How far, better yet, how full can you get with only Php200.00 (less than US$5) on your pocket for a food trip at Binondo? I write this for people who are looking for a DIY itinerary of Binondo and Chinatown. By following this guide you can “Fill your tummy without eating up your pocket.”
It was just an open invitation with new-found friends because I was craving for some Chineses foods one day. So I guess those “biglaan” trips are the ones that really happen.
So I posted a challenge of just bring Php200 for a food tour in Chinatown. Here’s what happened:
The Destination: Binondo, Manila
The Challenge: Spend only Php200 for a food trip in Binondo
The Date: September 30, 2012 (Sunday) from 11:30am-6:30pm, yes lunch to dinner.
The Food Trippers (from L to R): Soft-spoken Annabelle, Donna the treasurer, Janeca the freelancer, Rhas the heart-breaker, Arvin the chef, Leon our photographer, Sexy Tatit (and ohhh, btw, she is still single. I guess everyone here) and the Joker me. Not in photo because they came late: Jojo and Dan.
For starters, you guys can meet up in any fastfood chain near Carriedo Station, LRT 1. This is the nearest LRT station if you are going to Chinatown. Ongpin street where most of the restaurants are located is just a 5-minute walk.
Here’s a map to guide you where to the restaurants I will mention are located:
To ensure that you we don’t overspend we gave Php200 each to our treasurer for the day- Donna. So we have a communal budget of Php1,600 and we order according to consensus. At first, it was kinda hard but we found out that its actually fun. Of course, everyone is free to buy anything she wants for himself/herself like some pasalubong.
So here’s the list of what we ordered:
1. Shanghai Fried Siopao (Ongpin st. cor. Bahama st.).
From Carriedo street, the group walked about 300 meters before we reached a small stall where they serve hot fried siopao. The siopao is small, fits in your hand but the crispiness of its bottom makes it different from the siopao we are used to.
Price: Php16 each.
Keep walking on Ongpin street until you reach Yuchengco st, from there turn right and you will find Dong Bei Dumplings
2. Dong Bei Dumplings (Yuchengco st.).
I’ve been here twice and ordered… dumplings, of course! We feasted on their steamed kutsai and seafood dumplings and that Wong Lo Kat Herbal Tea which got our attention because it can “Keep Heatiness Away.” Ohhhh.. the English of Chinese… It taste like C2 Green Tea.
From Dong Bei we continue walking southwards until we found Sincerity Restaurant
3. Sincerity Restaurant (Yuchenco st.).
Chicken. Fried. Goodness. That’s all!
We ordered a whole fried chicken and asked for water for everyone. Since I love rice, I ordered a big bowl of rice. Some were contented with just the chicken. Here we also learned from Panyerong Leon that, “rice has a calming effect.” You can search Google if you don’t want to believe.
Price: Chicken Php300; Rice Php60
From here we walked north for about 50 meters and bought something from a small store at Yuchengco cor. Carvajal street.
Photo shoot break: Carvajal street.
This small nook along Yuchengco street is a treasure trove of everything. On weekdays this becomes busy with fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood and everything fresh stalls. Its kinda hard to locate, look for the translucent green roofing and your at it. You can also find Quick Snack here which is famous for their fried lumpia.
We continue walking north and went back to Ongpin street to cool ourselves at Chuan Kee
4. Chuan Kee (Ongpin st., cor. Yuchengco st.)
As the sun’s heat become more unforgiving and the canned tea we drank are done, we needed to cool ourselves so we decided to look for Halo-Halo. I suggested Chuan Kee, famous for its turo-turo style restaurant and the Cafe Mezzanine on top. Here we ordered 4 Halo-Halo (mix-mix in English), which is the #1 favorite merienda for Filipinos.
After this we continued walking southwest until we reach the famous Binondo Church.
Photo shoot break:Binondo Church and Lorenzo Ruiz Plaza
The Minor Basilica de Lorenzo Ruiz was founded by the Dominicans in 1596 to evangelize the growing Chinese population in Manila. The church is named after the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz. Lorenzo was born of a Chinese father and a Filipina mother, became a missionary to Japan and was executed because of refusing to recant his faith.
From here we walked along Reina Regente street until we reach the Lucky Chinatown mall.
Extra: We got free mooncakes when we entered Lucky Chinatown mall because they are celebrating 100 years of Mooncake Festival.
Since we got bored at the mall, we traced our route and went back to Yuchengco street. Some are craving for hot soup so we went to Big Bowl Noodles
5. Big Bowl Noodles (Yuchengco st.)
It about 6:00pm and just a perfect time for light dinner, we are still full of the foods we have been eating the past hours. We ordered their best seller: Beef Wanton Noodle Soup, Seafood Fried Noodles and Pork Shrimp Pancit Canton. We love everything especially the Beef Wanton. The squids on the Seafood Fried Noodles are perfectly cooked- not rubbery but tender.
Price: Beef Wanton Noodle Soup- Php110/order, Seafood Fried Noodles- Php140/order & Pork Shrimp Pancit Canton- Php130
From here we went back to Ongpin street and started walking again back to Carriedo station.
Extra: Because I was craving for some durian (I miss Davao) add to the fact that some from the group haven’t tasted “The King of all Fruits,” I ordered one and asked the vendor to open it for us to eat it on the street. So we had Durian samplings before everyone went back home. It smells like feet but tasted like lips! Everyone FILLED!
Leon Pangilinan blogs at Tadong Genius Kuno, its fresh, witty and funny too. Visit the url and have a good laugh.
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This is also my contribution to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Carnival for the month of October entitled “PHILIPPINE WALKING TOURS” hosted by Glenn Martinez of “Traveler on Foot.” You can also check out the previous Blog Carnival’s by clicking the logo below: