63 – On Stepping Into Shanghai: Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie, SM Megamall

Step into Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie, located at the third floor of SM Megamall’s Fashion Hall, and be prepared to travel back to a decadent era in history. Tuan Tuan prides itself with serving cuisines from Hong Kong and Macau in a dining area inspired by Paris, the City of Lights. CJ wanted to dine here mainly because of their snow buns—basically a cheaper version of pork buns offered by their rival restaurant Tim Ho Wan. As soon as we entered, we were transported to Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s—right before the onset of the Second World War.

Old Shanghai mementos such as vintage posters, a rotary payphone, and pictures of life at the international settlements fill the right side of the restaurant. The gray walls deviate from the traditional red hues of Chinese restaurants, even reminiscent of the stone walls at the old district. The background music contributed to the vintage atmosphere that was present in the restaurant. An English version of Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose was playing, but I found it rather off. If given the chance, I’d suggest the songs of iconic Chinese singer Zhou Xuan. Below are two of her popular tunes:

As I mentioned above, Tuan Tuan is slowly becoming popular because of its snow buns. People who can’t stand waiting in line for Tim Ho Wan’s pork buns are flocking here to get a cheaper version – P128 for three pieces, compared to the latter’s P140+. Aside from these, they also offer noodle soup that can be customized with different broth bases and toppings. But what makes this restaurant stand out from the rest is their Hong Kong-style coffee and tea drinks. These make use of Black and White Condensed Milk from the Netherlands, adding a rich and sweet taste that will make you want more.

Okay, enough of the introductions. I’ll let the pictures below tell more about our trip. You can visit Tuan Tuan’s Facebook page to find out more about the restaurant. Until the next review, bon appetit.

Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie
3/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall
EDSA corner Julia Vargas Avenue
Mandaluyong City 1860

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