Ming Kee Live Seafood Restaurant is the latest Singaporean import to hit our shores. It has a single branch in McPherson road headed by Chef Ivan Tam who was also in town to open the Manila restaurant. It is located on Makati Ave. cor Kalayaan, next to the new hotel being constructed on the right side if coming from Rockwell. I’ve attached a Google Maps link so you can see it clearly.
Chef Ivan aims to introduce the Teochew style (Northern China) of Chinese cuisine to the local dining scene that has thus far been dominated by Cantonese cuisine.
The ground floor has 2-3 parking spaces with more to come once the hotel construction is finished. Nearest parking as of now is in the A Venue open parking or Century City Mall. The live seafood tanks and the large kitchen is also situated on the ground floor. There are 4 floors of dining with an industrial meets Chinese ambiance.
We started our sneak taste through Ming Kee’s menu starting with the Yee Sang Salad (P680). This is traditionally consumed during Chinese New Year in Malaysia and Singapore but some restaurants have started to offer it here also. I’ve had many versions but this one is the best I’ve tasted.
Assorted Hot and Cold Cuts (P960). Composed of honey bbq pork (sans food coloring), Teochew pork belly, prawn salad, prawn cube and roast goose. My fave was the very tasty roast goose.
Drunken Shrimps with Herbs (P875/1750). Nothing new with the execution but it’s the broth they use that is unique with the addition of Chinese herbs. The shrimps were sweet and crisp with some flavor of the herb broth and wine seeping in. I’m not terribly fond of si-but and the broth tasted very similar to that so I gave my share to Irene who gladly finished it off.
Cereal Prawns (P525/1050). A dish very common in Singaporean cuisine but Ming Kee does it’s own take on it. The prawns are on the small size but it’s the cereal oats that carry the plate. You be wanting to coat your shrimps in as much cereal as you can. Good thing that you can order extra cereal to add to your rice, noodles or just scoop it straight into your mouth.
Ming Kee is very proud of their homemade beancurd which you can enjoy two ways, Homemade Beancurd with Assorted Vegetables (P380/570) and Braised Homemade Beancurd (P380/570). The bean curd has just the right amount of firmness but the texture is so smooth with no hint of graininess. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Triple Cooked Crab BeeHoon (P2500/kilo). A Singaporean dish that has so far eluded me until now. The beehoon (imported from Singapore) is steamed, braised and stir fried together with the crab to ensure it is flavor packed. One taste and you’ll be asking for more beehoon but alas there is a ratio of beehoon to crab that can not be deviated from so as not to dilute the flavors. If you want more beehoon, you have to get another order.
Steamed Clams with Special House Sauce (P350/525). My love affair with clam and other shells is well known and this creation by Chef Ivan really delivers it in spades. Served in the same container as the fish, the extra heat makes the broth even tastier. If I was not eating with a group, I’d have spooned the broth directly to my mouth. A must order for every clam lover.
Teochow Style Soya Chicken (P480/960). Well marinated soy chicken with a slightly stick sauce, something for plain rice to sop up. They also serve Hainanese Chicken but it was ho-hum, better to get it from the specialists.
Teochew Garoupa (market price). The Teochow style tops the fresh lapu-lapu with beancurd, chili, pickled plums, salted vegetables and mushrooms. I was a bit surprised at the heated fish shaped container it was served in, I was thinking won’t it over cook the fish. This is a big no-no in Cantonese cuisine who times steaming fish to the second. Surprisingly it did not overcook the fish even after the picture taking going on. The broth was a
Sambal Fried Rice (P300/450/600). Sambal cooked with assorted meats and seafood in rice, topped with julienned lettuce and more of those addicting cereal oats. Deadly good but plain rice would be a better pairing for strong flavors of the other dishes.
Yam Paste (P600) was served for dessert. This is not on the regular menu because it takes a while to make it so must be pre-ordered. It has fresh taro, pumpkin and coconut and is served hot. The server will mix everything up and once done will resemble a purplish paste. Irene and my other eating companions liked it but I think I’ll pass as this is not something I enjoyed.
The meal at Ming Kee Live Seafood Restaurant was enjoyable but prices are on the high side and considering it’s locale. My standout dishes are the crab beehoon, clams, beancurd and the sambal rice. Be sure to ask the server for the price of the live seafood before getting sticker shock at the end when you ask for the bill.
Ming Kee Live Seafood Restaurant7852 Makati Avenue,
Poblacion, Makati City
Contact No.: (632) 893-4533
Facebook Page: Ming Kee Live Seafood Restaurant