MABUHAY PALACE: Our Favorite Cantonese Fine Dining and Chinese New Year @ Manila Hotel

Read: 10 Most Awesome Chinese Restaurants in Manila!

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MABUHAY PALACE is the Chinese fine-dining restaurant of Manila Hotel that serves authentic Cantonese Chinese cuisine, with an elegant modern Chinese ambiance.

It’s one of the yummiest Chinese food restos in Manila with a well-curated menu, and innovative food that are usually off the menu list. It’s the best choice for celebrating Chinese special occasions (Chinese New Year, Moon Cake Festival, Birthdays, Engagement parties) for the discriminating Chinese foodie families.

Here are our favorites and some tips to have an awesome dining experience at Mabuhay Palace:


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The imperial ambiance motif is bright red, gold and orange with your choice of different tables — oblong, circle and lauriat style. There are wide spaces in between tables to provide privacy and peaceful co-existence with other diners.

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The walls of the Palace is surrounded by hand-crafted panels telling the life story of philosopher Confucius from his youth to his senior citizen years. It took 20 years for a family of artisans to complete the well-crafted jade and precious stones artwork.

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The restaurant can house 200 guests and has 4 private rooms for intimate gatherings.

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You can’t go wrong with choosing anything in the menu, but the best dishes are usually not found in the menu list.

Appetizers and Barbecued Specialties | Bird’s Nest, Soup | Abalone and Dried Seafood | Live Seafood | Fresh Seafood | Fresh Seafood, Pork and Beef | Poultry | Beancurd and Vegetables |Beancurd and Vegetables, Vegetarian | Rice and Noodles | Dessert | Chef’s Recommended Menu | Dimsum Menu 1 (Lunch Only)Dimsum Menu 2 (Lunch Only)

Check out on my foodie blogger friend Jin Perez’s blog post on Mabuhay Palace for some ideas on what to order extraordinarily on special occasions:

[Related Blog Post: Jin Loves to Eat | Mabuhay Palace at The Manila Hotel ♥ ♥ ♥ ]



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They have the best signature appetizer — Crispy Wonton Chips with Toasted Sesame Seeds drizzled with Honey. It’s crunchy, sweet and not too oily, just enough to get your stomach ready.

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★ Mabuhay Palace Long Life Prawns (P180/piece).

One of the signature appetizers is like shrimp tempura but covered with fried noodles. It is served with a Trio of Dipping Sauces: Hoisin, Fruity Plum and Wasabi Mayo; I like combining the flavors and dipping the shrimp in all three sauces.

[Related Blog Post: Jin Loves to Eat | Mabuhay Palace Mid-Autumn Festival Meal ]



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Some of the best items in the menu need to be ordered at least a day in advance or else you’ll wait for one-and-a-half hours to order this:

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★ Stuffed Chicken with Eight Treasure in Lotus Leaf (P960 +10% service charge + local tax).

One of the bestsellers in the Mabuhay Palace menu is the whole chicken stuffed with rice with their signature Eight Treasure sauce. It’s a complete meal in itself, and good to share with the family.

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The rice inside resembles machang, and the chicken meat is very tasty having absorbed the sauce. You can also order the seafood version in Eight Treasure sauce.

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★ Adobo sa Mayon (Marinated Belly) (P960 +10% service charge + local tax)

Adobo sa Mayon is Executive Sous Chef Joie Candelaria’s winning entry in the Asian Master Chef competition. The thin slices of pork belly cooked in Chinese adobo style and shaped into a pyramid as inspired by Mayon Volcano.

Related Post: Manila BulletinMaster Chefs Preserving Chinese Cuisine

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You can eat it ala cua pao by putting the thin slices of fatty belly into the white puffy bread; but best to eat it with rice. The bottom of the volcano contains shredded meat and vegetables for an added healthy touch.

This is off- the- menu and needs to be ordered in advance.

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Don’t forget to drink the house tea while indulging on this pork belly treat 🙂

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★ Boneless Honey Glazed Chicken with Crispy Ginger (P380 +10% service charge + local tax).

For a healthier treat, I like this sweet chicken version with a unique crispy ginger combination.

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★ Spinach Beancurd (P320 +10% service charge + local tax) with BaiLing and Golden Mushrooms, Asparagus, Crispy Dried Scallops 

For vegetable, I would recommend ordering their signature house-made beancurd topped with spinach served with soft BaiLing and golden mushrooms, asparagus and salty-crispy-dried scallops.

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The secret to the yummy food at Mabuhay Palace is the unbeatable duo of Executive Chinese Chef Sun Bing and Executive Sous Chef Josephine Yu Tanganco-Candelaria. 

They are known in the Chinese Foodie circles for really good and authentic Cantonese food even prior to their Mabuhay Palace home. 

[Related Blog Post: Jin Loves to Eat | Mabuhay Palace, A Third Time ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ]



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★ Salted Egg Yolk Ice Cream with Black Sesame (P100).

One of Mabuhay Palace’s claims to fame was the Salted Duck Egg Yolk ice cream. Yes, it’s the salted egg flavor balanced by the black sesame seeds, that match well with the creamy taste.

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It was weird to taste the salty egg but the kids love it too 🙂

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Dark Chocolate Buchi (P150/3 pieces).

Another option is the Fried Sesame Balls with chocolate inside. Although I would have preferred the chocolate to be oozing-full rather than a thin inside coating of the buchi.

[Related Blog Post: Jin Loves to Eat | Mabuhay Palace, A Fourth Time ♥ ♥ ♥ ]



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This Chinese New Year, they are showcasing Chinese Artwork Craft using ancient hand-painting techniques particularly a Fan Painting Exhibit by the Chan Lim Family.

