My dining partner had been to Philippe, by Philippe Chow, many times as his office was nearby. He mentioned that this family-style restaurant is known for generous portions and good Beijing-style cuisine.
We discussed ordering the Peking duck that they’re known for, but instead opted for a variety of Philippe’s other signature items — asking the dining room manager for suggestions of what not to miss as I was their guest. Although he highly recommended their satay, that was my least favorite dish. The satay with three skewers of chicken strips is oddly orange colored and served with chef Chow’s very light peanut sauce. I prefer mine much more peanutty and spicy.
The lettuce wraps were much better. They included fresh crisp leaves of iceberg lettuce to fill with the huge portion of diced chicken and vegetables and to drizzle with a hoisin-like sauce ($18). A hearty portion that could have easily fed a family of four. Also good are the six pork soup dumplings ($16). My dining companion — who had lived in Beijing — explained how he was taught to eat these delicate morsels: puncture the dumpling on the spoon to release the hot soup liquid and then wait about 40 seconds until it cools.
Even though they a bit too much breading, I like the wok-fried nine seasons spicy prawns ($32) in a sweet and sour sauce, made spicy with the addition of crushed dried red pepper.
Their black bass comes sliced thin and drizzled with two sauces — one a black bean, the other a ginger garlic sauce ($30). I had to try the not-as-traditional filet mignon ($37). I liked this crusted, cooked rare and sliced thin beef and topped
with a black pepper and brown garlic sauce. We needed some veggies to balance out all these protein dishes. I’d recommend the steamed mixed veggies ($12), that evening came with broccoli, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and bok choy.
We did indulge in pastry chef Kostas Paterakis’ chocolate dessert offerings ($15) of his warm chocolate moulton cake topped with vanilla ice cream and — our favorite — the dark chocolate moist layer cake with a raspberry drizzle.
Philippe offers good service — albeit way too quickly. I actually had to ask them to slow down! The black and white surroundings with dim lighting are conducive to pleasant dining, yet not the noise level. It was almost too deafening for conversation without shouting.