Food Trip: Manila Chinatown

January 18, 2015

Binondo, Manila’s Chinatown district is the oldest Chinatown in the world. Right in its heart is Ongpin Street – the home to numerous Chinese establishments. While there were plenty of other things to do (like shopping for jewelries, unusual medicines, and other more affordable goods), our visit was centered in eating authentic (and some exotic) Chinese food. Here are the 6 restaurants/stores we have tried:

1. Ongpin MaƱosa Restaurant Co.

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Known for: Pancit and Noodle Soup

Tried their highly recommended Pancit Chami but was disappointed at how ordinary it tasted. Maybe, it’s also because I’m not very fond of pancit. 

2. Shanghai Fried Siopao

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Known for: (Obviously) Fried Siopao

Tasted good but I still prefer the steamed ones.

3. Estero

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Known for: Fried Frog Legs and Oyster Cake

I loved both! The buttered fried frog legs tasted like buttered chicken and the bones were crunchy, they’re edible. Aside from oyster, the oyster cake also contained vegetables, which made me love it more.

4. Wai Ying Fast Food 

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Known for: Peking Duck Rice Toppings and Hakaw (Shrimp) Wanton Mami

Everything we ordered tasted delicious: Peking duck rice toppings, hakaw dumplings and almond jelly. Out of the three, hakaw is my absolute favorite! I will surely visit this fast food again!

5. Eng Bee Tin

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Known for: Hopia and Tikoy

Their new custard hopia is a must-try!

6. Cafe Mezzanine

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Known for: Soup No. 5 (Cow’s Balls), Xiao Long Bao (Steamed Soup Dumplings), Kiampong Rice and Milk Tea

Out of all the restaurants we went to, Cafe Mezzanine offered the best ambiance. We tried their soup no. 5, xiao long bao and milk tea (regular and green). The meat in soup no. 5 was tender, but the soup itself was a bit salty. Conversely, I liked the soup in xiao long bao. The clear winner here was the milk tea.

For your reference and guidance, here is a map of Manila Chinatown:

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