When the seafood restaurant known as Choi City first opened its doors in Banilad Town Centre, on November 19, 2011, it became the first provincial branch of the Choi chain of restaurants, which is based in Manila. Choi Tak Pui, a Hong Kong restaurateur, founded the restaurant chain, and a group of local foodies, namely Sharon Go-Ong, Norman Condon, Frank Lao, and Jay Tan brought Choi City to Cebu. Before the restaurant opened, all its chefs and kitchen crew trained in Manila under Mr. Choi himself, to ensure that Choi City serves the same quality and flavor as the Choi restaurants there.
If you’re hungry for such Chinese food as chao fan, e-fu noodles, Fukien misua, ham soy kok, pan-fried radish cake, Peking duck, pi dan (the so-called century egg), polonchay (Chinese spinach) tofu, shrimp hakaw, siao long pao, taro pao, or wonton noodle soup, then you can find all these at Choi City. With four chefs who actually are from abroad, the restaurant serves up its impressive samples of Chinese cuisine, whether these are dim sum, roasts or delicacies cooked according to other methods. The four chefs are the roasting chef, dim-sum chef and sous chef, over whom the executive chef presides.
Choi City is primarily a Cantonese restaurant (the adjective Cantonese refers to the Guangzhou district in China) specializing in recipes made with fresh seafood that includes not just the familiar crab and shrimp but also fish lip, jellyfish, rock lobster, scallops, sea cucumber, sea mantis, and shark’s fin. In the restaurant’s aquariums, you can see live examples of abalone, sea mantis, black rockfish, eel, and lapu-lapu, if you’re the type of person who’s interested in seeing what the seafood looks like before the chefs turn it into your order.
Even though Choi City’s focus is Cantonese cuisine and seafood, you can also find other Asian fusion delicacies available there. You could try their versions of Japanese-style food like shabu-shabu and lobster sashimi. Choi City also serves chicken rice, which is associated with Hainan and Singapore, and pineapple fried rice, which is considered a Thai dish. Despite its name, lechon macau is apparently not from Macau, which is probably why it’s called roast layer pork instead, at this restaurant. However, egg tarts, which you can also have at Choi City, are indeed a Macau delicacy, though they may be more widely known as a food from Hong Kong. Choi City also serves food that’s more Filipino-oriented, such as braised pata tim, roast asado and even a fine-dining version of hot taho.
Incidentally, the restaurant announced that it extended its shabu-shabu lunch festival until June 7, 2012. Diners may enjoy shabu-shabu all-you-can with combinations of fresh vegetables, a choice of meats, and Choi City’s special shabu-shabu broth, from Monday to Saturday during lunch hours only. One free round of iced tea is served with the meal, and you can have your picture taken with the Choi City Emperor while you’re feasting on all the shabu-shabu you can. For sure, families and groups of friends could enjoy bonding time over a shabu-shabu buffet. Having a remarkable meal with your family or friends around you is the kind of thing that would help you make a great memory together.
People who happen to be tea drinkers may be glad to know that when they dine in at Choi City, they can have jasmine tea at no cost. For summer, the restaurant offered a variety of healthy, natural fruit drinks to quench diners’ thirst. These included Bubbly Watermelon, Fruit Sling, Hurricane Slush, Mango Slush, Juice Chai, and Sparkling Pineapple.
If you’re interested in function rooms for private events or an intimate ambiance, Choi City has six of them, with names taken from places in China: (1) Admiralty, (2) Kowloon, (3) Central, (4) Causeway Bay, (5) Canton, and (6) Hong Kong. The walls of the function rooms can be folded away to create bigger spaces if necessary. Choi City can accommodate a function of up to 265 pax at its second-floor dining area, while the ground floor area can seat up to 200 pax, with a separate smoking area. The restaurant specializes in hosting events like wedding receptions, engagement or anniversary parties, baptism receptions, and birthday celebrations as well as corporate events and press conferences.
In its first year of eligibility for the Business Achievement and Recognition Awards, Choi City was recognized as Chinese Restaurant of the Year 2012. Choi City is located on the ground floor in the South Arcade of Banilad Town Centre. For reservations and inquiries, you may call (032)239-0999 or (032)239-0800. You can also find out more through the official Facebook pages for Choi City, http://www.facebook.com/choicityseafood and http://www.facebook.com/choicity