Fresh from an inspiring talk on the cultural legacies of Manila, me and my friends decided to take a sampler treat of the Binondo Food Walk made famous by Mr. Ivan Dy of Old Manila Walks. I called it a pre-walk since number 1: it was decided on impulse but we also wanted to take that Old Manila Walk tours someday; number 2: we got hungry and we called our Chinese travel buddy to give us some leads; and number 3: we're here in Manila anyway so why not?
Binondo was established in 1584 by Spanish Governor Lius Perez Dasmarinas. It’s the Chinatown of Manila and once was the center of commerce prior to World War II. With Manila levelled during the war, commercial establishments has since moved elsewhere; but other than the hardy Chinese still working and living there in Binondo, one thing remained strong, famous and reminiscent of its old glory: the quintessential Chinese food. The dishes, samplers, treats and delicacies that wafts deliciously in the air reminds you that it’s a quarter past 3 and it’s meryenda time!
|Our first stop: Dong Bei Dumpling at Yuchengco corner Tytana Sts. just behind the old Binondo church. This very small eatery had been described as a small, unassuming hole-in-the-wall restaurant. #Dongbei #dumplings|
|Small yet the place offers many mouth-watering treats. We ordered the pork dumplings as recommended by our friend. #dongbei #dumplings|
|The dumplings here are prepared in the resto where you can see them. Its also a good thing because you can be assured that everything you order are prepared fresh. #dongbei #dumplings|
|I wonder what this will become, is it the pork dumplings? the xiao pao? #dongbei #dumplings|
|The roll of dough was flattened meticulously to get that thin dumpling wrapper consistency, then filled with pork, shrimps, etc, fried or steamed....the list goes on...#dongbei #dumplings|
|The fresh dumplings looked good enough to eat already....don't worry, hungry as I was, I waited for the steamed version. An order consisted of 14 dumplings. #dongbei #dumplings|
|Our next stop was Wai Ying Fastfood at Benavides St. Our friend recommended its tai pao or the mean, large siopao! #waiying #taipao|
|It started with a hot glass of clear tea....it washed our palates from the tasty aftertaste of Dong Bei, prepared our tongue for another gastronomic surprise #waiying #siopao|
|They sliced it already so it can be shared. The steaming tai pao is already dinner for two. #waiying #siopao|
|We also ordered siomai and hakaw but what I kept coming back to was the tai pao. I already had one of these so I was not really surprised. It was delicious. period. Loved it? yes. Will be back? of course! #waiying #siopao|
|We passed by this carinderia-like store on our way back to Ongpin St.. No we didn't eat here but I was amused at the mini-cauldron pots containing the food - terracotta style. Now that's uncommon these days. #ongpin|
|Next stop: Fried siopao along Ongpin St. It was just a store not a restaurant with a lot of food goodies other than the fried siopao. #friedsiopao|
|The fried siopao were already packed by singles, sixes or dozens. It was a regular sized siopao with a slight sear in its underside, proof that its fried, not steamed. #friedsiopao|
|Maki, a thick heavily flavored soup poured over breaded pork chunks with leaks to top it off. It has a full flavor, heavy in the gut too. Warning: need more gut space for these, would also need rice. #maki|
|Makimi was another dish we ordered, same with Maki on the soup and pork chunks but served with noodles. #makimi|
I guess every foodie and blogger in town already had this experience in their archives, I am still thankful that I got to do mine. Well, this was a pre-walk. Next time I wanted to do the real walk, know more about the places we went to, their history, their success stories and other food stops we never knew. Next time I hope to join the tours of Old Manila Walks with my friends to learn more, to experience more, to discover more, to eat more, to gain weight.....nah! let's stick to the discovering and experiencing.....
Well, I hope you enjoyed this post. Till next time. chow!