This Award-Winning Cantonese Restaurant Is Opening Soon, So Here's A Sneak Peek of Their Best Dishes

IMAGE Mott 32

In case you haven't yet heard, NUSTAR Resort and Casino has an award-winning Cantonese restaurant that combines traditional recipes with modern and innovative cooking techniques: Mott 32.

Mott 32's aesthetic combines New York industrial style with Chinese imperial elements.
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy

Tucked away in NUSTAR Resort and Casino's Fili Hotel, the first premier integrated resort in Visayas and Mindanao with a sweeping 9.7-hectare property, Mott 32 is an internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning Chinese restaurant with locations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Las Vegas, Vancouver. With its flagship outlet set to open in early September in Cebu, Philippines, it will be headed by Chef Tam Wai Sang who has 35 years of experience under his belt. Through his experience and expertise in Cantonese cuisine, Chef Tam will be introducing Mott 32's time-honored recipes, which are crafted from a Cantonese palate with influences of Beijing and Szechuan flavors.

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The dining area creates the perfect ambiance for the feast you're about to have.
Photo by Mott 32
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"At Mott 32, we are dedicated to serving authentic, timeless recipes that pay homage to Chinese cuisine. We are thrilled to be bringing a unique dining experience to Cebu this year," says Maximal Concepts co-founder Xuan Mu. Maximal Concepts is the restaurant group behind the success of Mott 32. Aside from its exquisite Chinese cuisine, Mott 32 also offers a wide selection of contemporary drinks, curated by the restaurant's mixologists and inspired by Asian ingredients and culture.

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As we eagerly await the opening of Mott 32 Cebu, here are some of the delectable Chinese-inspired dishes you can look forward to experiencing:

Appetizers

Barbecue Pluma Iberico Pork

This char siu dish is tender, juicy, and so flavorful!
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy

The Barbecue Pluma Iberico Pork is one of Mott 32's signature dishes. This char siu dish features several special ingredients: the use of the pluma cut from Iberian Black Pigs which is taken from the neck end of the pork loin; and its honey glaze, which is from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Yellow Mountain in Anhui, China.

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The result is an incredibly tender char siu dish that showcases the best of its ingredients: the Iberico pork's intricate marbling allows not only for its natural savory-sweetness to come through; it is complemented by the honey glaze, which also carries the flavor that only roasting can impart. And did we mention how tender it is? The Barbecue Pluma Iberico Pork can be torn apart with a mere stroke of a pair of chopsticks, and yet it is just the right amount of chewy, soft, and juicy as you consume it.

Soft Quail Egg, Iberico Pork, Black Truffle Siu Mai

This mild yet complexly flavored siu mai contains soft-boiled quail eggs.
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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For something so delicate, the Soft Quail Egg, Iberico Pork, Black Truffle Siu Mai (or siomai) sure packs a lot of complex flavors and textures. Don't be fooled: though there is but a dot of black truffle on top, it is enough to imbue but not overwhelm the soft yet firm Iberico pork with its flavor. But the pièce de resistance in this masterful dim sum is the soft quail egg: as the truffle coats the pork with flavor, the burst of creamy yolk marries all the flavors and textures together, creating an experience that will leave you reaching for another bite! 

Scallop, Prawn, Hot and Sour Shanghainese Soup Dumplings

Even though it says "hot and sour", this soup dumpling is delightfully well-balanced with its seafood filling.
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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When we think "hot and sour", we usually imagine a strong flavor that can overwhelm our senses and most of the other ingredients in the dish. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how impeccably balanced the Scallop, Prawn, Hot and Sour Shanghainese Soup Dumplings were; no overwhelming spice-and-sourness that leaves you unable to taste much else. Instead, the soup that greets you as the delicate orange wrapper bursts is just hot and sour enough for you to register the flavors, but it readily gives way to the incredibly fresh flavors of the scallop and prawn. It is served with a ginger and vinegar dipping sauce that cuts through the strong seafood taste of the filling, and yet somehow it also gives the hot and sour soup a boost in flavor.

Chicken, Prawn, And Taro Croquette

Even the pickiest of eaters cannot resist the crunch of this chicken, prawn, and taro croquette.
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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The Chicken, Prawn, and Taro Croquette is a dish that plays with textures. The delicate taro puff that holds the filling is a crunchy, flaky bite, which gives way to the creamy, earthy taro inside. Further still, you get the tender chicken and the soft yet crisp shrimp, and together, the flavors create an umami taste that only becomes more enjoyable with the different textures you get from each bite.

Mains

Signature Smoked Black Cod

You'd think the cod fish would be lost in all the smokiness, but it delightfully comes through when you take a bite!
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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In case the interior design hasn't clued you in, Mott 32 has a flair for the dramatic, and it is showcased in the Signature Smoked Black Cod's presentation. It is served with a glass dome that the waiters will remove with a flourish, releasing the smoke that infuses this expertly fried and glazed black cod with even more flavor. You would think that the smoky sweetness of the glaze and its crisply fried batter would overwhelm the fish, but no: once you bite through, you are greeted with the fresh, juicy cod.

Apple Wood Roasted 42 Days Peking Duck "Signature Mott 32 Cut"

While the chef expertly slices the Peking duck, waiters serve the condiments.
Photo by Mark Alvarez
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The Apple Wood Roasted 42 Days Peking Duck is one of Mott 32's most famous dishes, and there is no doubt as to why: this exquisite dish is a production number from start to finish! To begin, Mott 32 chefs roll out a whole Peking duck from the kitchen and expertly slice the duck tableside, carefully separating the skin, the white meat, and dark meat onto three different plates. As you wait, the waiters will set up your table with three condiment dishes: hoisin sauce, slices of cucumber and scallions, and surprisingly, brown sugar.

