Chinese New Year, January 28, is fast approaching! The world’s oldest Chinatown would be teeming with families on a day trip, squads on a food trip, performers in red & gold, dragons, and more people who will celebrate the Fire Rooster Year.
We wanted to experience the less crowded version of Binondo so Jolo, my brother, and I went on a Ramada Manila staycation and food trip early in January. All about our Ramada Manila experience on Wheninmanila.com. The vast choices of food available kept our tummies very happy during our stay. We wandered at night looking for the locals’ favorite restaurants for some takeout to eat back at our hotel.Here are our five must-try food trip stops in Binondo:
5. Five Spice Bistro
Five Spice Bistro at Ramada Manila kick-started our food trip. We had a lunch and breakfast buffet at this Asian-themed bistro. Arriving pretty late in the afternoon, the buffet spread was half-full. The food left was satisfactory. It wasn’t “wow omg ang sarap” levels but tasted fresh and homemade nonetheless.
At P390 (lunch buffet), it’s a must-try for those with endless appetites! I thoroughly enjoyed their dessert section (as expected of dessert-loving me).
Corner of Ongpin and Quintin Paredes Streets, Binondo, Manila
4. Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli
The famous Hopia joint offers so much more at their full-concept deli! Apart from the best hopia and tikoy, they have rice meals, noodles, and frozen treats! Hindi ka mabee-bee-tin :))
www.engbeetin.com | +63 2 2888888
628 Ongpin Street Binondo Manila
3. Chuan Kee Chinese Fastfood
The server said that their Camaron Relleno (P82) was supposed to be a prawn dish but we didn’t really taste any prawn flavor. It’s the fried thing beside our rice. *check photo below* I found it pricey for the solo serving and I don’t recommend you getting it. The restaurant was packed with locals and I noticed that most enjoyed slurping their Mami. Maybe Mami is the way to go next time?
650 Ongpin Street, Binondo, Manila
2. Cafe Mezzanine
This fireman themed cafe had neon lights and a casual family-friendly atmosphere. We had 2 orders of their bestselling Kiampong (P65) to go with the relleno. Kiampong is chinese fried rice with pork bits, nuts, mushroom, and a sweet brown sauce. It was heavy but heavenly and I could have it alone without any ulam. Their profit is donated to Binondo Paco Fire Search and Rescue Brigade so there’s more reason to visit!
CafeMezzanine | 288 8888 Ext 230
(Mon – Sat) 7am-8pm , (Sun) 7am-2pm
650 Ongpin corner Nueva Streets, Binondo, Manila
1. Dong Bei Dumplings
Just a stone’s throw away from our hotel is a little dumpling shop that serves freshly-made white bags of soupy joy! Jolo was wary of how it was an iconic Binondo food place when it looked unassuming and kinda sketchy! Don’t let its unappealing diminutiveness scare you though.
We ordered their Kuchay dumplings which are dumplings of pork with leeks. It cost P150 for 15 pieces and that serves 2-3 people already when paired with our Kiampong! They were really good and burst with fresh, meaty flavors.
dongbeidumplings | 2418912
642 Yuchengo Street, Binondo, Manila
We would have loved to try out more food but we could only eat too much! WEAK KAMI. I’ve been meaning to try Serenity’s famous fried chicken and other mami shops in the area. I’ll be updating this list when I come back 🙂
The charm of Binondo lies in its community- most commercial establishments remain unchanged, especially their recipes, decades after they started. Visitors discover that even if the city is becoming all the more modern, these oldies-but-goodies are here to stay. Adults who fondly remember their childhood when their parents took them for a stroll in Binondo before having authentic Chinese lunch. They’d still be able to relive these moments at present with their own children.