Binondo – A Walk Through and a Taste of Manila

Categories: Gastronomy;

Manila is just layers and layers of history.  One of the most popular towns is Binondo – famous for its Purple Engine and of course, Eng Bee Tin.

That day’s agenda was just to explore Ongpin Street and end it with Ma Mon Luk.

We began with lunch at Tasty Dumplings, conveniently located across from the Binondo church, right beside one of the Eng Bee Tin branches.  Tasty Dumplings has this sweet and salty fish sauce-like sauce that they mix with all of their dishes.  We had their fried kutchay dumplings and pork chop rice.  We ate the leftover kutchay and dipped it in sweet chili sauce and it’s really good.  The pork chop is thinly sliced and breaded, served on top of a cup of rice and some vegetables.  It was too much, even for two of us (and we still had much to eat!)

Then we walked on and on, just taking in the life on the street…

Until we saw this hole in the wall.

Now, this, is no ordinary food place.  Ongpin Mañosa is actually one of the oldest restaurants in Binondo.  It’s a no frills place that’s akin to a canteen where people just eat and go.  We sampled their maki mi.  You get pork cutlets with garlic at the center, homemade egg noodles, and a thick sauce (a broth most likely thickened by cornstarch).  Slurping spoonfuls of the thick soup, I have to say the egg noodles alone with it are really yummy.  And then with the chunks of pork with garlic thrown in, you just take it notches higher.  The pork in the soup gets to this sticky, chewy state that’s actually fun and comforting to eat, like you’re eating something cooked at home.   That tasted very authentic.

The trip to Binondo was not complete without a shopping spree in Eng Bee Tin.  I stocked up on Mongo Hopia (which also comes sugar-free now) and Tikoy, my all-time favorite snack.

Armed with leftover bags, we went to our final stop: Ma Mon Luk.  Yes, THE Ma Mon Luk.  This is already an institution when it comes to Chinese food.  And walking into the restaurant, you are immediately take back several eras in terms of the architecture and layout of the place.  We walked away with their trademark noodles, siopao and siomai.

Richard Gomez from way back.

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  1. Leslie says:

    There’s a hole-in-the-wall dumpling place that serves THE best, fresh dumplings for me. 🙂 I don’t know the name! It’s just a small place. I’ll check photos or do some more digging. You can see them rolling out the dough and stuffing the dumplings. Only P100 I think for a plateful (about 12 pcs). You have to try it!

    • lynne says:

      Ooh, really? There’s a pending Binondo feature that we have yet to do. And we’re also planning on getting together some friends to do another round of Binondo food places to try. 😀 If you find out where it is, let us know so we can plot it out. 😀

  2. […] so secret anymore!).  I’m sure a lot of use are used to having our siopao steamed, especially those who are familiar with Ma Mon Luk or their spin-off, Masuki.  So trying out a fried version was really intriguing.  For just […]

  3. eng bee tin!!! i love it 😀

  4. […] On the walls, you can pick rice meals, fried snacks, dumplings, and specialty noodles (They have maki mi also. Read about the En Route experience of Maki Mi in Ongpin Manosa here) […]

  5. […] Dumplings was first encountered in a small side trip to Binondo, trying out their porkchop rice and fried kuchay dumplings. This time, it was to sample the steamed […]

  6. […] Maki-mi from Ongpin Manosa, one of the oldest restaurants in Manila […]

  7. […] Think it has the staying power as that of Ma Mon Luk? […]

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