"As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life." -BUDDHA

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

TAZA DE ORO Food Garden offers Authentic Chinese Cuisine

TAZA DE ORO Food Garden San Juan City
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden San Juan City

Whenever OpenRice announces its event and it is in San Juan there is always this nagging desire for me to be part of it. First, because I was born and raised in this city so it is for sure accessible for me. Second, I dreamed of scouting and dining in all the restaurants of this city from smallest to large scale and include them in my portfolio. Just recently, I was  formally requested to be part of another Eat's A Date and I am the type who has the hard time saying no to other's request, so I gave it another shot. I was there before 6PM and proud to be an early bird.
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden San Juan City
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden San Juan City
It was actually my second time to set foot on this restaurant, year 2010 when my officemate and I decided to take out pancit and big siomai one dinner time. It was a memorable night because we were caught in a heavy rainfall just to have something special meal as that day is payday. Since then I never came back although I want their big portions and insanely tasty offerings. It was such a perfect timing when I received a message informing me if I could join the foodies, that time I was really craaaaaaaving for Chinese food.

Taza De Oro literally means 'golden cup' no wonder a lot of families especially during weekends pay this place a visit because they only serve authentic and gold standard Chinese cuisine. maybe it was also coined after the owner's name, Guinto Tan. Isn't it guinto or ginto is the Tagalog term for gold? Open everyday as early as seven in the morning until ten in the evening. Located in Madison Square which you will definitely pass by if you are going to Greenhills Shopping Center. Near schools like Immaculate Concepcion Academy, Xavier School De Lasalle and OB Montessori.  As I enter the place, a tarpaulin greeted me way before I was greeted by the dining staff. It says that, "We serve Kangen Water." So what on earth is Kangen Water? Upon researching it is  a trademark of Enagic USA and an innovative water technology that filter the tap water that provides high-quality water that can be used for different purposes. It is believed to be an alkaline water that cures everything, but this is a myth I suppose.

TAZA DE ORO Food Garden San Juan City

TAZA DE ORO Food Garden
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden San Juan City
Upon entry, big amazing aquariums housing medium to big sized freshwater fishes will greet and  kind of lure you to buy them and ask the restaurant manager to cook them for you according to your preference of course. I liked the temperature setting at the dining area because it was so cold but bearable, spacious, very clean and well-lit as well. I also feel the positive vibe of the place maybe because of the smiling face and utmost quality service of the employees. Whenever I dine in a Chinese restaurant, it is expected that big serving size will follow. Take a look at what were offered before us. . .
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Hot & Sour Soup (Medium PhP 160 l Large PhP 300) 
Naturally, it was really hot and sour. Made with mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu, pork pieces, chili oil and vinegar. I am not a fan of this type of soup even if I've encountered this recipe from various restaurants already. It was like I still want it with noodles just like what other Chinese eateries is selling. But I guess I graduated into eating this kind so I did not taste this soup that much.
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Salted Fish Fried Rice (Small PhP 95 l Medium PhP 210 l Large PhP 500)
Obviously from the name itself, this Chinese fried rice variant was indeed salty. Became my favorite but I'm missing the authentic Yang Chao that time. At least I got to taste other rice dish from their menu apart from my old favorite. I can consider this as a one-dish meal because I can eat it as is without any viand.
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Salt & Pepper Squid (Medium PhP 260 l Large PhP490)
Nice plating because it looks classy and beautiful but I must be honest that the squid pieces were tough to the bite. I literally bit hard just to overcome its gummy texture. Slightly spicy but manageable for me as I have low tolerance for spicy foods. TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Mixed Vegetable Fuyong (Medium PhP 250 l Large PhP 480)
Delectable sweet sauce made mostly with scrambled egg pieces mixed with bean sprouts, meat, mushrooms onion, herbs and spices. I love it being saucy and easy to chew. Highly suggested!
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Sate Mike Guisado (Small PhP 150  l  Medium PhP 280  l  Large PhP450)
Eveybody believes that one needs to eat pancit for long life. And we did. Authentic in taste and packed with tasty goodness. I have to admit that I got hooked into this noodle dish. Great for sharing.
                TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Golden Butter Chicken (Medium PhP 240 l  Large PhP460)
Buttery in taste so it has something that separates from those available in fast food restaurants. Those chicharon pieces added value on the dish. Plain and simple. These chicken are best partnered with pancit.
TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Braised Pata Tim with Cuapao ( PhP 680) 
I was craving for siopao and I felt like my secret request was answered when this was served. Did anybody hear me saying my wish? Cuapao or steamed bun is considered to be me and my best friend's favorite snack sold at a Chinese-inspired fast-food chain. We used to eat this a lot during our college years. Pata Tim was crowd's favorite that night though a bit salty for me. I noticed that carrots were cut in nice square shapes. How did the cook or his assistant do that? Interesting! How to eat this? Simply open the steamed white bun halfway using your thumb fingers and then scoop slowly the fall-off the bone braised beef meat flakes and its sauce in between the bun. Extreme happiness will surely follow.

TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Sweet & Sour Fish Fillet (Medium PhP 280 l Large PhP520)
Sticky sauce but remarkable in taste. Another great plating using fresh veggies. I never saw any wilted portion which means a lot to me. Tender fillets in to-die for sweet and sour sauce. I wish that someday I will be able to cook as yummy as this one.             

                 TAZA DE ORO Food Garden  Authentic Chinese Cuisine
Almond Lychee (PhP 90/cup l  Small  PhP200  l  Medium PhP320  l   Large PhP450)
My god mother has a recipe of this common Chinese dessert and surprisingly they almost taste the same. I have noticed that almond-flavored gelatin pieces were a bit short in quantity compared to that of lychee pieces. Also, crushed ice were fine in texture but too plenty in quantity. I'd expect it to be not so saturated with ice so as not to compromise the flavor. Overall, it was good. The food server assembled a dessert for each of us. It was very nice and attentive of him to do that.

I wish to see this place more in the future. Promise I never lost my appetite when it comes to Chinese cuisine and Taza de Oro is impressive. Therefore, I suggested it with friends and relatives and even readers like you for a completely satisfying family experience. 

Ground Level, Madison Square , Madison Square
Madison St. cor. Ortigas Ave., Greenhills
San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 721-0381

(02) 721-0382