Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Chinatown Adventure! Lunar New Year Edition


새해 복 많이 받으세요 

あけまして おめでとう ございます

Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới

If you have read any of these CONGRATULATIONS! But if not I would like to greet you a pleasant Lunar New Year! 

Although its quite late I just want to share my Lunar New Year experience at Binondo! 

My fondest of memories when I was a child is when my dad used to bring me here because he has friends that own some establishments here. I remember receiving a red packet after I would sing a Chinese song to them wishing them a bountiful new year with the traditional Chinese Bow. 

I don't know why they would ask me to sing in Chinese when I was a kid of 5 years old - maybe I already had talent back then? We'll never know. I also remember always wearing a red cheongnam complete with the chun li hair or a red hairband. 

But aside from that Binondo brings a lot of good memories I have when I was a child. But just to clarify I am not Chinese but I am not sure if we have a lineage of it. 

But with that being said - Last January 30th I went to Binondo because I was near the area and what the hey right? I like going on trips like this because it just brings a sense of adventure to me. 

Me and some of my new blogger friends went to Binondo with no specific plan but we are on a mission - TO EAT! haha!
You read that right! I was dead hungry that day because I only had a biscuit and a cup of java to liven my tummy for an event that day. 

If you want to go to Binondo there are a lot of ways.

Like if you are coming from QC let's say Anonas, you can take the LRT2 train to Recto station then transfer to the LRT1 line via doroteo jose then ride a train via Carriedo then walk from the train station to Ongpin St. 

Chinatown is best to explore walking than riding a car because

1. There are a lot of narrow streets - it would just stress you to oblivion.
2. There are a lot of things to see in this part of town. 

Chinatown is busiest during the Lunar New Year so expect TONS of people. Think of going to Divisoria but the roads are narrower and there are a lot of Chinese lanterns. There is just something about Chinese Lanterns that makes me smile - I don't know why though..

Now off to our quest! We actually entered Salazar St. since the restaurant we will be eating is near this street. I am really sorry if I can't give you a definite address but I think the name of the restaurant later will give you some clue later on. 

Oh yeah before we went on our lunch expedition we passed by Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli and checked out their humongous Tikoy! 

Its huge I tell you. And also we had a chance to interview the son's owner, Mr. Jerick. You can check that out on my January 30th vLog. 

Eng Bee Tin actually offer a lot of variants of the Tikoy like the typical white and brown to flavors like Sweet Corn, Muscovado, Butterscoth and even red bean! 

Eng Bee Tin is actually known for their Ube Tikoy which sells like hot cakes when we went there. There was a long line of people buying boxes of tikoy, hopia and other food!

But we didn't really have a lot of patience that time to get in line to buy something, but I will be back soon for sure because I want to have a taste of their other best sellers. 

Okay now onto the main event, the restaurant that we ate our lunch! I didn't really expect much since as I said I was dead hungry that even the turo turo viand would be gourmet for me at that time. 

And Hana - my new found blogger friend *hey Hana if you are reading!* lead us here. She told us about the big siomai and the yummy sauce they serve here that is so good you can just sip it alone while you eat!

This restaurant was originally named Makong Mami, it was just renamed Masuki though. I don't really have other things so say about the restaurant. But one thing is for sure, their patrons here are mostly older Chinese people since those were the ones that we see. 

And when you step in the restaurant its like the old school Chinese restaurants I remembered when I was a kid. First thing is that they don't have air conditioning but it is well ventilated. The tiles look so old school though which is like a breath of fresh air for me since you don't see these kinds of things nowadays. 

Also their servers are ahjusshi (middle age / old men) who don't even bring a pen and paper when you are ordering. I was a little skeptical when he was taking my order, but dang he did a good job in remembering my order. Real nice ahjusshi!  

This restaurant also have been in business since the 1930's and they promise authentic Cantonese cooked meals. If you check out their menu it would only consist of what they serve which is different varieties of mami, siopao, and Chinese dimsum which is really what it is.  

This is the reason why we came here!

This is the sauce that was served to us. It has a gravy like consistency but has a bit of a smoky and meaty flavor into it. 

I also ordered two siomais. When we got our order I was really surprised that it is huge. Its like the size of a ping pong ball. Hana told us one is fine but being a big eater, I thought one was not enough - oh goodness I was wrong. 

I also ordered Beef Asado mami because as I said - I was dead hungry! I couldn't note that more since my stomach was beginning to growl like a Lion by the second that day. 

And yes! the first bite was like blissful moment after a drought! the noodles were definitely hand made since they have a certain thickness and consistency only hands could make. Also add the sauce with the mami? Oh sheer heaven of heavens! 

I couldn't say much about it because the taste was extraordinary. Its something that will stick to you like glue and make you reminisce old times.  

I could also note that their house tea is great to drink after eating to get the umay away. 

After that me and my friends went around Binondo some more. I can't say much anymore because we did a lot. We did stop by Holland (which is read as O-land) and picked up some goodies. I did try their hopia kondol or wintermelon cake which is amazing! 

Overall I had tons of fun in this side trip. It was so fun that I am planning on doing it again..maybe sometime this week? I'm not sure...the mere fact that this was not planned was the fun of it all. 

I will do lots of these for sure! 

Would you like to join me on my next adventure? 

Make sure to leave your Lunar New Year experience on the comments section below! 

Much Love! 

xx Alice


  1. Wow.. I envy you guy's.. natakam ako sa siomai na big ^^

    1. You could have joined us :D maybe next time sama ka saken :D


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