If you remember my post about Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie from 2015, I mentioned how its Megamall branch reminds me of 1920s Shanghai. Change is the only thing permanent in this world, and I guess it also applies in this case. Three years after that post, Tuan Tuan now reminds me of a tea house (cha chaan teng) in Hong Kong—and rightly so. Cha chaan teng establishments cater to Hong Kong’s fast-paced lifestyle, and Tuan Tuan’s branch in UP Town Center serves the same purpose to Katipunan’s speedy lifestyle. It’s still undeniable that their specialties make diners come back for more, yours truly included.
CJ and I were waiting for this particular branch of Tuan Tuan to open, but it was only recently that I got to dine there. As I mentioned, Tuan Tuan is a good restaurant for Loyola Heights. Two major universities—Ateneo and UP—are in the area’s proximity, and everyone is rushing to and fro. The restaurant’s standalone location in UP Town Center’s new wing is designed for both quick dining and a leisurely meal altogether. Fortunately, it wasn’t crowded when I paid a visit despite most mall patrons having dinner; the few diners present in Tuan Tuan were taking their time in casual conversation. Just the same, one does not visit Tuan Tuan and pass on their snow buns—which rival that of Tim Ho Wan’s. Also noteworthy are their Macanese rice specialties consisting of meats and/or seafood topped in sauce and baked gratin-style.
Permit me to digress at this point. I hesitated in featuring this particular branch of Tuan Tuan after reading rather dismal reviews about their service on Zomato. While I treat Zomato reviews with a grain of salt (preferring to experience a restaurant’s service firsthand), this time the reviews were proven right. I’m not surprised that most Zomato users comment that of all the Tuan Tuan branches in the metro, this location is one to avoid. Do note that I do not endorse the Zomato platform, and I only check it to verify prices of certain items on the menu. This is because Zomato gave legitimacy to abusive customers that prey on restaurants and food “blaggers” that only aim to score a free meal.
The staff did tend to their customers when I visited, but it looks like they do not want to earn based on how they moved around. Restaurants at UP Town Center should brace themselves for picky millennial diners, as they can patronize another establishment in the blink of an eye—with the mall’s diverse food choices. Regardless, I’m not losing hope on Tuan Tuan; just wishing that they improve their service by the time I return.
Below are some of Tuan Tuan‘s culinary specialties from their diverse menu.
Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie
L1, Phase 2, UP Town Center,
Katipunan Avenue, Brgy. UP Campus,
Diliman, Quezon City 1108
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: In observance of Maundy Thursday, I won’t be publishing a new entry for next Thursday – March 29. Thank you.)