Once the plates are ready, the mystery of the brown sugar is revealed: it is for the duck skin to dip in. The crunchy skin and flavorful fat melt away when you bite, and the sugar cuts through the saltiness and sweetens the juices from the fat.

Yes, that duck skin is as crispy as it looks!
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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Next, steamed bamboo baskets are ferried from the kitchen, and in them are layers of delicately steamed spring roll wrappers. Springy yet almost paper-thin, the wrappers can be filled with your choice of duck meat, cucumber and scallion slices, and a sprinkling of the hoisin sauce. Each bite is a wonderful experience as flavors and textures contrast and complement each other: the cold cucumber versus the warm duck, the crunchy duck skin versus the tender meat and springy wrap, the salty, savory duck versus the fresh veggies and the sweet hoisin sauce.

And if you're not a fan of putting your food together, you can still simply take a bite of the duck: the tender yet firm and expertly seasoned meat lets the natural flavors of the Peking duck shine without the sometimes gamey taste that is usually a complaint about less masterfully prepared roasted duck dishes.

Crispy Triple Cooked US Black Angus Short Rib

See that bone? This short rib dish is so tender it literally is served off the bone.
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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The Crispy Triple Cooked US Black Angus Short Rib is the result of a trifecta of cooking methods: it is pan-seared, braised, and baked. Pan searing caramelizes the short rib's surface and creates an inexplicably delightful crunch, the braising imbues the meat with the ma la (numbing and hot) flavors that can only come from Szechuan influence, and the baking further tenderizes the inside of the meat as it crisps up the outside. Served with a generous heap of aromatics and sauce, the Crispy Triple Cooked US Black Angus Short Rib is just the right balance of salty and sweet with a hint of heat that makes it difficult to just have one bite.

Sauteed Haricot Beans, Diced Australian Wagyu Beef

This vegetable dish has Australian Wagyu beef bits, but even without the meat, the perfectly-cooked haricot beans stand out.
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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The pop of vibrant green in the Sauteed Haricot Beans, Diced Australian Wagyu Beef is a sight to behold, and the glistening haricot beans (also known as French green beans) are just as delightful in your mouth as they are to look at. They are perfectly cooked: the crispy skin gives way to the tender and sweet interior. While they may be nondescript, diced Australian Wagyu beef balances the sweet haricot beans with bursts of savory, beefy goodness.

Crab Meat Fried Rice, Flying Fish Roe

Your eyes don't deceive you: that IS heaping serving of fish roe!
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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You've never had fried rice like this. Not only are the perfectly golden grains of rice tossed with a generous serving of fresh crab meat; it is also topped with a glistening heap of flying fish roe. With a quick mix, you get a beautiful  bowl of golden fried rice dotted with the orange roe. Each bite is an umami bomb that begins with the springy yet soft fried rice, the mildly sweet crab meat, and the juicy roe that releases pops of sea-saltiness each time one bursts with every bite.

Dessert

These desserts are a master class in texture play and flavor balance.
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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Pomelo, Grapefruit, and Honeycomb, Coconut Ice Cream

The Pomelo, Grapefruit & Honeycomb, Coconut Ice Cream is a masterful play on the senses with its contrasting flavors and textures. The trick is to get a perfect bite: a bit of pomelo (also known as suha) and grapefruit for pops of sweet tartness, honeycomb for that caramel taste and crunch, and the creamy, coconut ice cream that ties it all together.

Sweetened Mango Soup, Pomelo, Sago

Mott 32's take on this dessert puts many a basic mango sago to shame: the mango soup is velvety smooth, and the sago all but melts in your mouth. But what makes this classic Chinese dessert pop is the addition of pomelo (aka suha), which bursts in your mouth and adds its unique, sweet-sour-bitter flavor to the mix.

Cocktails

These cocktails are smooth fruity, and so refreshingly delicious!
Photo by Camille Georgia Uy
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Hanami

The Hanami is a cocktail made with a flavorful blend of whisky, gin, umeshu (a plum liquor), yuzu (lemon-like citrus fruit), and ginger beer. It is served with a block of ice topped with a shiso leaf and chrysanthemum. While it may be difficult to identify each ingredient that went in, the resulting cocktail is a light, fruity drink that is refreshingly delicate and smooth.

Hong Kong Iced Tea

The Hong Kong Iced Tea does have tea: jasmine tea to be exact. But that's not all there is to this tall drink! It is made with tequila, Lillet Blanc (a light French wine), and blackcurrant with chia seeds. The blend is impeccably balanced: what sweetness there is is balanced by the tea, and while it is an alcoholic drink, the spirits are smoothly blended into this iced cocktail that bursts the chia seeds' juiciness in each sip.

Ready to dig in at Mott 32 Cebu?

Mott 32 Cebu is located in Fili Hotel, located in NUSTAR Resort & Casino. NUSTAR Resort and Casino is in South Road Properties, Cebu City's fastest emerging urban development area. While they have yet to open in early September, Mott 32 is accepting reservations, bookings, and other inquiries via email.

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For the exclusive preview of the first Mott 32 restaurant in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific partnered with Robinsons Land Corporation to fly Yummy.PH for an exclusive and first-hand experience of the special offerings of the acclaimed restaurant chain.

If you're hankering for a taste of Mott 32's dishes, we've got good news for you: planning a Manila to Cebu trip is now more affordable with Cebu Pacific's guaranteed low fares! You've got options as Cebu Pacific is currently flying 15 times daily from Manila to Cebu, and with the airline's multi-layered approach to safety, you can choose your flights without any worry.

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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