chefs to man its kitchens. Flavors are spot on, portions are generous, servers are friendly. Score!

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Crispy Golden Shrimp Cake
  • Cheese and Butter Fish Fillet

Branches in Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Las Pinas, Paranaque

 

4| Mandarin Sky

Another entry to the Banawe dinining scene is Mandarin Sky. From the day it opened its doors in 2009, Mandarin Sky has won the vote of many because of its mission to offer both traditional fare and new Chinese fusion dishes.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • XO Oysters
  • Ginger Duck 

478 Banawe Street, Santo Domingo, Banawe, Quezon City

 

Class of Its Own

1| Hai Shin Lou 

What sets Hai Shin Lou apart from any list of Best Chinese Restaurants in Manila is its service. Its menu is replete with outstanding options, each one promising complex flavors and textures. But it’s the service it offers via a well-trained, congenial troop that truly makes every visit unforgettable. 

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Beef Short Ribs with Golden Mushroom
  • HK Pigeon

810 Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo Village, Makati; www.haishinlou.com

2| Jasmine

The moment you step inside Jasmine, you’ll be immediately transported to an atmosphere of Chinese opulence. There is elegance and sophistication not only in way the interiors have been designed, but also in the way the seemingly ordinary Chinese dishes are offered, served, and placed on the lazy susan. Breathtaking!

Photo by MANILA.NEWWORLDHOTELS.COM.
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Esquire Recomends:

  • Beggar’s Chicken
  • Peking Duck 

New World Hotel, Esperanza Street, corner Makati Avenue, Makati; manila.newworldhotels.com/en/dining/jasmine

3| Lung Hin 

There are very few Chinese restaurants that offer a magnificent view outside its windows. Lung Hin, situated all the up on the 44th floor of Marco Polo hotel, is one of them. The experience of enjoying succulent dimsum and flavorful dishes with a view of Manila is priceless.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Steamed Shrimp Dumpling with Gold Leaf
  • Three-flavored Prawns

44F Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Avenue, Pasig; https://www.marcopolohotels.com

4| Man Ho 

Steamed Custard Buns with Egg Yolk! Steamed Custard Buns with Egg Yolk! Marriott Manila’s Man Ho has delicately prepared dishes on the menu and its service is top notch. But again, Steamed Custard Buns with Egg Yolk! 

Photo by DINING.MARIOTTMANILA.COM.
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Esquire Recommends:

  • Fuji Can Fried Rice
  • Roasted Goose

Marriott West Wing, Marriott Hotel Manila, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay; dining.marriottmanila.com

 

5| Shang Palace

Planning to splurge on an extra special meal? Shang Palace is the perfect destination. Once the food arrives and you get a taste of it, you'll soon realize that paying a little extra is absolutely worth it. Go ahead and order some live lobster, green crab, pink garoupa, fresh scallops, bird's nestyou won't regret it!

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Peking Duck (Two Ways)
  • Braised Whole Abalone in Oyster Sauce

2/F Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Ayala Avenue, Makati; www.shangri-la.com/manila/makatishangrila

Modern Mercenaries

1| Canton Road

Many items on Canton Road’s menu are reincarnations of classic Chinese favorites, made even more indulgent with the addition of prized ingredients. On the menu are also regional specialties, some historical and some contemporary representations, that offer a glimpse of a different taste of Chinese cuisine.

Photo by CANTONROAD-FORT.COM.
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Esquire Recommends:

  • Beggar’s Chicken
  • Seafood Fried Rice
  • Roasted Iberico Pork Neck    

Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; www.cantonroad-fort.com

2| China Blue

Care to try some Chinese food presented like artworks on the dinner table? Chef Jeremy Leung of Conrad’s China Blue has got you covered. Every item that comes out of his kitchen is a true masterpiece. This is Chinese cuisine reinvented with modern-day sensibilities.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Golden Roast Duck
  • Steamed Truffle Mushroom Bun

3/F Conrad Manila, Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Way Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay; www.hilton.com/en/conrad

 

3| Xiu Fine Cantonese Dining

Chic best describes Xiu, from its interiors to the staff’s uniform to its plates and platters. The food, meanwhile, goes beyond its exterior offerings and promises spot-on flavors. When a dish needs to be delicate, Xiu does so excellently. When a dish needs to be crispy, Xiu does so effortlessly. There’s a touch of innovation applied on the menu but it’s done without compromising on comfort.

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Esquire Recommends:

  • Cantonese Style Crispy Pork Belly
  • Baked Lobster with Cheese
  • Sweet and Sour Pork 

115 Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills, San Juan 

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