The freshest ingredients prepared by top-notch chefs from Hong Kong are what distinguishes Hai Shin Lou dishes from those of other Chinese restaurants, said one of its founders.

Hai Shin Lou held a soft opening today, August 8, 2018, as part of preparations to a grand inauguration on October 10. The Cebu branch of the highly-regarded Chinese restaurant is located at the ground level of Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. It is only the restaurant’s second branch – the owners previously having decided not to expand beyond the first one they set up in Makati City, said co-owner Alejandro Tengco.

Hai Shin Lou Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
Steamed Shrimp Dumpling


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
Pork Siomai

Tengco said their group is very particular with the food and service at the restaurant, which they opened on December 8, 2003. He said they thought that expansion via franchises would dilute the brand and these new locations would not be able to keep the quality.

Seafood King

Tengco said that among the restaurant’s most loyal patrons were the Ty family and their businesses. Through the years, the Tys told them they wanted to open a Chinese restaurant and wanted to work with them. Tengco said they were eventually convinced and saw the opportunity to partner with the family and open in a top hotel in Cebu.

Hai Shin Lou means “Seafood King” and the phrase banners the restaurant’s specialty, Tengco said in an interview. The restaurant is so particular with the quality of their ingredients that they produce their own soy sauce and chili sauce, which Tengco highly recommends. In preparing its tasty Fish Fillet with Home Made Bean Curd in Hot Pot, he said they use fresh Lapu-Lapu that they fillet themselves. The tofu they also made from scratch in the kitchen.


Hai Shin Lou Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
Taro Puff.


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
Barbecue Pork


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
A personal favorite: Soyed Chicken.


Hai Shin Lou Cebu will be headed by Executive Chef King Kwong Chan, one of the best roasting chefs in Hong Kong, the restaurant said. Working with him are Chinese Dimsum Chef Moon Chau Lo and Chinese Wok Chef Raymund Hui, who are also from Hong Kong.

Fine dining Chinese cuisine

We are fine dining Chinese cuisine, Tengco said. We do not compete with these “noodle stores.”

Tengco said that in terms of menu prices, Hai Shin Lou Cebu will be about 10% higher than those offered by Chinese restaurants in the city. The restaurant will also have menu packages that start from P7,888 for a table good for about 10 to 12 persons.

Tengco is confident that just as how it fared in Manila, Hai Shin Lou Cebu will also be the top Cantonese food destination in Cebu.

He said that they will soon offer in Cebu roast goose, which is a favorite among many food afficionados, with some flying to Hong Kong just to buy it.

Hai Shin Lou Cebu
Steamed Shrimps.


Soft opening

Tengco said they are still tweaking the operations and enhancing the training of the staff now that they have finally opened to the public. He said they would only be catering to 50 diners at a time during the soft opening and advised people to call ahead for reservations at +6332 234 8155 or +6332 234 8188 or send an email to [email protected].

He said they are also working to source ingredients from local suppliers.

Hai Shin Lou Cebu is open daily at 11:30 am to 2:30 pm for lunch and 6 pm to 10:30 pm for dinner. The restaurant said in a statement it will serve full capacity by the second week of September,

The restaurant has a capacity of 200 persons with 9 private rooms.

More photos of the soft opening of Hai Shin Lou Cebu



Hai Shin Lou Cebu
Fish Fillet with Homemade Bean Curd in Hot Pot.


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
Fresh Crab Meat With Seasonal Vegetables.


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
Snow Ball.


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
Almond Jelly With Fruit Cocktail.


Hai Shin Lou co-owner Alejandro Tengco
HAI SHIN LOU STORY. Co-owner Alejandro Tengco talks about how they started Hai Shin Lou and why they eventually decided to open in Cebu.


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
PRIVATE DINING. Hai Shin Lou Cebu has a capacity of 200 persons with 9 private rooms.


Hai Shin Lou Cebu
SOFT OPENING. Hai Shin Lou Cebu is currently in soft opening and would only be catering to 50 diners at a time.

Max Limpag is a journalist, blogger, and developer based in Cebu. He started as a reporter covering Cebu City Hall in 1996. He has written on technology for various print and digital publications since...

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