Goin’ Chinese

Binondo is always on top of my list when I want to go food trippin’, because tasty Chinese food are all over the place! You just need to have a humongous appetite for all the delicious chow in the world’s oldest Chinatown.

And so, one beautiful sunny Saturday, off I went to Binondo with my sister. We were both feeling childlike and giddy, with the thought of pigging out for a day, haha! The usual Binondo food trip they say, starts at Ongpin Street which is the main thoroughfare that runs across Chinatown. But since our dad dropped us off on Dasmarinas Street, we started our gastronomic rendezvous at Ying Ying Tea House (Dasmarinas St., corner Yuchengco St.).

I ordered asado congee and their mango shake. . My sister had the soy chicken congee and mango shake too. The congee taste so rich and nice. The mango shake is intoxicatingly sweet, hehe… well, if you’re into super sweet drinks, you will like this, but for me, I shuddered at its sugary taste. The place is a typical Chinese resto with minimal decor but pleasant staff. For this first meal, I paid (well, yes, this is Dutch treat, duh?!) P180.

From there, we walked through Yuchengco St. Sincerity Restaurant (I love their fried chicken!) is on this street and so is Holland Hopia & Bakery (the classic monggo hopia!). Approaching Ongpin St., we knew we will be having our second stop anytime soon.

Sure enough, we stopped to take a break at Cafe Mezzanine, also known as the Volunteer Fireman’s Coffee Shop. It’s a firefighter themed coffee shop, with a very relaxed ambiance and a nice interior –bricks and wood gives off that homey feel. It is located at the second floor of Chuan Kee and Eng Bee Tin. The servers are so polite and friendly. We were still feeling kinda full at that time, so we just ordered their healthy juices — carrot and celery for me and fresh apple juice for my sister. Healthy and tasty, indeed! For this, we paid P115 each. And by the way, the revenue of this coffee shop goes to Binondo Paco Fire Search and Rescue Brigade. Of course, we had to drop by at Eng Bee Tin for the obligatory pasalubong of hopia dice ube and tikoy rolls.

Feeling refreshed, we headed to one of Binondo’s must try places to eat — Estero Fast Food! Situated beside a creek, the place is a karinderya type of eatery. To those who are a bit picky, they have an airconditioned area. They serve Chinese cuisine, which they cook fresh upon ordering. Among the stalls here, LGA Fastfood is the crowd drawer. Since my sister and I were famished already, we ordered fried frog legs with salt and pepper, chopsuey and plain rice. The viands are in small orders that are good for two. I so liked the fried frog legs – it reminded us of our grandfather who cooked frog legs for us when we were small. The chopsuey was delicious and the rice filling. For a small order of fried frog legs, pay P130 and the hearty chopsuey goes P125. Plain rice is just P15 a cup and bottled water is P20. Not bad for a cheerful meal!

We pop into Salazar Bakery after our Estero meal. Again, more obligatory pasalubong – cu-chay with meat filling pie and the lotus cream hopia.

I told you this was a food trip, right? So, from congee to healthy juices to fried frog legs, an ice cream will be great to end the day! And since dessert is deserved, we headed to Escolta for a quaint ice cream parlor in this part of Manila named Escolta Ice Cream & Snacks. Wide selections of Big Scoop Ice cream greeted us. And since we were gormandizing that day, we ordered Mount Everest — a pile of 9 scoops of ice cream (you can pick and select), drizzled with chocolate syrup and crushed nuts. Heaven! Their avocado, green tea and pistachio flavors are sooooo good! Burp!

We had so much fun in our Binondo food trip. I’m dreaming of another day when I can hang out with my sister and just feed ourselves silly! Until the next Goin’ Chinese adventure!

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