Food Crawl at the World's Oldest Chinatown

March 24, 2023 Phantasm Darkstar 0 Comment(s)

My high school and college friends from the United States and Germany recently came home for a short vacation, and we decided to have a Binondo Food Crawl as this was the first time they had tried this.
Binondo, or Manila Chinatown, is the oldest Chinatown in the world. You must visit it at least once when you go to Manila. So to give my friends a gastronomic tour of this town, I came up with an itinerary that included the classic must-try food and the highly-recommended ones. Our food crawl started early morning, and we finished by noontime (around five hours total). This is a quick one, as we had to visit a different place in the afternoon.
Here are the meals that we tried:
Fried Siopao (35 Php) from The Original Shanghai Fried Siopao. This was our first stop, as lines can get long here, especially on weekends. You may think a fried siopao may be deep-fried; however, it is steamed first (like how you cook a regular siopao), then fried using a greased skillet. I love how every order is served freshly cooked. It's soft and delectable, with flavorful pork filling. However, I find the serving size small for its price--their prices have increased drastically after gaining popularity on social media through the years.
Milky Bicho (50 Php) from Oishiekun Chinese Bites. The Youtiao or Chinese Donut is made of deep-fried wheat flour dough until golden brown. You can enjoy it plain, with sugar, or in this case, covered in milk powder. This was enjoyable to eat, although it can be messy because of the milk crumbs.
Our next stop was at Wai Ying Fast Food, where they offer a variety of Chinese food and, of course, dim sum. We ordered their Hakaw (140 Php/4pcs), Ham Sui Gok (100 Php/3pcs), and Curry Beef Siomai (100 Php/3pcs). Hakaw was Bianca's favorite, so it was a staple order. I ordered the Ham Sui Gok for them to try--it was good, but I find Ying Ying Tea House's Ham Sui Gok better. We were curious about the curry beef siomai, so we tried it. It was a deep-fried beef siomai served with curry sauce dip on the side. The curry sauce tastes similar to the boxed Japanese curry.
Beef Lamien (280 Php) at Lan Zhou La Mien (San Guo La Mien). This place is well-known for its hand-pulled noodles. A serving of their lamien is good for sharing, and you can ask them to serve in portions. What I had in this picture is only half a serving. I appreciated the noodles a lot, although the broth and meat for me were unexceptional.
Kutchay Dumpling (200 Php/14pcs) from Dong Bei Dumpling. I had no expectations before I tried this, as I already had several kutchay dumplings in my life. I was still amazed by how good this was. We finished this in seconds.
Lumpia (95 Php) from New Po Heng (Puo Hing Lumpia). This was another dish that I had no expectations of. This was a fresh lumpia with vegetables in it. Surprisingly, I was blown away by how good this is. The filling is not dry, and it's rich in flavor. This dish is served with sauce, but it's already good by itself. I did deconstruct it, but it was difficult to determine what made it so good. However, they did disclose shrimp in it, as we had to ask since one of us has a seafood allergy.
Egg Tart (56 Php; 220 Php/4pcs; 320 Php/6pcs; 630 Php/12pcs) from Lord Stow's. Lord Stow's is famous throughout Asia for its egg tarts. Indeed, their egg tart is delectable. Their store in Ongpin can be easy to miss as they have tinted glass walls. I am guilty of ignoring their shop for years whenever I go to Ongpin, as the bakery looks dark outside, and I regret that. How did I miss such good food when it was there all along?
A trip would only be complete with pasalubong, so we went to Eng Bee Tin's Flagship Store for that. I bought some tikoy, hopia, mochi, tea, milky bars, and my favorite pick, their Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns (250 Php).
The Great Buddha Cafe is located on the second floor of Eng Bee Tin's Flagship StoreHere, we tried their Cream Cheese Nai Cha  (130 Php). The milk tea was good, but the cream cheese tasted like all-purpose cream.
Group photo with friends: Renz, Bianca, and Kath, while we were at La Zhou La Mien.
By the way, Masuki and Sincerity are also famous restaurants in Binondo, but I did not include them in our itinerary because they already have branches near us at SM Megamall. Ying Ying Tea House is also a recommended place in Binondo. Read my blog post: Ying Ying Tea House.
Check out more places on my Binondo Itinerary for First-Timers on Google Maps: Click Here.

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