October 30, 2011

The Big Binondo Food Wok - Rainy Edition PART 3

So after we ate Siopao Specimen letter C which you guys also should try, we then ate something for afternoon meals! It's something very very close to the Chinese culture and automatically when someone mentions this yummy delicacy, people thank the Chinese!

Yes people, it's HOPIA. I don't know about ya'll but man Hopia really is one good foody that I eat regularly or whenever it's available! Hopia is being eaten in the country like it is one of the Filipino delicacies!

Inside the Hopia shop
Ivan the ntold us about the history and kinds of Hopia, here watch the video.

After we ate Hopia which I barely finished (Well Niki took a bite and gave the rest to me!) We walked back and almost where we started the tour, there is a a lumpia house which was the final stop of the tour. The place looked very old and I bet that the building's height of popularity was between the 60's to 80's before finally being claimed by dust.

Po-Heng Lumpia house. It has a small courtyard and I'm guessing that the building used to be a hotel.
Now the Lumpia here is not your ordinary Lumpia (well this tour isn't ordinary anyway) wanna know why it's not just your ordinary lumpia?

Stuffed and huge Lumpia!
This one's eaten with either the traditional sauce or hot sauce. Dried seaweeds can also be added and it has this salty-crunchy taste in it.

After we ate the Lumpia, I was stuffed and full but Ivan had this big surprise for us. He gave away the BINONDO FOOD WOK MAP! It is Binondo's Food treasure map and I finally have one! Ivan gave one each for us and boy am I happy! It completed the tour, now  I can go back whenever I want and not get lost while I eat my way inside Binondo.

The tour wouldn't be fun if my friend Niki didn't come with me! The tour is definitely a fun and stuffing way to bond with friends, why not spend sometime together with friends or loved ones while eating and learning at the same time?

Here's Niki, Ivan Man Dy and me
Ahhh, this may be the only walking tour that I enjoyed in my life, I hate walking but this time I did like it, as long as there's a meal waiting for me at our next destination! CHEERS!

October 18, 2011

The Big Binondo Food Wok - Rainy Edition PART 2

Being briefed about going to our next destination.
Right after we had our first meal at the Mezzanine located just above the Eng Bee Tin, Ivan brought us to the next destination which was a few minutes of walk away, but since it was raining, we were like a horde of Carabaos slowly migrating from one place to another.

Our next destination may well be my most favorite part of the tour, we were headed to a small place called "Dong Bei Dumplings". Yes that's right, it is indeed my favorite part of the tour 'cause I just love dumplings! For a group of 32, this "hole in the wall" can barely hold all of us inside.

Believe me but I 'm already at the corner of the place and our group of 32 were fitted to a room for 20.
Ivan tells us that the dumplings were made from fresh ingredients and is an example of the local Filipino jargon today of "Lutong Macaw" (pronounced as "Ma-Cow") that means "Something quick to cook". The owner of Dong Bei Dumplings was a couple who were no longer than 8 years in country so that means I will finally get a taste of authentic dumplings made by a couple from China! Isn't that just amazing?

Shrimp Dumpling
What's even better about Dong Bei Dumplings is that they don't make the dumplings not until the order is made, that could take some time to prepare but it cooks fast and it is fresher than fast food dumplings!

Fried tastes good as well!
The place was hot, humid and one air-conditioning unit could not hold all of our body heat from eating these delicious dumplings. But nevertheless, I still ate my way to the plates, I probably ate around 10-15 pieces from 3 different dumplings that were served for us.

After the dumplings we walked back again to where we started and stopped at this very small food stall that serves delicious siopaos. This is also interesting as it is another authentic Chinese food stall

While we were eating the Siopao given to us, Ivan started talking and Ivan explains:

"Did you know that there are 3 specimens of Siopao? I call it the A, B and C!
A is for Asado
B is for Bola Bola
and C is for...Well guess for yourselves."

Siopao SPECIMEN C. >:))
As he said the last specimen of the Siopao, I laughed at the children we were with and they were almost spitting the Siopao out but did not, because after all, it is an adventure of Cuisine and the tummy so coming in the Binondo Food Wok tour requires the Love for eating something new!

Still don't have an idea what Siopao Specimen C is? Well you have to get your butts to Binondo to try it! This ends the second part of my Binondo tour! See you on my last part of this blog! Cheers! :)

October 15, 2011

The Big Binondo Food Wok - Rainy Edition PART 1

At last! After 2 years of planning since I saw this on the net I was able to finally get a taste of the lost city of Binondo and what else could be better than eating my way through the streets with a friend, and even better, for FREE thanks to our school publication where I write for the Features department.

We were running low on stories to feature for our August issue when the thought finally came out of my "Travel dream chest", I suggested it and surprisingly they gave the go signal but I didn't want to go alone so I grabbed my fellow feature writer Nikki who also wanted to go.

So I called Ivan Man Dy, the travel guide and co-owner (correct me if I'm mistaken) of "Old Manila Walks Travel and Tours" and asked for a weekend eating spree slot and he said yes there were available slots for 2 young college students hungry for culture and cuisine.

August 27, 2011: 6:00AM - Oh my God I said after just waking up, it was raining hard and I couldn't believe what I was seeing outside my window. I reached for my cellphone and saw Nikki's message "Is the tour going to push through, it's raining hard here" - Like clockwork I automatically called Ivan Man Dy and asked about it and he said "Rain or Shine, it'll push through" - Yeah that's right! I hope.

