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Thursday, June 13, 2013

A few weeks back, my officemates and I decided to go on a Food Trip at Binondo. I know there are tours specifically for this, aptly named as Binondo Food Wok and we decided to a DYI. Here are the restaurants/shops we cleared:

New Po Heng Lumpia House

Serves Lumpia and Mami. From Binondo Church go to your back at the left. It's a fork road, take the right side of the street. You should be able to spot their sign if you peek at the eskinitas there.



It looks like your regular carinderia only with Chinese bosses. I got their lumpiang sariwa (50 pesos). It was a huge lumpia heavy with filling. John our officemate also ordered mami which although served in a small bowl, towered in height (I haven't tried it maybe next time). It was our first stop and it's already heavy. I loved the sauce of the lumpia which complements the fresh taste of the filling.

Cafe Mezzanine

After Po Heng, walk towards the street ahead, and again, pass through one of the nearest eskinita you'd find. Once you're out, you'd be greeted by vendors of different shabu shabu ingredients and seafood. Do another left where you will pass Quick Snack, and at the corner will be Polland a hopia house. On the same street as Polland, go straight ahead towards Cafe Mezzanine.

Cafe Mezzanine is a 2 storey restaurant, the laid back version at the second floor. We were there around 10 so we're basically the only ones dining, other than the owner, Gerry Chua and probably a friend.

We skimped on the food now, we only ordered Gokong (160), Kiampong (50). We also had separate drink orders, I got Chrysanthemum Tea (65).

Gokong is a soup sans monggo served in a bowl with softened chicharon and meat (w/bones). I said monggo because it does taste like a subtler version of it. To heighten the experience, eat it along with Kiampong. You would suddenly wish you're at home to eat more.



Chrysanthemum Tea is served in a porcelain teapot which is intended for sharing. I haven't tasted what flavor I suppose to taste though.

We also had photo ops with Mr. Gerry Chua who was very accomodating.

Craving for hopia? Downstairs is a store of Eng Bee Tin ready for pasalubong shopping.


Wa Ying

I fell in love with their Tai Pao-- an extremely large siopao with a huge bolabola in the middle (60) when my boss saved me and another officemate one. It's the best siopao I have ever tasted so far (oopppss I forgot to take photos of the siopao) so I highly recommended this to my food trip buddies. I didn't taste it anymore to save space but I was able to eat their siomai and hakaw. I gulped it down with Lemon Coke (in literal terms this is just slices of lemon AND coke). I loved their siomai, it's fully packed per piece (60 for 1 order of 4 pcs) but hakaw not that much. I wasn't able to taste the shrimp.



To verify the popularity of the place, we've witnessed how the queue go really long. The place is not really huge so you need to be there even before lunch patrons arrive, which to add to injury, comes in large groups.


Quik Snack

We retraced steps back to Quik Snack for our 'lunch'. We ordered siomai (3 pcs), sotanghon guisado and stuffed shrimp. Our total bill was around 200+. After having a juicy siomai at Wai Ying, it's hard to violate our tongue with a lesser quality siomai. The sotanghon is not to my liking (be reminded I rarely enjoy noodles of any type). However I enjoyed their stuffed tempura even if the shrimp is much thinner than my pinky finger.



Rosso Asian Restaurant

We're already super full that even if we found the restaurant (took a while because it wasn't near where majority of the restaurants were plus the directions aren't really clear to me) we walked around first, finding a few groceries and chinese bakeshops to add to our growing stash of pasalubongs. When we decided to come in, we were greeted by the owner who maybe Chinese but very fluent in English. As much as we would have liked it if he offered us 'his special menu', our stomachs only have space for one dish.



We ordered Yakult Shake (120) and Seafood Noodle (250) more than enough for us four. I loved how the seafood is plentiful and the ingredients are fresh. The taste I can still vividly recall, not too salty and it was very flavorful. I swear if I have space in my stomach I would have not allowed us to leave leftovers. It was amazing I would love to go back. (They also have a conference room upstairs. You may want to check that out for events)

After Rosso, we've already decided to cut our binge short. We have missed Sa Lido, Po Chuan and President's. There's not really much to do at Binondo than eating so getting full is just too easy. Not to mention how most of the restaurants are within walking distance with each other.


Shin Tai Shang


Ho-lland

For pasalubongs, Binondo has too much to offer for anyone not to find anything worthy of taking home. Hopia and other breads are offered in bakeries (Holland and Polland to name a few), the Eng Bee Tin company have their own supermarket as well, and yes, I did hoard (Frozen) Tai Pao at Wai Ying too. Take a visit at Shin Tai Shang, and grab yourself these tiny desserts wrapped in cute paper (middle pic). The best one would be the pineapple with raspberry. l.o.v.e.i.t.



BTW, if you would like to do the same, budget per person per restaurant can be as cheap as 200 for 4 people up to 700 tops depending on what you plan to order.

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