To say that I was happy when I learned that a Chinese restaurant has finally opened inside BFRV, Las Pinas is an understatement. Normally, we'd have to go to Luk Food in Moonwalk or Hap Chan in Pamplona. It's not too far but it's still better to have something just inside the village.
We didn't immediately visit Dragon Wok Palace because people were swarming since it was newly opened. I figured that I'd give it a month before I go and visit so that the initial hype would have already died.
Yesterday, we visited the place.
I love that it's pretty spacious for a restaurant inside BFRV, Las Pinas. High ceiling, spacious seatings, and an overall nice aesthetic. I have no complaints about the look and feel of the place.
We ordered quite a number of food because I wanted to have a really good idea of how they compare to the food I've had in Binondo growing up as well as the ones served in Macau and Hong Kong.
This was a good thing to see. It felt like I was in a restaurant in Binondo which is always a good sign. The nuts, the tea, the utensils dipped in hot water, it all felt like home. They even had black vinegar.
The Seafood Spinach soup was so good. It was legit, It was creamy. It was GOOD!
The hot prawn salad was served in a plate that I have never seen in a Chinese resto which was a little disconcerting but one bite was enough to tell me they had their hot prawn salad game on. It was a delight.
The sweet and sour pork also tasted good though I personally would have preferred just a bit more sauce. The pork itself was good and I enjoyed the dish.
THE NOT SO GOOD
The noodle was great, the actual noodle and the beef but the soup was very lacking. It felt like a watered-down version of what a beef brisket noodle should be which was surprising because it really looked promising. If you will order this, lower or manage expectations.
The beef hofan (dry) was also okay but that was the main problem for me. It was just okay. It wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it was just okay.
The cold cuts were disappointing, especially for the price point. It was one of their expensive dishes but it was really lacking. The jellyfish was meh, the chicken and the lechon macau, pretty okay, while the asado was definitely not the Chinese asado I expected it to be.
The oyster cake was BLAH. I don't even know how to describe this because it was just so BLAH. If it was a color, it would be white. Plain. Nothing significant. Nothing amazing.
Service needs to improve. While I understand that they have only been operating for more than a month only, it can also be said that it has been a month already. Basic Chinese service should already be in place but it still wasn't and the staff still looked like scared interns.
I had the misfortune of being visited by a baby cockroach during our stay and when I pointed it out to one of the owners, she went to our table, had a look, and proceeded to kill the baby cockroach WITH HER BARE HANDS. Splat. And that was it.
I'm sorry but beyond the bad service and some poor-tasting dishes, this was the one that really turned me off the most. After all, they are in the food business where cleanliness is one of the most important things and she just killed a baby cockroach with her bare hands.
Overall, Dragon Wok Palace inside BFRV, Las Pinas seemed like a good place to eat if you are craving Chinese food but maybe give it a few months more or so for them to improve service, food, and cleanliness.
Would I go back? If I'm able to get out the image of the lady killing the cockroach with her bare hands out of my head, maybe? For now, it'll be a hard pass. After all, Luk Foo and Hap Chan are both not too far away.
Again, this is all based on my experience when I visited and all opinions are just that, my own.