Friday, February 10, 2012

My First Binondo Food Trip Experience

Ni hao, mga kapamilya!

A day before my awesome Pinatubo trip, my friends and I decided to pig out at Binondo - Manila's Chinatown. It is actually one of the oldest, established around 1594. Today, Binondo is the place where most Filipino-Chinese families reside.




I have never been to Binondo before thus, this Oriental gastronomic adventure was new to me.

Binondo is only two train rides away from Mandaluyong City (MRT and LRT 1 / Boni Ave - Taft Ave - Carriedo Station). We were greeted by the deafening "Mam ser, Mam ser, dito na po kayo sa amin" shouts of store clerks as we made our way to the innards of Binondo. Millions of stores lined up the busy streets of Escolta and Ongpin - jewelry shops, fruit stands, hardwares, Chinese convenience stores and of course, various Chinese restaurants that offer a myriad of Chinese cuisines. Phew.

As a first timer, I was kinda expecting a cute Chinese girl to approach and greet me "Ni hao, welcome to Binondo!". But instead, an irate woman caught our attention as she spat flaming words to everyone near her.

"Mga $)*%$)#*% niyo, ang aga-aga nambibwisit na kayo! $*%*$ niyo!!!"

Translation: WELCOME TO BINONDO F*CKTARDS!


Expectations vs. Reality


Fried Siopao and Wai Ying Fastfood

We first bought fried siopao at Shanghai Fried Siopao before heading to Wai Ying Fast Food. Wai Ying, like any Chinese restaurants here in Davao has this, ye know, Chinese feel (Oh c'mon Renz you can do better than that!). The place was OK except for the food... IT WAS DELICIOUS.

In Wai Ying, we ordered the ff:


Duck Congee:




Curry Beef Siomai:




Shrimp Chong Fan:




I felt like I was in Cloud Nine while munching these Oriental meals. They were so delicious, especially the Duck Congee and Curry Beef Siomai. I highly recommend those two. Even the fried siopao of Shanghai was truly delectable and affordable.

I even tried their Milk Tea. It tasted the same sans the pearls. But it did satisfy me.


And for the final verdict of the two restaurants:

(1) Shanghai Fried Siopao - 4/5 stars 
(2) Wai Ying Fastfood - 4.5 / 5.0 stars for the food and 4/5 for the price. Affordable na, delicious pa!

Wai Ying Fastfood is located at Benavidez St., Binondo, Manila.



Dong Bei (beh)

After nomnom-ing a strawberry mochi cake in which I bought from Shin Tai-Shang Foods, we went to Dong Bei and tried their Kuchay Fried Pancake Dumplings.





I liked the texture but the smell of the vegetables was strong enough to ward off people that loathe vegetables. See also: Me. Lol. But if you make sawsaw the dumplings to a special sauce, it will be yummy na. Ansaveh!


Chino and I while waiting for the fried pancake dumpling

But overall, everything was good except for the clumsy cook. Dong Bei is located along Yuchengco Street (formerly known as Nueva Street) near Ongpin Street of Binondo, Manila. 4 out of 5 stars.


Impromptu Shoot and Kalesa Tour

Because it was unbearably hot that time, we refreshed ourselves by eating Melona Ice Cream... and it's not even Chinese! We found an alley near the Buddhist-slash-Christian shrine. We thought that the lighting and the background was perfect. And poof, instant photoshoot!




After our half-hour shoot, we decided to ride a kalesa (Php 250 / 30 minutes). We toured Binondo including the boundaries of The Walled City (Intramuros). We even crossed McArthur Bridge which offered a panoramic view of Pasig River and passed by the majestic Manila Post Office Building!





Next destination: New Po-Heng Lumpia House. For only Php 50, one can enjoy a humongous lumpia filled with assorted vegetables and meat. It comes with a delectable sauce.




We were a bit full during that time that Chino was the only one to finish the remaining half of it.

Before leaving Binondo, we refreshed ourselves by drinking Cogon juice at Shining Star Fastfood located at Salazar St. For only Php 15, feeling ko nawala ang pagod ko. Like, seriously!

---

I never enjoy or appreciate Chinese food. I am not a fan (and will never be a fan) of pansit canton/guisado and chopsuey. Bleugh. But everything had changed, all because of my first Binondo Food Trip Experience.

For food junkies, Binondo is paradise albeit the chance of getting mugged and mulled is high. It is very different to Uyanguren (Davao's Chinatown), where hardwares, ukay-ukay shops and tire/rubber stores dominate. Food establishments along Davao's Chinatown can only be counted by my fingers. But in Binondo, the place has so much to offer!




Even if the place has too much traffic and people (population density: 18,000 people per square km), I would definitely come back there soon and try other food establishments. See also: Ate Ria's suggestion: Egg Yolk Pao and Salt and Pepper Squid at Fu Yuan Tea House.

One doesn't need a car and/or a LOT of cash to enjoy Binondo. In fact, I only spent less than Php 300!

I would to thank Brenna, Chino and Robbie for accompanying me in Binondo. You guys are fun to be with! Chos. To Dad Dong, thanks for sponsoring my Binondo Food Trip. Yahoo! Rediscovering the historical part of the country's capital has never been this fun!

Hopefully in my second visit, a cute Chinese girl will approach and greet me "Ni hao! Welcome to Binondo!".

No more $%*$)#*% greeting from an irate woman please!

