Most dinners I attend at Gloria Maris serve the traditional favorites, which I absolutely look forward to. In fact, it is very rare that we order something new every time we’re there. I tend to stick to my favorites like the roasted duck, sweet and sour pork, the fried chicken, sharks fin siomai, asado siopao and a whole lot more. I usually have them on rotation because of all our favorites.
I had the pleasure of tasting some new items at Gloria Maris. Some of them are on the regular menu, some are off menu and some are made to order. We started off the dinner with a couple of appetizers. One of them is the crispy fish, they call it dilis even though it’s very different from the dilis that we are used to. The fish was light and crispy, lightly salted and the texture was more like shoestring potatoes rather than fried fish.
For the second appetizer, we were served candied sesame walnuts. They were so addicting that I had to move the lazy susan just so the nuts would move away from me and wouldn’t be directly in front of me.
The first course was the lobster dumpling. We had a whole baby lobster each. It was already taken out of it’s shell and added into the dumpling but they kept the lobster head and shell for the plating and it looked very very impressive. It was like a chunkier, meatier hakaw but you could tell that they used very fresh ingredients.
Next up was the mango salad. It consisted of a sweet mango cheek, sliced and different kinds of meat inserted in between then topped with mayonnaise. They added in roast duck, scallop, shrimp and crabsticks in between the mango slices.
Normally I would be happy with the crab and corn soup or hot sour soup but this was really something new. It was a yin and yang soup of almond and seafood soup. The yellow part is made of pumpkin and the white, the almond.
I asked how they made almonds into soup but it was explained to me that they use Chinese almonds, which are different from the regular almonds we all know. They brought out a few samples for me since I was so curious. I bit into it and chewed it only to find out that you shouldn’t eat it at that state as it was still raw. It was explained to me that it had to be boiled for quite some time and strained to eventually turn out to be the right consistency.
Next plate consisted of abalone slices with yellow fungus vegetables with supreme sauce on steamed egg-white custard.
My favorite dish was up next, pigeon! As soon as I saw the menu, this was the dish that I was really looking forward to. This dish reminds me of my grandpa since we used to go all the way to a Roxas Boulevard to have pigeon. I used to look forward to those food trips with my grandparents.
The next plate was the baked crab. It was shredded, cooked with cream, topped with sharks fin and put back in the oven.
Over all the dinner was good and surprising since we weren’t even aware that these dishes existed. Some people may feel tired or bored with Gloria Maris’ menu but they still do keep innovating, and that’s an added reason to keep coming back.
GLORIA MARIS GREENHILLS
Greenhills Shopping Center,
Ortigas Ave., Missouri St. cor. Connecticut,
San Juan City
Tel No. 570-0921 or 570-0923-24