XO Kitchen, Manila – I Love the XO but not the Kitchen yet…

I absolutely love XO, which is an eXtra Ordinary chili sauce with yummy bits of scallops and other secret stuff. One of the reasons we go to Chinese restaurants in hotels is that you can order unlimited servings of XO! We also love the XO Sauce created by Claude Tayag — it’s one of the highlights in the Bale Dutung condiments.


XO Kitchen’s restaurant concept revolves around the original, homemade XO sauce made by the mom of the owners. I like the XO idea, but it was poorly executed because you can’t even get a sampler serving of XO, not unless you buy a pack for P400+.

XO Kitchen-5
Noodle with clams with XO Sauce (P140).

This is the best dish to order at XO Kitchen because the noodles are cooked with the XO sauce. The combination of the little clam bits and scallop strips is something to look forward to. The noodles are quite tough, though, and seem to have been stored for some time. The serving size is exactly good for one person.

Mix Bola Bola Noodle Soup (P120).

The noodle soup is just OK.

We usually enjoy eating soup late at night after my Maven Secrets class in AIM. The restaurant closes late (at 11pm), so we get to satisfy our soup craving. Our other go-t0 place for late night soup is Noodle Bar in The Establishment.

Shrimp Wanton Soup (P45).

Sometimes, we just order the “extra soup” version because the noodles are really not something we would recommend. Once you’ve tasted the noodles of Crystal Jade, you won’t enjoy other noodles anymore.

XO Kitchen Beef Special (P230).

We ordered this because we thought there would be XO sauce in it, but apparently it was just a branding thing.  The beef is soft, though, and absorbs most of the sauce well. We were just disappointed that it did not have any XO sauce in it.

XO Kitchen Ala Carte Menu: (Pork, Seafood, Beef/Mutton, Chicken/Pigeon, Noodles/Soup |Rice Meal, Dimsum & Others | Vegetables, Rice, Egg, Dessert and Drinks)

The chili dragon is their mascot, but you can’t even find any chili XO-inspired dishes in the menu.

Spareribs with Special Sauce (P220).

This is supposed to be the house specialty, but it’s just the usual sweet and sour spareribs rice topping. We don’t recommend it.

Shrimp Kuchay Puff (P75).

The fried dumplings are also supposedly part of their specialty, but they were not done well in terms of overall taste experience. To be honest, we don’t like fried dimsum that much.

Milk Mango Pudding (P38).

Some of the desserts are served in pre-packaged, cheap containers, which is fine as long as it brings down the overall price. 🙂

Buchi (P60).

We enjoyed their buchi because of the sweetened mongo filling. One of the saving graces of the entire meal.

XO Kitchen is actually marketed as an HK-style, “authentic” Chinese place, but I do think they should revisit the concept and specialize in food with XO sauce in them instead. They can then charge premium prices for their dishes, and the crowd of XO lovers would flock to this kitchen.

XO Kitchen
134 Jupiter St, Makati City
Telephone: +632 519-1238

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Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals, and we are not connected in any way with the owners of the restaurant. 

15 thoughts on “XO Kitchen, Manila – I Love the XO but not the Kitchen yet…

  1. The interior of this place is fantastic. Quality furniture and great colors – kudos to whoever designed the place. However, there is a big disjoint between the look and the food. From the outside, it doesn’t look like a chinese restaurant at all. I know there’s a huge picture of the dragon, but it doesn’t remind me of chinese food at all. The menu is just overblown. Too much choices bring about decision paralysis. Prices are quite reasonable and taste is so-so – reminds me of chowking – that’s not a compliment. Bottomline, reduce the menu, improve the flavor, market your blockbuster product… come up with a reason why i should visit again. too lazy to check my grammar.

  2. I had La Paz batchoy at Deco’s Boracay last month. Good for me, except it was too sweet. Bacolod Chicken Inasal in Greenhills is too salty naman. I prefer Deco’s, because the ingredients are of better quality, plus the view of the beach is a plus, plus, plus, of course!

  3. If you like XO sauce, try the one of the yummy creations sold in MI CASA- the deli opened by the same owners of Angels Kitchen. It’s really yummy and they don’t scrimp on the ingredients!

  4. I tried the place the week they opened. With the so many Chinese restaurants in the area – Hap Chan, Mongkok, North Park, Lutong Macau, any new place should really stand out. I didn’t find any dish which tickled my curiousity. And the place did not seem to have any attraction. With only one dish in your review that’s positive, it is not enough to get e back…

  5. hi anton!
    me and my family just ate at XO kitchen for dinner, and my mom ordered the butchi, we were informed by the waiter that the stuffing inside it is not mongo but rather, black sesame. just FYI =)

  6. Hi anton, I beg to disagree with you on this one! We ate in XO KITCHEN last night, and for a total bill of PHP 600, we were able to get 6 delicious dishes with good portions.
    The best dish we ordered was the thee cup chicken, and it was great! Maybe you should try that when you go again next time.
    Crystal Jade Manila was not worth the long lines, believe me, I have tried it twice since it opened and came up utterly disappointed. The food – as you would say is – “just OK” – i expected something fantastic after the long wait.

  7. I agree with you! the interiors of the place made me want to try the resto but as you said too much choices and it doesn’t highlight the X.O in their restaurant name X.O kitchen

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