Practicing my chopsticks skills at red 8

Yesterday, two of my adventure buddies and I got exhausted and famished crisscrossing Paoay and Laoag on an exploration assignment. A rugged road in Nagbacalan led us to Calayab and we saw a this way to Fort Ilocandia sign; so we thought of going on a food adventure as a postlude. We all agreed on dimsum.

Two Christmases ago, Fort Ilocandia’s tea place was still Lucky House; I never had the chance to go back since then. red 8, its new name, can’t be missed. The striking placard above the door says so.

Barbecued meat display

We didn’t have the same cravings, so each one had his/her own order.

Not my order — braised chicken feet.

Not mine either — roast suckling pig with drained noodles.

There’s mine — Malaysian cake, or Mah Lai Goh, in place of the radish cake that they don’t serve anymore…

and hakaw, a special shrimp and bamboo shoot dumpling. That cake wouldn’t be enough!

Guess what happened next after we tasted each other’s food? We asked for 3 more dimsum steamer baskets of hakaw, one for each. We ate it with the equally excellent chili sauce they had and we almost consumed the whole condiment container which was kinda big. Omg, the best! The Chinese foodie said that it is better than the hakaw in most Binondo Chinese tea houses. I say, it is better than the hakaw of the now more famous Emerald. Tell that to Mayor Lim.

To tell you, everything was excellent. The roast suckling pig, like lechon, was crispy and the noodles, perfectly done. The Malaysian steamed rice cake  minus the subtle coconut cream flavor was like puto; I wished for dinuguan while eating it. I don’t know about the chicken feet because I can’t have chicken, but my buddies said that it was great.

PS Oh, I forgot about this other order of mine…

Piping hot abalone and duck congee, savory as always. Of course, I ate it with a Chinese soup spoon.

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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