Shanghai Saloon: 1920s Modern China Experience @ThePodiumMall

Shanghai Saloon is a modern Chinese restaurant inspired by 1920s Shanghai dining places with European influences and characterized by a mix of oriental attitude and western culture. It’s a proudly local concept by Korean owners Grace Lee and Han Bright Concepts known for their Kko Kko chain, in collaboration with Executive Chef Tony Ho who comes from a Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong. It feels like Modern China meets Mott 32 yet with surroundings that remind you of its mall setting. It’s a restaurant first then a bar, definitely one of those places where you’ll love to hang out when you are in The Podium area.


First Things First

Shanghai Saloon is in a secret corner in The Podium Mall beside Mamou Prime in the Arabica/Manam Cafe wing. (Trivia: The Bee logo is a tribute to their investor partner, the late Bong Tan who signed his name with a bee.) SHANGHAI SALOON 1st Level The Podium Mall, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila Telephone: +632 8426-5587 Facebook: Shanghai Saloon As you enter, you get transported into an elegant but casual Shanghai setting (only to be disrupted by the cars passing en route to the parking area). The private dining rooms, designed by Korean brand director Teddy Lee, exude Chinois chic. Reserve this bigger private dining room with extra breathing space and surrounding wine glasses and bottles. Shanghai Saloon specializes in roasted duck and pork belly which are kept in a chiller cabinet to maintain their temperature and humidity for better dry-aged taste and crispy skin. Shanghai Saloon Menu: Lunch Set | Dinner Set | Dimsum | Appetizer, Soup, Roast | Entree, Seafood | Vegetables, Fried Rice, Noodle, Dessert |  House Wines | Red (Bottle) | Red (Bottle) The menu focuses on good value Shanghai, Cantonese and Korean-Chinese inspired specialties plus a number of yummy plant-based options.


Dimsum

Four Kinds Dim Sum Platter
Four Kinds Dim Sum Platter (4 pcs. – ₱188). Shrimp Dumpling, Pork Dumpling, Scallop Dumpling and Crab Dumpling
The dim sum tasted premium with generous tasty meat inside a thin wrapper.
Scallop Dumpling
Scallop Dumpling (₱168 – 4 pcs.)
Having tasted the 4 different options, our favorite was the scallop dumpling.
Cheese Crusted Kimchi Dumpling
Cheese Crusted Kimchi Dumpling (6 pcs. – ₱168)
It was weird but it worked—like an Osaka Ohsho gyoza served upside down with a crisp cheese layer and a yummy kimchi dim sum inside.
Mango Prawn Roll with Cheese
Mango Prawn Roll with Cheese (₱158 – 3 pcs.)
Prawn with mozzarella cheese wrapped like a lumpia in a golden mango crust.
Sesame Ball with Gruyere
Sesame Ball with Gruyere (₱158 – 3 pcs.)
A cheesy buchi, but I expected the gruyere oozing inside instead of being dry.


Appetizer

Bamboo Shoot with Pomelo Sauce
Bamboo Shoot with Pomelo Sauce (₱238).
This was our favorite! Thin crisp bamboo shoot with honey best eaten with the pomelo that provided the acid to cut through the sweetness.
Spiced Twirled Cucumber
Spiced Twirled Cucumber (₱188)
The best cucumber twister fries we’ve tried, with peanut, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Foie Gras with Smoked Egg
Foie Gras with Smoked Egg (₱988)
Umami overload with a fat slab of foie gras, half-cooked egg oozing with yolk and sweet mango to balance the flavors with the toast.
Honig
Honig (USA, 2018, Sauvignon Blanc) (₱388/glass, ₱1,988/bottle) Vivino Rating 3.9
The ambiance was conducive to lounging with wine while enjoying Chinese food.
Hot and Sour Seafood Soup
Hot and Sour Seafood Soup (₱188)
Not too sour, not too spicy, with lots of seafood inside; served in a nice goblet-like ceramic soup bowl.


Entree

Peking Duck
Peking duck (Half – ₱1,888)
The Peking Duck skin was expertly sliced by Executive Chef Tony, just like in Hong Kong. The modern first way was served deconstructed. I like to eat the skin by itself but you can also try dipping it in sugar or other condiments. Brand Director Teddy Lee wrapped our first pancake with Chinese pear, onion leeks, sugar and hoisin sauce. Loved the hot wrapper and the mix of flavors, all eaten in two bites. The second way was served not with lettuce but with fried and steamed mantou buns carved inside, where you could put the minced duck.
Pork Spareribs with Guava Sauce
Pork Spareribs with Guava Sauce (₱488)
Best to eat with your hands so you could get the meat off the bone. The guava sauce was a bit sticky for the teeth though.
Clos Du Val (2013, Zinfandel) (₱2,188) Vivino 3.9 Rating
Loved their wine—not too sweet, not to strong, smooth to pair with the Chinese flavors.
Shanghai Saloon
Shanghai Saloon Fried Rice (₱388)
Rice was the last as always. Good to pair with the roast duck minced meat or the pork ribs.


Dessert

Glutinous Rice Ball
Glutinous Rice Ball (₱158 – 3 pcs.)
End with a chewy mochi with options of mango or strawberry for flavor.
Shanghai Saloon Raindrop
Shanghai Saloon Raindrop (₱88 a piece)
The best would be the rainbow cake with their sauce. Eat slowly one small slice at a time.


Final Thoughts

Overall, we love the casual elegance of the place where you can enjoy not so usual Chinese food and lounge with wine. If you want to eat something light, we recommend the Bamboo Shoot with Pomelo Sauce, Spiced Twirled Cucumber, Scallop Dumpling and Cheese Crusted Kimchi Dumpling. The roasted duck is a must-order if you are dining for a celebration with friends or family. End with the Shanghai Saloon Raindrop for a satisfying light dessert. Budget is reasonable, about ₱500/head or ₱1,000/head with roasted duck. The ambiance makes you forget you are in the mall, and this is the kind-of-place where we’d love to hang out in the Pasig area. Finally. Make sure to reserve the private rooms for your special occasions.   SHANGHAI SALOON 1st Level The Podium Mall, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila Telephone: +632 8426-5587 Facebook: Shanghai Saloon   Live an Awesome Life, Anton Founder, Our Awesome Planet Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of the good people of Shanghai Saloon.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights. P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Michael Cacnio balloon art in The Podium.

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