Our Binondo Food Trip Experience

December 22, 2019

A few months ago, me and my friends/colleagues went away from our usual Saturday routine and travelled to the busy streets of Binondo to try the food of several famous restaurants there. We've been planning this trip for months. Finally, things came into place and our plans finally pushed through!

A simple google search will tell you that doing a food trip in Binondo is a thing. Binondo is Manila's Chinatown so most restaurants that we visited were of the Chinese cuisine. If you are planning to do a food crawl in Binondo yourself, here are some tips to make your experience as enjoyable as possible!

💡 The more people in your food crawl group, the better!
Since we knew we would be visiting a lot of restaurants that day, our plan was to order a few dishes in each restaurant and just share. This way, we would be able to try all of the food without getting full immediately. This technique is easier if there are a lot of people in your group of course!

💡 It's easier to commute than to bring a car.
This was the deal in our group's case. You may still bring a car but you'd still park it somewhere and your group would still need to walk around. So my advise is just commute -- just ride the LRT and get off at Carriedo station. From there, most of the restaurants are just walking-distance. Aside from commute being easier, you'll also have more peace of mind instead of worrying about your car.

This is the map I created as guide for our group on the restaurant stops that we would be visiting for our food crawl.

Our planned itinerary was to visit these 12 restaurants (reference: spot.ph)

Shanghai Fried Siopao
The Original SaLido Restaurant
Wai Ying Fastfood
Lan Zhou La Mien
Shin Tai Shang
Dong Bei Dumpling
Café Mezzanine OR Chuan Kee Chinese Fastfood
Eng Bee Tin
New Po Heng Lumpia House
Quick Snack
Sincerity Café and Restaurant

Stop #1: Shanghai Fried Siopao
This is the nearest one from LRT Carriedo along Ongpin street. For me, this was the perfect starter -- each of us purchased one fried siopao. It tasted so good! ðŸ˜‹ It reminded me of the street food that I got to try in the food night markets in Taipei.

Shanghai Fried Siopao (Highly recommended! ⭐)

Stop #2: The Original SaLido Restaurant

Just across the siopao store, we went to our next restaurant, which was located on the second floor of the building. There were only a few people when we arrived (maybe because it was not yet lunchtime?). They were mostly Chinese people. I have to say they have poor service. You have to be patient with the servers. Even though there were only a few customers around, we had a hard time getting their attention for our requests.

Bagnet (So-so.😗) and Chami (Recommended! 👍)

Stop #3: Wai Ying Fastfood
My initial impression with this restaurant is that it is really famous. There was a waiting line outside, and I've seen more than one group that arrived and was specifically searching for the restaurant. They left eventually when they saw that the waiting line was too long. It might get confusing if it's your first time visiting the restaurant. There's a separate sign and stall that only accepts take-out orders, while the door beside it is the entry for the dine-in customers. We were initially approaching the take-out counter. Good thing we were guided accordingly by the staff.

Our group was guided to the second floor wherein more than 5 tables are available. Since we already knew what we were ordering, we wasted no time looking at their menu. But if you need it for reference, here it is. ðŸ˜Š

Here are the dishes we tried:

Roast Duck Mami (Highly recommended!⭐)
I love the soup so much! The richness of the flavor of the duck can be tasted on the soup. 😋

Curry Beef Siomai (Highly recommended!⭐)
I love curry and this is my first time to try it with siomai. It's a perfect combination apparently!

Hakaw (Recommended! 👍)

Cold HK Milk Tea (So-so. 😗)
It tasted like tea with lots of evaporated milk.

Lan Zhou La Mien was closed, so we walked to our next prospect restaurant...

Stop #4: Masuki
Our group was starting to feel full already, but we still proceeded to the next restaurant on our list. Since mami is their expertise, we ordered their chicken and beef mami.

I don't know if it's because we don't have much appetite already, but we didn't really enjoy these dishes that much.

Beef Mami (Recommended! 👍)
If I was not that full, I think I would be able to fully appreciate the beef and the mami.

Chicken Mami (So-so. 😗)
I compared it to the Beef Mami, which was more flavorful. This one tasted bland. ðŸ™
We also ordered their siomai (which was huge!). We didn't like it either.

Stop #5: Shin Tai Shang
We needed to take some break from eating so we just visited this store famous for snacks and pasalubong. We ate some mochi and I bought some drinks for myself.

Organic Soymilk (Recommended! 👍)
This one really tasted like melted taho! 

Stop #6: Eng Bee Tin
We were still full so we further deviated from our planned route and proceeded to another famous stop for snacks and other goodies! Eng Bee Tin is famous for their hopia. Since this was a large store, there were lots of other items that were not commonly found in other stores. I bought some egg pandesal, xiao long bao, and asado roll for my folks back home. I recommend all of them! My parents loved the pandesal. I super liked the asado roll. I would definitely buy these again when I come back.

Stop #7: Dong Bei Dumpling
At this point, we felt we were ready for another round of (light) meal, so we proceeded to this place well-known for their dumpling. I knew then that this one is indeed famous because there was a line at the front of the store. After waiting for a few minutes, we were able to enter the store.

Kuchay Dumplings (Highly recommended!⭐)
This is one of their specialties. I super loved it! It was flavorful.

At this point, we were all so full already so we decided to call it a day lol, but still of course we still have room for desserts! We checked our maps to check for nearby cafes and we landed to...

Stop #8: Cafe Aquatica
This is a small cafe just across the St. Lorenzo Ruiz church. We were lucky because there were tables and chairs available for our group (there were 7 of us). It was a relaxing place because the cafe had aquariums with little fish and they were playing some Enya tracks in the background.

Peppermint Mocha (Recommended! 👍)

Sansrival Cake (Highly recommended!⭐)

And that ended our food adventure! We were so full but satisfied all the same. There were several restaurants that we still weren't able to try, so I guess we need to do a part two of this food crawl trip! If it pushes through, for sure I will document it in the blog again. Until the next food trip! ðŸ˜œ

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