3.05.2010

A Prosperous Sunday Lunch

First Friday of the month:  Dining

As part of my "blog renovation", I have made a regular topic schedule for all Fridays of the month which is in the 'My Fridays' menu tab above (though it's not quite working yet) on the sidebar. Therefore, beginning this month, every first Friday, the topic will be all about food.  And since today is the first Friday of March, here's my first food post. (And by the way, since it coincided with my announcement of the Top 3 New Header Candidates, it is also a first for me to have 2 posts in 1 day! Maybe that's why I feel under the weather today!?!)

It's a tradition in our family to have Sunday lunch at my parent's place, together with my brother and his family.  Dining out is usually reserved for special occasions, hosting get-togethers, trying a new resto nearby, or when mother simply wants to take a break from cooking for us (",)

Last Sunday, my brother thought we should try this recently opened Chinese-Cantonese restaurant just a few blocks away from my parents' house, called Prosperous. We also invited a couple of relatives to join us for this mini luncheon get-together, and I'd say, we were quite a happy bunch that day enjoying a Xiamen-style feast of good eats!




I believe Prosperous had a quiet opening just a couple of months ago since I barely noticed it even as I pass by Granada Street every afternoon (towards Gilmore Avenue in New Manila). Only last month did this bright orange facade caught my eye, displaying a list of specialties that seem familiar to the palates of most Filipino-Chinese residents. And what looked like a hole-in-the-wall type of resto is actually more of a typical Ongpin-style (Ongpin is a historic street in Chinatown, Manila) eatery for me, serving authentic Chinese-Cantonese home-style cuisine. It certainly did not disappoint the critical diners from our table.
Of course, for first-timers in a new restaurant, it is always advisable to order the specialties of the house. And we are game for anything as we are all hearty eaters in the family.  Prosperous boasts of its Fried Chicken, Kikiam, Longaniza, and Oyster Cake. Obviously, we ordered them except for the longaniza.

The Kikiam (above photo) is roll of ground pork and veggies wrapped in bean curd sheets, usually steamed then deep-fried. Their Kikiam was very tasty and aromatic, with real meat filling and crunchy skin, but was a tad salty.  It also looked like a shrunken, wrinkled lumpia (spring roll). But still worth ordering at P50 a piece.

The chicken. I can't describe the taste except that it has a very nice balance of salty-sweet-spicy. Light crunchy skin and juicy white meat, perfectly marinated and cooked just right. I later learned this was a secret recipe from the cook, as with the Kikiam. A perfectly simple and delicious all-time favorite. Everyone really liked this unassuming Fried Chicken, and it was hit with the kids too! I was lucky I even got a shot of the plate with a few pieces left, as my favorite wing part was already swiped!
 
  
One of my favorite Chinese dishes is the Oyster Cake. For one, I love oysters -- uncooked or cooked in any way. The aunties and parents were even seriously discussing how to make a perfect 'cake' for this very succulent aphrodisiac. From the type of flour to the actual frying, I really didn't care much since I was really enjoying my meal while clicking away with the camera before everything gets wiped out. When you look at this dish, it would seem unappealing, but you need to dig in and savor it! I think it's all about the freshness of the oysters, the batter mixture and the frying technique to make a good oyster cake. Only P180 for a large plateful. Another winner for me. With just a drizzle of ketchup and special hot sauce, I could finish half a plate of this!
Chinese feasts will never be complete without a plate of noodles. Our order was Sate Chami -- fat, stir-fried egg noodles with assorted seafood and meat topping flavored with a mild, spicy sate sauce. I honestly don't know what's in a sate sauce but it's just flavorful and really compliments the noodles. The spiciness is just right, unlike others I've tasted with the sauce being too overpowering.  Another winner for me and the family.

I think we ordered this classic fried rice with finely chopped veggies and Chinese chorizo. Kinda dry but it was still good. Actually, plain rice will do if you order what we had.

The only vegetable dish we had was this Spinach with Garlic. Another simple dish that anyone can stir-fry at home.  But the key is the variety of spinach you can source.  Based on the feedback from the rest of the adults, this one needs improvement.  We guessed that the slight bitter aftertaste was attributed to using local spinach. Other varieties, I believe, produces a more sweet, clean taste. Oh well, you can't win them all. This was just okay with me, bitterness and all. (",)
My brother took the initiative to order at least two plates of each viand, just enough for a voracious lot, and this last dish earned raves as well.  I missed this from the menu but I think this is Steamed Fish Fillet in Black Bean Sauce.

The fillets were just melt-in-your-mouth tender, and fresh, and again the saltiness of the black bean sauce did not drown the natural flavor of the fish.  Two thumbs up.

I'd say, Prosperous will slowly earn loyal patrons with their classic yet delectable Chinese and Cantonese fares that truly satisfies. Affordability is a bonus. 

Some points of improvements are their customer service and more lighting inside the dining area. I just remembered an instance when I asked for a straw for my soda, and the server just handed me a red straw with her bare hands! And it would not hurt either if they have better training of their waitstaff to be more personable and knowledgeable of the menu. The resto can seat around 24 pax.

Our Sunday lunch extended till early afternoon and this only means that nothing beats great food and good company to make for an amazing dining experience that bonds a family.


Prosperous Xiamen-Cantonese Restaurant
Villa Ortigas, Granada Street
Bgy. Valencia, New Manila Q.C.
Tel.: (632) 7265187 


Note as of May 9, 2010:
I was sad to hear this restaurant is now closed.

You might like to try these other dining places I've featured: