Chinese restaurants in the Philippines could be grouped into three: fastfood, fine dining, and casual dining restaurants.
You line up, look up the menu plastered on a back lit board, and tell the cashier in front of you what you want. You pay, get a number, find a seat, and wait for a couple of minutes for your food. Quick, simple, afford- able, and very relaxed. Food tastes okay. Fork is usually more preferred here, so you can eat faster than usual. (A pair of chopsticks is just a wave away.)
You are greeted at the elegantly appointed entrance by a receptionist smartly garbed in a traditional cheongsam. As you are led to your seat, don’t be surprised to spot celebrities or politicians just a few tables away (especially on weekends, when most everybody’s eating out). You go through your meal as you would during a dinner with the royal family: quite stiff, but you could still enjoy each morsel in every little bite. Take as long as you like to finish your meal. Very expensive. Chopsticks is de rigeur here.
You want to pig out but can’t afford the posh Chinese restaurant you heard your boss complaining about the other day. So you go to a casual dining resto. Here, you enter and a waiter leads you to your table. You study the menu and give your order. After about 15 to 25 minutes, your food is served steaming. There’s even dessert, if you care for it. The food tastes great, service is professional, ambiance is relaxed and comfortable, and, most of all, the prices won’t burn holes in your pockets. You can use either fork or chopsticks. And oh, you can come in a pair of old torn jeans, a T-shirt, sneakers, or even flip-flops. This is the best if you’re looking for something better than the prison food you’ve wolfed down during the work week.