A taste of the mainland by the bay
Aside from good food, diners also consider great service and ambiance as guidelines in choosing the best place to dine out.
While there are many Chinese restaurants to choose from today, one stands out, literally.
The three-story Golden Bay Restaurant on Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City not only offers a variety of gastronomic delights but also a venue that is big enough for friends and family to celebrate important milestones in life.
Established in 2009, Golden Bay came about after a group of Chinese immigrants decided to put up a restaurant that aims to showcase the Chinese cuisine, culture and tradition.
“They [owners] say no restaurant in Manila could satisfy their appetite for the ‘real’ Chinese taste,” shares Joseph Wong, purchasing and marketing head of the restaurant.
Joseph’s family manages and operates Golden Bay with several other business partners. His dad, Wong Cheung Sha is the restaurant’s CEO.
The huge restaurant designed by several Chinese interior designers, together with one of the country’s top interior designers, Nardy Aquino, exudes warmth and elegance.
Its grand design and gold accent, and its location near the bay, became the reason it’s aptly named Golden Bay.
“What’s trending in China now is the bigger, the better. So we want to show that we also have something like that here in the Philippines,” explains Joseph.
The ground floor alone can seat about 600 diners, while the Banquet Hall at the second floor can accommodate 1,200 people –a perfect venue for big occasions like weddings, birthdays and corporate events.
The first and third levels boast of function and VIP rooms for those who prefer a more private gathering. Each room has audio/video equipment, LCD TV, projectors and even videoke machine.
Golden Bay also has ample parking space that can accommodate roughly 500 cars.
Although his family has been into export (seafood, cashew nuts, etc.), brokerage and travel agency businesses, this is the first time that they ventured in the restaurant trade, according to Joseph.
The restaurant mainly serves authentic Chinese dishes. It has aquariums where wide varieties of seafood are displayed for customers to choose from.
“Our seafood are guaranteed fresh,” beams Joseph, adding that most of their marine products come from Zamboanga and other provinces. There are also pricey varieties of imported seafood.
Joseph adds that Golden Bay also promotes healthy food by not using MSG (monosodium glutamate) in its dishes. Meat and vegetable dishes are also available.
Golden Bay’s executive chef is Chef Ben Hui Chun Yuk, who is known in many Asian countries for his exceptional cooking skills.
Prior to his post in Golden Bay, he was the executive chef of Resorts World Casino in Singapore.
Joseph is also pleased with having Chef Ben on board and credits the Filipino crew for their hard work, diligence and passion for their work.
Golden Bay employs around 300 people who are well-trained to give the best quality service to its patrons.
Joseph recalls that he used to go to Navotas fish market very early in the morning to really learn the ropes of the restaurant business. He says that experience taught him a lot. Today he also makes sure that the restaurant’s staff really knows their work very well.
“In terms of service, we try to make sure to have continuous training for our staff to upgrade our service. Golden Bay is such a nice place that deserves a nice service. Although, our restaurant is big and sometimes it’s quite hard to serve a thousand people, we try to ensure that our service is very good,” explains Joseph who finished an export management degree from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.
He adds that part of the training is to teach their waiters to speak Mandarin.
“Simple lessons like teaching them how to say the basic utensils in Mandarin like spoon, bowl, etc. Or to say ‘thank you’ or ‘welcome.’ So if a customer asks for a simple bowl, they don’t need to call on somebody to interpret it because they already know what the customer wants,” shares Joseph.
To keep up with the latest in Chinese cuisine, Golden Bay allows its chefs to travel to Hong Kong or China once in a while.
“When they come back here, they have new ingredients and new recipes to share. So that makes us ahead of the others. You don’t need to go abroad just to taste a new Chinese dish. We already have it here,” says Joseph.
Although most of its patrons are Chinese, more and more Filipinos are coming in to dine at Golden Bay. And because of its proximity to the Senate offices, several senators are also often seen taking their lunch breaks in the restaurant.
Next year, the restaurant is planning to introduce Japanese and Korean dishes to its menu because of its growing foreign patrons.
Joseph is happy with the way business is going and has lots of plans in the years to come.
Joseph says nothing beats seeing the restaurant full of satisfied customers. “When I see people come here and go out with a smile, Ok na ’yun, happy na ako.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.