Xin Tian Di - Dimsum Buffet

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yesterday, Tapioca and I celebrated Valentines, Chinese New Year and his birthday (all-in-one celebration) at Crowne Plaza's Cantonese restaurant called Xin Tian Di. It's never too late to celebrate, ya know. When Tapioca was finally allowed to go out of the house and do some walking, we took the chance and decided it's time to use the vouchers before they expire. I got them from Deal Grocer, one of my favorite Groupon sites in the country.

I made reservations the day before and as early as 11am we were already outside Xin Tian Di waiting for it to open.

 . . . Xin Tian Di's entrance

 Photo op from our lovely booth . . .

. . . chic and elegant

the table setting . . .

Just look at the table setting. Social. Intimidating. I feel like I don't belong. Is this really a Chinese Dimsum place? Yes, it is. A high-end Chinese Dimsum place.

. . . the condiments

Tapioca loved the sauce holders.

hot towel . . .

We asked for green tea and they served us . . .

. . . morning blossom - pearl tea

The tea smelled so nice. I checked the pot and saw this huge flower swimming inside. However, this tea did not taste nor smell like a flower (I hate teas that smell like flowers. It's like drinking perfume). It was something else which we enjoyed a lot.

By the way, I thought pearl tea = bubble tea (tea with Tapioca pearls). I made some research online and found out that pearl teas are the same as gunpowder tea - a type of green tea. The dried leaves of pearl tea resemble to blackpowder grains and that's how it got it's name. However, in Chinese, gunpowder tea is called zhū chá or literally means "pearl tea or bead tea". (source:Wikipedia) That's tea 101 for you and me!

And then we found out they have a tea menu pala . . .

the tea menu . . .

Omg, the morning blossom tea was the most expensive of them all! Anyway, I think the price is still reasonable. We kept asking for refills and I'd lost count on how much tea we drank that day. Sulit ang bayad :-)

 . . . the menu

The menu consists of dimsum (steam, fried & vegetarian), noodles, congee and dessert. All items are made fresh upon order. They strictly implements a no leftover policy. You can order the dimsum per piece to avoid uneaten portions and pay additional charges.

To order, just tick the boxes of the items you like and specify how many pieces. These are the items we consumed. Warning: photo overload!

salmon taro puff . . .

Tapioca liked this. Deep fried salmon and taro paste. I think it's gross. Tasted fishy and not pleasant to the palate. Obviously, I did not like it.

. . . steamed seafood dumplings in superior stock

This we both liked. The dumpling was huge! And it's filled with shrimps and everything seafood. My only complaint is the skin breaks easily. I loved the superior stock the most.

stone fish dumplings . . .

Tastes like paper.

. . . bird's eye dumplings

Tastes like the stone fish dumpling.

abalone mushroom vegetable dumplings . . .

Another bland item.

. . . crispy spring roll

This is indeed crispy. Perfectly wrapped, super crispy and meaty on the inside. No sauce needed.

steamed glutinous rice dumplings stuffed with duck meat, mushrooms and egg yolk in lotus leaf . . .

This tasted like dessert because of the glutinous rice. Not bad but not good either.

. . . double-boiled congee with dried scallops

We loved it. Too bad we can't eat too much or we won't be able to try other items on the menu.

steamed crystal prawns or hakao . . .

My favorite dumpling. Xin Tian Di's hakao was just okay. I wish I ordered more of these instead of stuffing myself with bland tasting dumplings.

. . . taro puffs

I thought without the salmon and fishy taste I would come to like this. Still it tasted yucky for me. I'm sorry.

steamed xiao long pao - shanghai style . . .

I am always on the look out for xiao long bao/pao whenever we go to a Chinese resto. However their shanghai style failed to impress. Again, it's tasteless. Even the dipping sauce didn't help.

. . . steamed chicken feet in XO sauce

Tapioca doesn't like chicken feet so I had these. It was super soft and tender however I'm not so fond of the XO sauce. There was about 5 pieces of them and on my 3rd piece, I felt like I was being tortured. Afraid to pay extra charges so I finished them. If this was cooked adobo-style, I'd probably finished them in no time or perhaps order a second serving.

deep-fried buns with condense milk . . .

Finally. Something to cleanse my taste buds after the struggle with the chicken feet. The buns were toasty and crispy on the outside and then soft and moist on the inside. The condense milk was perfect to dip the buns to. Yummy!

. . . glutinous pork puffs

These were okay. A little oily, though. At this point, I surrendered. I'm done. I'm moving on to desserts. Tapioca still had room for more.

steamed sio mai - japanese style . . .

. . . steamed minced beef balls with beancurd skin

steamed BBQ pork buns . . .

. . . pork buns innards

wanton noodle soup with roast duck . . .

The noodle soup took a long time to arrive. More than 30 minutes. As in ang tagal! I would give the service a perfect score na sana if this didn't happen. Buti na lang Tapioca enjoyed the soup. They probably had to order this from the 7 Corners downstairs kaya natagalan LOL!

Here's my dessert:

. . . sesame buchi & coffee pudding

The buchi was just okay.  The coffee pudding was amazing. I took a bite and I thought it's just an ordinary gelatin. Then the coffee flavor exploded inside my mouth. It was so good!

sweet egg custard . . .

. . . sweet egg custard's innards

 Okay lang.

chocolate mantao . . .

This tasted like the deep-fried buns except it has chocolate filling inside. I still preferred the deep-fried buns with condense milk.

. . . Jellybean & Tapioca

We're stuffed but not totally satisfied. Tapioca's game plan (order the dimsum that we've never tried before) failed because most of the dimsum tasted bleh. I still wanted to go back here but next time I know what to order. I'll make sure to keep away from the items I didn't like.

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