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About Town | Jade Garden Celebrates Its 25th Year

It was in 1980 when chinese cuisine in Manila changed forever - when the dreams of entrepreneur and visionary Joseph Henry Ng reached its peak with the opening of Jade Garden.  The first restaurant was particularly located at the former Automat, one of the most popular dining places during that time, also a masterpiece of the entrepreneur.

It was if diners were transported to Hongkong, the country of origin of Jade Garden.  The best chefs on cantonese cuisine was flown to Manila, tapestries, chine and silver were all imported from Hong Kong, chandeliers raised, carpets were rolled out for the opening of the most elegant chinese restaurant in the country.

For the first time, eating chinese cuisine in Manila was like dining in the  presence of an emperor.  Suckling pigs with electronic glowing eyes, chicken wrapped in hardened "mud", and the peking duck was served three ways were the main courses, and yes it was accompanied by the indulgent shark's fin soup and succulent abalones.  The interiors then were state of the art, bar none, with crystal chandeliers reflecting light in soft hues around the hall, the silverware gleaming, and china wares were prestinely white.

Opening Jade Garden was the result of years of preparation, planning and practice until it was perfect on day one.  "We pulled out all the stops when we opened Jade Garden in 1980.  The service, the linens, the interiors, and the dishes - were all impeccable.  There was no room for mistake." said Peter Ng, the second generation owner of Jade Garden who also runs the family owned Makati Supermart group of malls and supermarkets.

It has been 25 years since its doors opened in Makati City's then premier commercial district, the Makati Commercial Center.  But the opulence that Jade Garden has been known for has stood the test of time.  

The restaurant which was opened by no less than the First Lady Imelda Marcos herself in 1980, was the brainchild of some of the best minds in business and restaurant operations during its time.  Joseph Henry Ng was introduced to Mr. ST Wu, Chairman of the Maxim's Caterers Ltd Hong Kong, one of the largest restaurant chains in Hong Kong.  That introduction was made by industrialist and esteemed Washington Sycip.  Manila's need for a fine dining chinese restaurant that could rival those in Hong Kong was realized during that meeting.

The present day Jade Garden may have a new facade and interiors, but it still offers the best dining experience - a cuisine of elegance and prosperity.

"From conceptualization, we have always wanted to raise the bar in chinese dining in the country. When Jade Garden opened, there was no other restaurant who served the way we did.  A number of our staff were sent and trained in Hong Kong - they had to master how to change plates; how the suckling pigs were sliced and served; the way to cut the peking duck; and how to change the table cloth in a swift but near manner," Ng added.

Today, dining at Jade Garden is like travelling back in time, when everything was glorious and opulence was the menu.