So at 7AM I met with Nikki at the ancient walls of Intramuros where we took the shortest Jeepney ride of our lives to Binondo Church, just across the bridge. Upon entering the old Binondo church that was built for Chinese-Catholics, I felt its serenity and history flowing into me, ah! It's been a long time since I felt the presence of peace while Nikki looks at the paintings on the ceiling.

Binondo Church, built in the 16th century still has its original stone walls. It is where the first Filipino Saint, Lorenzo Ruiz started as an altar boy.

9AM and Ivan Man Dy is on time as well as the others and I felt out of place for a moment when I saw that our other co-travelers were mostly Chinese and foreigners, some were a clan of Filipino-Italians and I would call them as Illustrados - For I am born of a simple life but don't worry, no regrets here! :)

The first stop was Eng Bee Tin and if you like the Filipino local music band "Parokya Ni Edgar", the song "Pangarap Lang Kita" was shot here. Take a look:

Above Eng Bee Tin is the Mezzanine where it is an air-conditioned room and where the mighty proud Binondo Fire Rescue is well acquainted with. The Mezzanine shows the history of Binondo's first fire fighters which is still in service today. It has a collection of the Helmets used from the start to the modern day. And we got to play with it, Cosplay in anime terms.

Nikki and I playing with the Helmets and taking photos before we eat the first meal of the day.
While we have our photos taken and goofed around (Well I did, not Nikki the more conservative one) Ivan talked about the Kiampong Rice (Salted Rice) and Bola Bola (Fishball Soup) and the Iced Coffee drink about to be served and said that so fully taste the food is that to put 1-2 tablespoonfuls of soup and put it in the rice and then push it down with the Iced Coffee.

Kiampong Rice, Bola Bola and Iced Coffee
Kiampong Rice: 9/10 - Excellent! I had 2 bowls and it is tasty!

Bola Bola : 7/10 - Good! Authentic but I'd like it if it had more flavor to it.

Iced Brewed Coffee: 5/10 - I'm a coffee drinker and I think this one's a so-so, needs more sweetness in it and I think it's better if it was Iced Tea or Hot Tea to go with the food. Coffee isn't so "Chinese" right?

But nevertheless! Eng Bee Tin-Mezzanine is a great way to start the day! Ivan also told us to go to the comfort rooms now for as we go on with the tour, the places we'd go would go smaller and literally have no restrooms especially for our group of 32!


October 11, 2011

Suqui Cafeteria - Intramuros, Manila

First of all, wow! My last post here in blogspot was August 31, 2011! That's almost 2 months from today, I want  to say sorry to you readers (If there is) for not being able to post new material here. I've been so busy with College and September-October is our "Thesis Season" and now that our Thesis is done I'm here to introduce another food stop I've recently discovered.

It's been in Intramuros for quite a while but it's only now that I was introduced to "SUQUI CAFETERIA", it was just another hungry night in the walled city when my classmates asked me to come with them to eat at SUQUI and first I thought that this was the another normal cafeteria around the area so I didn't expect much especially when they said that the food ranges an average of Php50-100 ($1-2).

So we walked, and walked and walked and finally reached this place and my golly what do you know. It's a Cafeteria with an ambiance of a European pub-Library. Yes it gives you that feeling and that's what I first thought when I entered Suqui.

The very first problem is finding a seat, the cafeteria can only accommodate 30 persons at a time and students around Intramuros flock this place for its beautiful ambiance but cheap and quality food. 

Second is trying to get the waiter's attention when the room is filled up. Suqui only has one waiter and when everyone is hungry, you might wanna take a bite from your "Patience Bar". But after you ordered the food, it usually comes quick, in a about 5-10 minutes, you have your mouth full.

The last problem is choosing what you're going to eat, I swear Suqui has a wide range of food to choose from, American, Mexican, Filipino, Italian and more! And it's affordable!

Probably this is Suqui's most interesting Side Dish I've seen so far, Suqui's Cheese sticks. Take a look at this:

Cheese Sticks that look like Carrots.
It did look like Carrots at first glance but then again my classmate (Who I really Love to call Rose, but she might get mad) told me that the Sticks tastes like ordinary, but to be fair the presentation is good and by the way, the condiment is Mustard. I didn't eat the sticks cause I'm not allowed to and I guess you know why.

I ordered myself a single order of "Paella Rice" - It was PhP50 ($1) but the serving was already for two persons, I'm a Riceavor (A person who eats lots of Rice) but I couldn't finish it without my Co-Riceavors devouring my plate.

A Paella for $1 - Now that's Economy wise.
The Paella didn't really looked like one but it did taste a bit like one, it's not sticky but I find it really really delicious. And beat this, for every rice meal you order, you get that tall glass of Iced Tea for FREE!

My Lovely dinner with friends on a not-so-haggard night at Suqui's Cafeteria
I rate Suqui's Cafeteria as one of the must-tried food stops in Intramuros, but to fully enjoy your Lunch or Dinner here, don't forget to bring friends with you or with someone special! Enjoying a table filled with food and laughter is one of the best things in Life! Cheers!

*Suqui Cafeteria and Diner is located at 633 MAGALLANES ST, INTRAMUROS Manila, Metro Manila.