You’ve heard of Binondo, Chinatown, and its food but you don’t know where to go. In fact, the availability of so many choices makes it harder to choose. And once you make the wrong choice, its harder to try again.
So here are 3 Binondo food stops that I guarantee will satisfy your Binondo foodtrip.
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Lan Zhou Lamien
What is Chinatown foodtrip without noodles? Oh, mien goodness! While others usually go to Masuki/Makong, I highly recommend the more flavorful noodles of Lan Zhou Lamien at Benavidez Street.
Must-Try: the Spicy Beef Lamien. Hefty strands of hand-pulled noodles in steaming broth of savory, spicy, beefy goodness, topped with generous chunks of beef!
Light-eaters can already share a bowl while OP (overpowered) foodies will definitely want to go solo.
While you’re at it, order a side dish of pork kuchay dumplings which you can get in full or half servings, fried or steamed (make it fried to add texture to your meal). For drinks, ask for the Wan Lao Kat herbal tea. (for an illusion of health; joke)
Costs: Spicy Beef Bowl: P160, Dumpling (half): P110, Wan Lao Kat: P55
Craving for dimsum? Say no more. Beside Lan Zhou Lamien is internet-famous Wai Ying Fast Food.
Must-Try: Radish Cake, Hakaw.
Wai Ying’s radish cake is a square of toasty goodness encasing the soft, sweet goodness of radish; dip into their signature sweet-savory sauce and you’re in for an unforgettable treat!
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I am no fan of Hakaw, preferring the tried and tested siomai for its more solid filling, but Wai Ying does not cheat you with its shrimp filling. And it sure looks gorgeous in its delicately thin wrap.
End the meal by making your own hot milktea. They give you a cup of tea and a small milk pitcher which you mix (obviously).
Costs: Radish Cake: P80, Hakaw: P95, HK Milktea (Hot): P55
If you’re still in for some more, try Quick Snak’s foodstuff in Carvajal alley. The simplicity of its signature dishes serves all the more to accentuate the “old town” feels of the oldest Chinatown in the world.
Must-try: Kuchay Ah, Stir-fry beef noodles in sate sauce
Don’t be fooled by their simple looks because they’re sure to pack your stomach. The Kuchay Ah is a pastry filled with the meaty goodness of pork and with the spice and crunch of kuchay. The noodles in sate sauce meanwhile gives the usual pancit with a more Southeast Asian flavor.
Costs: Kuchay Ah: P45, Stir-fry beef noodles in sate sauce: P140
So what’re you waiting for? Go out for the night or the weekend for some good food!
Dom writes for pay by day and writes for passion by night. He is a Japan major at the University of the Philippines. He’s fond of ramen and anime but not of nice people.