TWO BIRTHDAY boys deserve a break. And since our breathlessness in anticipation over the supposed opening of Pepper Lunch at Alabang Town Center went kaput yesterday, off we went to our trusty neighborhood Chinese restaurant – King Bee. While waiting for the food to arrive, I played with the desk top ad and noticed that this Mandarin hat-wearing bee happens to be a jolly one. Dinner with a jolly bee, and Spider-man – definitely not a bad idea at all.
Funny that for someone craving for great steak dinner with lots of plump rice, we decided to totally do away with our requisite Yang Chow Fried Rice.
We started with the Hot & Sour Soup, the smallest bowl size, which was still quite a lot. The store manager who took our order repeated a couple of times that we might want to consider individual servings instead, as the smallest was – as I have said – still quite a lot. Spider-man, squinting his eyes, managed a chuckle as he knows just how much I adore this soup that he would almost need to wrestle his way to get himself a cup. Hahaha! After sending dagger looks towards the store manager’s way, as if saying “I know what I’m asking for,” I was appeased to see that she finally took the order down. She was extra attentive to my special instruction “no bell peppers please,” especially since a single julienned strip of bell pepper in the soup would have made me send it back!
Having placed the soup order, I went back to perusing the extensive menu, something that to me was actually an exercise in futility. Absent-mindedly, I was thumbing thru its pages, but with full cognizance of what Spider-man and I would want for full dimsum-only dinner. Of course, we asked for Hacao (steamed fresh prawn dumplings). While deliberating the pros and cons of Kutchay Dumpling – which we later decided against ordering – Spider-man asked for Asado Siopao (steamed buns with Chinese pork barbecue filling).
To round everything up, we asked for the Sea King Roll. The very very hot house tea was quite good already that we didn’t feel the need to wash everything down with something else. Besides, the wait staff were so kind to provide us with complimentary sugar syrup to fix the drink to our liking.
Apart from the soup that has always been consistently satisfying, the stars of our dimsum spread were the Hacao and the Sea King Roll. King Bee’s Hacao remains unparalleled as far as I’m concerned. Each dumpling has just one thin layer of dough that enrobes inside it really fresh, plump, and naturally sweet prawns – always two in every dumpling! Each actually appears so full that I would fear the pinched end that holds everything in place would just burst.
The Sea King Roll deserves such a royal name. And it’s really a work of (edible) art too. It’s undoubtedly Chinese, but something about the “obi belt” thing going on with the napa cabbage tying everything together – a crab stick, a thick fillet of white fish, a jumbo prawn, and a brocolli floret – just looks Japanese to me. But the very moment I’d sink my teeth into one, there is no denying the deep-rooted origins this roll has to all its Chinese kin. As noted by my Spidey dinner buddy, the Sea King Roll is just literally bursting with the natural juices of each seafood component that the resulting melange of a broth is just too good to put to waste. We just have to take sips of it!
Spider-man and I enjoyed this light but really filling dinner. We even asked for one more each of the hacao and the sea king roll. The latter was packed to-go for his midnight snack while he watches Chuck. But more importantly than the fantastic food, we had the chance to really catch up with each other’s goings on. Till the next time best friend!