XO Kitchen, Manila - I Love the XO but not the Kitchen yet...
I absolutely love XO, which is an eXtra Ordinary chili sauce with yummy bits of scallops and other secret stuff. One of the reasons we go to Chinese restaurants in hotels is that you can order unlimited servings of XO! We also love the XO Sauce created by Claude Tayag -- it's one of the highlights in the Bale Dutung condiments.
XO Kitchen's restaurant concept revolves around the original, homemade XO sauce made by the mom of the owners. I like the XO idea, but it was poorly executed because you can't even get a sampler serving of XO, not unless you buy a pack for P400+.
Noodle with clams with XO Sauce (P140).
This is the best dish to order at XO Kitchen because the noodles are cooked with the XO sauce. The combination of the little clam bits and scallop strips is something to look forward to. The noodles are quite tough, though, and seem to have been stored for some time. The serving size is exactly good for one person.
The noodle soup is just OK.
We usually enjoy eating soup late at night after my Maven Secrets class in AIM. The restaurant closes late (at 11pm), so we get to satisfy our soup craving. Our other go-t0 place for late night soup is Noodle Bar in The Establishment.
Sometimes, we just order the "extra soup" version because the noodles are really not something we would recommend. Once you've tasted the noodles of Crystal Jade, you won't enjoy other noodles anymore.
We ordered this because we thought there would be XO sauce in it, but apparently it was just a branding thing. The beef is soft, though, and absorbs most of the sauce well. We were just disappointed that it did not have any XO sauce in it.
XO Kitchen Ala Carte Menu: (Pork, Seafood, Beef/Mutton, Chicken/Pigeon, Noodles/Soup |Rice Meal, Dimsum & Others | Vegetables, Rice, Egg, Dessert and Drinks)
The chili dragon is their mascot, but you can't even find any chili XO-inspired dishes in the menu.
This is supposed to be the house specialty, but it's just the usual sweet and sour spareribs rice topping. We don't recommend it.
The fried dumplings are also supposedly part of their specialty, but they were not done well in terms of overall taste experience. To be honest, we don't like fried dimsum that much.
Some of the desserts are served in pre-packaged, cheap containers, which is fine as long as it brings down the overall price. :)
We enjoyed their buchi because of the sweetened mongo filling. One of the saving graces of the entire meal.
XO Kitchen is actually marketed as an HK-style, "authentic" Chinese place, but I do think they should revisit the concept and specialize in food with XO sauce in them instead. They can then charge premium prices for their dishes, and the crowd of XO lovers would flock to this kitchen.
134 Jupiter St, Makati City
Telephone: +632 519-1238
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals, and we are not connected in any way with the owners of the restaurant.