Binondo Food Trip – Man Tears and Fairy Dust

22 Jan

The very delayed cool weather of January is perfect for walking and exploring the streets of Binondo for a food trip.

A strict itinerary is optional, we did prior research to the raved about restaurants, and talked about what food we wanted to eat. This blog is a relevant source of information teehee (wink wink).

We decided that we wanted to try exotic food, dumplings, milk tea, and noodles. Also, preferably, your good friends are coincidentally rich and have nice phones that can access google maps.

A happy tummy with just P500 in my wallet?

barney stinson, challenge accepted

The feel of the area was really old school, in a good way. Walking around Binondo made me feel like I was in the videogames “Shenmue” and “Sleeping Dogs” except I’m here to eat and not beat the crap out of street gangs. When I go “I feel like I’m in a videogame!” I mean that as a (geeky) compliment. Maybe they want to preserve the 1980’s vibe? Or maybe renovating it is bad for business? Where is Waldo? I don’t know.


Commuting is easy. Take an LRT to Recto Station. Go to Avenida St. across the LRT station and ride another jeep. Just ask if it goes to the San Lorenzo Ruiz Church. If you get lost, you can always ask people. Or ride a cab. My awesome advice on the GPS is pretty handy here.

1. Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz

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Our first stop was at the church. It was my first time tin the San Lorenzo Basilica. They say that prayers are more effective during your first visit. We were lucky to see the ordination of the priest.

2. Eng Bee TinOngpin St.

eng bee tin, binondo, food trip itinerary, what to do in manila

This is my friend. He is an airbender

eng bee tin, binondo food trip itinerary, what to do in manila

Inside Eng Bee Tin holding unknown chinese food!

I hear Eng Bee Tin has yummy hopia. The 4 pieces per pack of ube hopia in Eng Bee Tin costs P50. They also sell tikoy and shingaling (which sounds like a 90’s dance move).

3. Chuan Kee is NOT Cafe Mezzanine! – Ongpin cor. Yuchengco

The misleading sign outside Chuan Kee reads “Cafe Mezzanine” plus the fact that the 2 of us were already hungry made us think that Chuan Kee was the famous firefighter-themed Cafe Mezzanine.

I’ve always wanted to try the popular soup #5, which they claim is a good combination with your bedroom husky voice. Don’t ruin the fun! Eat it if you have the chance and ask what’s in it later. :> Coincidentally, Chuan Kee sells soup #5 too.

Out of all the restaurants we tried, Chuan Kee needs improvement had really shitty waitresses. We talked to about 3 of them politely, and they were all snobbish. Maybe we’re all very good looking because they don’t even look us in the eye or stay in place when we talk? With a very short and rude tone of a response, they walk away. We’re like “say whut?” Also it takes minutes before they notice that you’re raising your hand because you have a request from them. Ah terrible service. We left no tip of course hihi.

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P100-200 chicken mami

It tastes like regular mami.

4. Dong Bei – Yuchengco St.

“We’re here?” I was surprised when my friends went inside the old boutique-looking restaurant which turned out to be Dong Bei. I love Dong Bei which has the best-tasting dumplings I’ve ever tried! This comes from me and my boyfriend who don’t even like dumplings.

A total of 25 dumplings cost around P250. The waitress was nice and the dumplings were heavenly.

Ignore the interior design, their food is insanely good

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Artsy fartsy time! Dong Bei dumplings bestseller has chives, cabbage, shrimp, pork and possibly fairy dust. magical stuff! 10 pieces for P80.

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I love love love this! I forgot how much this Dongbei dumpling costs though

I liked the deep fried dumplings more, enough to make man tears. It’s great that the flavor is just right and it’s not oily.

5. Shing Tai Shang – Salazar St.

To cleanse our salty palette, we went to a cake haven mini grocery store. The interiors were very inviting, plus the Chinese lady on the counter was very cute and perky. Maybe she drinks sugar all day.

There are lots of goodies on display but I didn’t want to spend a lot on one store. Next time, next time.

shin tai shang, things to do in manila, binondo, food trip, itinerary

P40 for the green tea plum cake. It’s slightly smaller than my fist. Then again my fist is pretty small for you guys to even visualize.

I ate the green tea plum cake which was okay. I couldn’t taste the green tea much, the plum was more flavorful.

6. Masuki – Benavidez St.

Of all the restaurants we tried in Binondo, Masuki has the best service ever! Maybe the Chuan Kee waitresses should try this place so they’ll have better manners for customers. Ah bububurn!

I asked for an extra bowl since my boyfriend and I are sharing noodles. Kuya Magis gives me a bowl with soup inside! My friend asked how big the siopao was, he comes back seconds later with the actual siopao! They ask for 3 siomai, he serves 4! (though I think we were charged 4 for the siomai. I didn’t really pay attention).

The serving size of the food were huge! Even the menu was huge!

I don’t really eat siopao but my friends with me were raving about the magical sauce and the siopao itself.

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Chicken mami for around P100

The mami was not spectacular. But the service of Masuki makes up for it.

masuki siopao, binondo, things to do in manila, food trip, itinerary

Masuki ginormous siopao feeds 2-3 people at best

7. Estero Food Court- Ongpin Bridge

We tried the frog legs at Estero out of curiosity. The location of the restaurant was not ideal for eating since it’s near the river that needs cleaning. You can hardly smell it when they’re cooking though.

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the signboard says “airconditioned” and we wonder how that’s even possible since it was an open space with a roof on top.

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#yolo #swag #annoyinghashtag

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P110 for 10 frog legs and sweet and sour sauce, not bad

Yes, the frog legs taste just like chicken (spoiler alert!) though we all wondered if the frogs came from the estero too. The mystery remains. As of 2 days, my tummy is still fine though.


Binondo was really fun! The weather was perfect for wandering around Chinatown. Most of the places we ate in had really good food and service. Oh and I still had a lot of money left from my P500 challenge.

barney stinson high five



2 Responses to “Binondo Food Trip – Man Tears and Fairy Dust”

  1. itsberyllicious January 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    planning to do a binondo food trip with friends too. You should try Sincerity Chicken nxt time 🙂

    • Sheena January 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      I ate mami twice there was no room for chicken haha. I do hear it’s really good. Thanks itsberyllicious!

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