My first post after months! I also just hit 1000 views a few days ago, so BIG BIG THANKS to fans squiiieeee!! to surfers, to movabletype followers and to Google for indexing this site hahaha.
Now back to bidness…
No plans (again), except we made a pact not to spend beyond Php500. For first time food-on-footers, we made good with more or less Php350 each after the trip, which included our transportation expenses (Philcoa-Quiapo at Php25 each), 4 restaurants, and pasalubong (any sort of gift we bring home to our folks. In the Philippines, it’s kind of an imperative and a consolation for the people we leave at home) stop at Eng Bee Tin. As to Binondo itself, we relied on my good memory *ehem* of past walks with other peeps. I wanted to research to get a full Binondo experience, but I thought Ongpin street was full enough of restaurants for us to pick on a whim. And this whole trip was definitely that at the start.
Technically, it wasn’t just a Binondo experience. Since we got off in Quiapo, our first stop HAD to be the famous Ma Mon Luk Restaurant.
We didn’t see it until we actually passed the restaurant on our way to Quiapo church. For those who would like to try, this one’s between Raon and the church. Stick to the sidewalk — their sign’s difficult to spot.
We walked to Binondo from Quiapo and made a quick stop to the first Eng Bee Tin of the day (we passed 2 more along Ongpin by the end of the trip!). Each of us left with a bag of hopia (yam cake).
Next restaurant was Kim Hiong Food Garden across the street, which the clerk in Eng Bee Tin described as “somewhere my boss would eat.” Though a lot pricier than Ma Mon Luk, we planned to dine there again for their stir fried noodles (hence the PART 2!).
We were still pretty much eating appetizers by our third stop, New Eastern Restaurant, which touts itself as the home of the Fresh Lumpia King or Spring Roll. I’m not a fan of the food, but I wanted to try anyway (how can you refuse a king? well, Angela did hahaha).
Last stop was a shabu-shabu (hot pot) restaurant (I forget the name grrrr!) right in front of the King of Lumpia. They gave a big discount for hot pot for customers who come in after 1pm. I’m not sure if that was a limited promo, or else I’d tell you drop everything, run and find that restaurant along Ongpin NOW! It was my first time to pay part of the bill for a meal that large, so felt quite an expert on food trips afterwards hehehe.
There was a point when we didn’t recognize what we were chewing anymore; we had them all mixed up in the pot halfway through lunch. The table was clean through when we were done.
Not bad for Php500, eh? And all that only a few steps from the southern arch marking Chinatown! We waved away a round of the famous fried siopao. I’ll reserve that for PART 2. For those who want their piece of Binondo, someone is offering a walking food tour of the area (check these pages). But anyone with a sense of adventure can do this without a guide.
*all photos taken by Angela