San Juan has slowly been transforming itself into a hub of foodie culture and I’m really glad I live right at the heart of it. A quick jog and I end up at one of the most populated streets for restaurants. The diversity alone leads me to explore this street half hoping that the local government turns this street (one of the busiest I might add) into somewhat of a night market or street food hub to really take advantage of the image of the place. I would love strolling around that busiest areas just sampling the local wares. Chow Fun is the most recent addition to the choices of where to eat at this bustling foodie street. Located across a buddhist temple and dive shop along J. Abad Santos, it lends itself to busy crowd and promises modern chinese cuisine. I was excited to try it.
With a very deconstructed, pop-artish interior deco with just a tinge of Chinese deco, we knew we would be in for a something different. We started off with Duck Spring Rolls. Duck filled spring rolls with 3 kinds of dipping sauce. Certainly not your average Lumpiang Shanghai. The unique taste of the duck lends a bit of the different taste.
We also started with Chinese Fun-Due. Which consisted of Seafood balls, fried squid, vegetable cakes, and choice between 2 fondues. Cheese and Curry & Spiked Sweet Chili.
On the table as well were:
Salted Caramel Pork – tasted like candied pork nuggets.
Crispy Pork w/ Sour Caramel Sauce
ChowFun Birthday Noodles
This is the traditional noodle dish with Chinese ho-fan rice noodles.
Here is something I would definitely be back for. The Chow Fun Fried Duck rice. Its their signature fried rice which I loved btw. Sweet salty, had the taste of Umami and everything in between. This was a dish in itself.
But of course we didn’t stop there. I really wanted to try the Beer Chicken. Basically its hotpot chicken served with a shot of tsingtao beer. It had a sharp taste but it totally came together once heated. Tangy with a tinge of spicyness. I would actually have lighted the alcohol (if it would have lighted) to evaporate the alcohol.
But what good meal is without Crispy Pata? Leg of Pork brined, braised, and deep fried. Its a different twist to the Pata tim / crispy pata.
This is something WORTH trying at least once.
Speaking of Hot Pots, we also had some Coffee Braised Beef. A beef short plate stewed in coffee cooked with Chinese spices and seasonings. A bit bitter but the others loved this dish. Jane in particular.
And now for my favorite of all. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these past few months then you would know that there has a been a milk tea craze going on. And most if not all of these milk tea places offer the fabled Chicken Chop. This is the full version. ChowFun Chicken Fry. House version of fried chicken coated in a blend of roasted spices and peppercorn. I cannot begin to describe how good it was.
I will BE BACK if not for anything else for this. Goes extremely well with the Duck Rice.
For dessert they also offer the classic buchi but filled with Dark Chocolate.
They also have a Haw Flakes Pastry. Yes those Haw Flakes that you used to eat as a kid put into a pastry puff and baked into a perfection.
Over all I had good food. It was something different and not your traditional chinese cuisine. I will definitely be back for the Duck Rice and Chicken! Did I mention that they were really affordable? Price range from 150-300 per dish! Good value for money!
If you are in the area and would like some chinese food with a twist, drop by Chow Fun! 1