The exhibit is entitled “Nature” that will be on display along the Mabuhay Palace Hallway from February 10 to 24, 2013.

CHAN LIM Family of Artists
Contact: Dr. Alex Chan Lim +63 917 592-5988

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Here’s a sample of a basic Chinese painting artwork called the 4 Gentlemen: Bamboo, Plum Blossom, Chinese Orchid and Chrysanthemum. 

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On Chinese New Year itself, Dr. Alex Chan Lim will conduct a Chinese Painting Workshop on February 10, 2013,  Sunday, 2.00pm.

It is open to all guests of Mabuhay Palace dining from January 2 to February 9, 2013 with minimum food and beverage purchase of P3,500 in a single receipt.

Also, the Workshop is open to guests who avail of the Chinese New Year Set Menu.

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10-Course Mabuhay Palace Bountiful Set Menu 2013
(until Feb. 12, lunch and dinner) P3,000 net per person

  • Chinese New Year Yu Sheng Prosperity Salad
  • Seafood Supreme broth with dry scallop and crabmeat
  • Sauteed fresh scallops with crisp honey walnuts
  • Deep-fried minced shrimp balls with shrimp Glazed Almonds
  • Steamed live Flambeed Garoupa
  • Slow cook “Fatt Choy” Assorted Seafood hot pot
  • Wok friend US Beef with Gann Xiang Sauce
  • Oven baked rice with assorted seafood and cheese melt
  • Chilled Mango puree with baby sago
  • Pan Fried Tikoy



Mabuhay Palace Tikoy is very playful, yummy, and well presented. It comes in three variants:

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1). Almond Tikoy in Fish Shape (Large: P1,190 net | Medium: P,1017 net)

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2). Assorted Nuts Tikoy in Coin form. (Large: P1,190 net | Medium: P,1017 net)

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3). Red Dates, Red Beans Gold Bar Tikoy (Medium: 1,008.00++ or P,1017 net) in Elegant boxes 

This is a personal favorite because of the added sweet texture of the dates and beans. Almond is also good if you like the plain smooth flavor.

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Overall, if you are looking for the best Cantonese Cuisine in Manila in a fine dining setting, Mabuhay Palace is the place to be 🙂 It’s one of the best places to celebrate special Chinese occasions in Manila like Chinese New Year.  Budget P1,000/head and special set menus P3,000/head.

The only thing that bugs us: service is slow and one server is assigned to you (typically, you are ignored by other servers). They are not familiar with the menu, so we wish you good luck in getting good recommendations. Better to know what to order in advance, and do a bit of research.

What’s your favorite in Mabuhay Palace? Tell us your experience in the comments portion.

Ground Floor, Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines. 
For Reservations: +632 527-9469 
Telephone: +632 527-0011, local 1346, 1347, 1348
Operating Hours:
Open for lunch daily: 11.00am to 3.00pm
Open for dinner daily: 6.00pm to 10.00pm

Live an Awesome Life,

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If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at

Full Disclosure: We paid for our meals at Mabuhay Palace. We attended the press preview of the Chinese New Year activities at Mabuhay Palace. I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. 

 I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don’t receive compensation from food and travel places we feature in the blog. 

P.S. Check out these Chinese New Year 2013 Celebrations in Binondo this weekend!

The BIG Binondo Food WOK Chinese New Year Edition!

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Nibbling Our Way Thru Chinatown. Oh yes, it’s that time of the year again when we binge ourselves silly as we usher in the Lunar New Year with a BIG, BIG Bite! It’s the best time of the year to eat your way through Binondo and revel in the festivities as we bid goodbye to the dragon and welcome in the year of the SSSSSSnake! Let us paint the town RED!

Saturday, February 09, 2013 @ 8:00 AM and @ 2:30 PM 
Sunday February 10, 2013 @ 8:00 AM and @ 2:00 PM 
Rate: P1,500.00/head (inclusive of tasting menu and lotsa fun and surprises!)

Call Ivan Man Dy to reserve +63 918 962-6452


Lucky Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration

Chinese New Year Lucky China Mall

February 9 Chinese New Year’s Eve

AM: Colorful parade around Binondo by members of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. 

11.00AM: Formal opening at the Lucky Chinatown Atrium highlighted by the Dotting of the Eye of the Chinese Lion, Ang Pao Ceremony and the Ringing of the Ceremonial Gong.

1.00 – 5.00PM: Chinese cultural presentations from Chinese schools, chorale ensembles, dance groups, and public demonstrations of Chinese martial arts such as Tai Chi and Wushu

8.00PM: Fashion Show styled by fashion blogger Camille Co

9.00PM: Rocking party with performances from various artists

12.00MN:  Spectacular fireworks display will be lighting up the skies at Lucky Chinatown to mark the Year of The Water Snake.

February 10 Chinese New Year Activities

11.00AM: Lion and Dragon Dance at the Lucky Chinatown Atrium serenaded by the acclaimed Kim Hwa Chinese Music Ensemble 

1.00PM: Magical Performance by Magician Jeffrey Tam

2.00PM: Chinese Opera Group Performance

3.00PM: Acrobat Performances

4:30PM: Predictions for the year 2013 by Feng Shui master Joy Lim

5:30PM: Contemporary Chinese dances by students from various Chinese schools

7.00PM: Grand fireworks display

Reina Regente St. corner Dela Reina St., Binondo, Manila
Operating Hours: 10AM to 10PM 
Telephone: Lucky Chinatown Concierge at +632 576-8139
Facebook: Lucky Chinatown Mall
Twitter: @luckychinatown

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