Binondo. The oldest Chinatown in the world. A veritable foodies’ paradise located just across the oldest district of Manila that is Intramuros. The invitation to indulge and give in to my growling tummy one weekend was a no-brainer. It was BinonDO or DIE!
Cheapos that we are, we decided to download loads of information from the internet on the best restos in the area and proceeded to do a DIY version of a Binondo Food Tour.
And since we were about to commit one of the seven deadly sins, my companions must have figured it would do our souls some good if we repent in advance at the Binondo Church.
What soon followed was a foodie’s version of nirvana.
First stop –Tasty Dumplings Restaurant (620 Ongpin St., Binondo, Manila).
Located along Ongpin Street and just a few steps from Binondo Church, this was a convenient stop to do some carb-loading since we were expecting a prolonged energy expenditure (we had to do some serious walking to each food stop, lol). And for a resto that goes by the name Tasty Dumplings, we were a bit surprised that the waiter recommended pork chop rice. But we figured there’s no other authority on the house’s bestseller than the waiter, so pork chop rice it was.
Deep fried to perfection, the pork chop was a bit thin and had a flavorful breading. One bite was all we need to know why this simple dish is way up there in this resto’s list of bestsellers.
The silver roll bread and the hongma pairing was a bit awkward for me but oh my goodness did it work! The light, fluffy bread is best eaten dipped in the Hongma sauce. And the braised pork? Definitely not for the health conscious (see those layers of fat?) but we were there to indulge and so we threw all caution into the wind and enjoyed every morsel of this tasty dish.
Of course we did not forget to sample their dumplings. I was enjoying the food too much but I caught myself just in time. Believe me when I say it took a lot of will power to stand up! I had to remind myself repeatedly that we have three more food stops in our itinerary.
Second stop – Dong Bei Dumpling (Yuchengco St., Binondo, Manila).
Have you ever wished to have a front seat view of a demo on how your favorite dumplings are made? Well, we had just that in this tiny, hole-in-the-wall resto!
We were still full from the heavy snack we had at Tasty Dumpling but we could not possibly ignore the rave review that this resto got from a blogger so we gave it a try. We ordered dumplings stuffed with chives and shrimps, and stuffed pancakes. The dumplings were so good that midway into our meal, one of my companions on this food tour ordered another shrimp dumpling to go.
Between this food stop and the next, we managed (with heavy feet and full tummies) to squeeze in a trip to the Shanghai Fried Siopao and a visit to a stall selling Chinese knick knacks.
We have read about Shin Tai Shang Foods store (located right next door to President Tea House) as well and since it was a couple of steps away from our next food stop, we went in and bought a few items. This store is in Chinatown so we were a bit surprised it carried a lot of Japanese brands as well as Sanrio gift items.
But one thing that will surely keep me coming back to this store is their meat sauce. It is sooo deliciously good! It goes perfectly well with just about everything including rice, pasta and yes, even your lowly pandesal.
Third stop – President Tea House (809 Salazar St., Binondo, Manila).
We did not have to scour the menu in this resto since our next meal was literally written on the wall. And we know our Bible better than to ignore the handwriting on the wall! So it was two steaming bowls of Black Chicken with Ginseng Soup and Native Chicken with Tea Mushroom Soup for us this time.
Our table looked a bit forlorn with just two bowls of soup so we ordered siomai and Bird’s Eye Dumpling which we finished in just a few minutes. Yum!
Fourth and Final Stop – Masuki (931 Benavidez St., Binondo, Manila).
We sure do have bottomless pits for a stomach because we decided to end our food trip with a heavy dinner of noodles and siopao at Masuki.
Even then, we almost fell off our seats when the food was served. It was like a Man v. Food challenge!
After recovering from the initial shock, we still managed to have a good-natured laugh at our Cup D siopaos.
Know my thoughts on DIY travel here.