From Chinatown to Little Tokyo: China

Friday, December 9, 2011 § 4

Holidays are always a good excuse to roam around the city and binge. Last Taguig Day, Boyfriend and I, together with some friends, headed out to Binondo for some authentic Chinese fare. Traffic was horrible, but the good company and food really made all the hassle worth our time.

Traveling for 2 hours on an empty stomach actually proved to be a blessing in disguise, since we all have a lot of tummy space to fill with dimsum. We immediately marched on to our first stop, Wai Ying Fastfood.

Hakaw (70) I was excited to try their Hakaw since I've heard a lot of great things about it from my friends. Wai Ying didn't disappoint. The wrapper is a little thick, and they stick together when left sitting for a long time so they have to be eaten immediately. The hakaw was delicious! The shrimp has a slight sweetness to it, and it was plump and juicy.

Shark's Fin (70) I wasn't able to taste this but our friends said they were really good. Wai Ying also sells frozen dimsum if you want to have them conveniently at home.

Wanton Mami (100) Boyfriend ordered this very generous bowl of Wanton Mami. It had 6 big pieces of wanton, all bursting with meat and flavor. The noodles have a nice bite to it, but the broth is a little bland. You can always enhance the taste yourself by adding touches of calamansi, soy sauce and chili.

Pork and Century Egg Congee (100) I ordered this huge bowl of congee that I wasn't able to finish even after sharing it with 2 other people. The congee was good and seasoned well, but of course, I had to add chili. Everything is better with chili. After several bites, it felt as if the pork was multiplying because no matter how much I eat, there's still so much left on my bowl. Definitely worth the hundred bucks.

Roasted Duck Rice (130) This roasted duck was ordered by our friends. It was sliced nicely, and the serving was big. According to them, the duck was tasty but the sauce was a little cold.

Red Bean Yolk Cake (45) After our heavy lunch, we headed straight to Shin Tai-Shang Foods for some pastries. It was hard to pick one because they were all pretty and everything smelled great. I went with a friend's suggestion and tried the Red Bean Yolk Cake. It tasted just like a red bean moon cake with a flakier pastry. The filling has the right level of sweetness but the yolk was a little heavy.

Fried Siopao (16) Next, we went to Shanghai Fried Siopao for some, well, fried siopao. After smelling the siopao, I knew it would be different from the regular Chowking siopao that I'm used to. The dough they used was amazing, it was incredibly soft and has a very smooth texture. The filling was different as well. The pork was screaming with flavor and the jicama adds a crunchiness that is unique to this siopao. The shop is a little hard to find because it's small and it really is a hole-in-the-wall. It was a good thing we were with someone who knows the place, because if not for him, we would've gotten lost several times.

Soup No. 5 (220) To top it all off, we went to Cafe Mezzanine to try the famous Soup No. 5. It was quite expensive for its size and to be honest, I didn't like it too much. It was hard to get over the grainy texture of the soup. Or maybe it was because at the back of my mind, I knew I was eating bull's testicles. I asked the waitress about the contents of the soup and she said it was just beef and pata but I don't know if I should believe her. Besides, they wouldn't be calling it Soup No. 5 if the main component of the dish isn't there.

We also had a few other side trips that included a milk tea stop at Zen Tea. They don't ask for your sugar level preference so my Wintermelon Milk Tea was a little sweet, but their pearls were perfect. And for 65 pesos, they were a steal. And of course, a Binondo trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to Eng Bee Tin. I bought some hopia to take home to my mom and Ube-Macapuno Mochipia for Boyfriend and myself. Our only regret is that we only got one pack of Mochipia because we finished one pack (45) in less than 5 minutes. It was a hopia revelation, seriously the best thing that ever happened to hopia.

It was such a great day, but this isn't where it ends. After this epic Binondo food trip, we braved the rush hour traffic to go to one of Makati's treasures, Little Tokyo. So watch out for Part II of this entry coming soon.

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