Xie xie, mga kapamilya!




VIEW BINONDO ALBUM HERE

40 comments:

  1. Love the pics. At syempre gusto ko rin kumain netong mga to. Sayang di ako naksama! Next time. Lipad na :D

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  2. Will be flying soon this March! :))

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  3. i so lavet!!!!!!!!!!!! Sana makapagfoodtrip din ako sa davao....

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Thanks Chino! Though walang ala-Binondo dito sa Davao kasi puro mga hardware ang sa China Town. Pero marami namang makain dito, pero hindi lang Chinese. Hehehe

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  4. I am so jealous! I love Chinese food but I've never been there :(
    Btw, I LOVE YOUR BLOG.

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    Replies
    1. You should visit Binondo soon! Thanks unknown!

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  5. Wow... the food are so mouth watering... Ma visit din nga Binondo pag napadaan ng Maynila. Parang na namiss tuloy namin yung gala sa Jalan Petaling ( Chinatown here in KL) yung talaga ang naging kulang ( Food trip) sigh..


    Btw , RM we love your blog and we have it in our blogroll. ^_^
    this is our Chinatown trip in KL >> http://boundfortwo.blogspot.com/2012/02/cny-2012-wandering-in-jalan-petaling.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for adding me in your blogroll, Bound For Two :)

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  6. i love the shoes of your friend. the blonde one....hehehehe can you ask him where he bought it?

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  7. nakaka-aliw yung photo nyo ni chino. wahah. buti naman at naenjoy mo ang Binondo.

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  8. @Anonymous: I'll ask my blonde friend. :)

    @Ivan: Yeah! Kahit super daming tao, still enjoyed my Binondo Trip :)

    @Christian: Oh diba, welcome na welcome to Binondo ang drama. :))

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  9. galeng mu kumuha ng food photos Renz! nakakatakam! :D na miss ko 2loy bigla si Chino, hangkyut ng photos nyo! :)

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    Replies
    1. Uy, maraming salamat ate Gael!!! :D :D :D

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  10. I have been living in the Metro for almost 2 years but I still haven't visited this place yet. I'll sure do before I go back to the province. Parang ang sarap kumain at magpicture-picture ^^

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  11. ey teka, di ba nagkulang yung budget? hahaha... mukhang mapapadaan ako mamaya sa binondo. kakatuwa ka Renz dun sa expecting to see a cute chinese girl saying ni hao.

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    Replies
    1. Hehe! No! Sobra nga eh! :D Paano kasi, PI yung greeting sa amin when we we entered Binondo. Bwahaha

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  12. great food! it's been a long since my friends and i went to binondo for a food trip... wala pa kong camera, and i haven't been blogging yet. maybe it's time to go back. your photos are really great :)

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  13. nice post natatawa ako sa The Binondo Boys, parang naalala ko ang December Boys na movie hehehehe...may chinatown din ba sa Davao?

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    Replies
    1. Meron pero puro thrift shops and hardwares lang sa amin. :(

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  14. i love binondo! na-miss ko tuloy ang shrimp cheong fan ng wai-ying at kuchay dumplings ng dong bei. i like it fried more than steamed so the pancake version is welcoming too.

    great to find your blog. will try to frequent here. :D

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  15. Went here once but I've really never fully eaten any authentic Binondo/Chinese food. Not ballsy when it comes to food.

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  16. Sarap talaga dyan sa Wai Ying parang nasa Hong Kong ka lang din.:)

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  17. I've been to Binondo several times but never on a food trip. Am a bit envious you got to do it with the Bagets too! Sana next time I can join you all.

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    Replies
    1. Pag-uwi mo from your Euro trip! Binondo tayo!

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  18. i love binondo when i visit... and, you've got great shots!

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  19. It's always nice to go to Binondo and have good old Chinese food. lagi din ako nabili ng ube hopia.

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  20. Glad you enjoyed the tour! Pwede na ba ako maging tour guide? Wahahaha.

    Madami pang masasarap kainan sa Binondo kaso kulang tayo sa time and nakakapagod na that day. Wahahaha.

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    Replies
    1. Next time, gusto ko itry yung mga suggestions ni Ate Ria. Hahaha! At siyempre, no more 'greeting' from an irate woman pleslang

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  21. I am a certified wai ying addict. i already cant count how many midnights i had driving to that fast food buyying 5 orders of shomai. hahaha best shomai experience. I ate almost all shomais from other chinese restos that they say are the best but all of them bow down to wai ying shomai. haha. its also good that my bestfriend is the son of the manager. haha. so free shomai everytime i buy there. hahaha

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  22. Sayang hindi ako nakasama nito. Ewan ko kung bakit, pero napansin ko lang na everytime nandito ka sa Manila wala ako LOL =)) kelangan talaga sa Cebu at Davao tayo magkita palagi? =)) miss you Renzy!

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    Replies
    1. Miss you mooooore Mica! Sasama ka ba sa Cebu this March? :)) *wishful thinking*

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  23. I love wai ying and dong bei! but i';ve never been to the lumpia house!!! where is that?!

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I forgot the name of the street, basta malapit yun sa Ongpin. :)

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  24. I discovered your web site via Google while looking for a related subject, lucky for me your web site came up, its a great website. I have bookmarked it in my Google bookmarks. You really are a phenomenal person with a brilliant mind!

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  25. Oh i miss the fresh lumpia from ongpin...its so yummy I miss it!

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