Nibbling our way to Chinatown

It was a gloomy Saturday morning  of August 6, Pinoy Volunteer Group decided to do a walking tour within Chinatown in Manila and this free tour is offered by Jeffrey Yap, also one of our fellow volunteer. This is the first time that the group had a non-volunteer activity.

The sun cannot be found in sight, but the good thing is it is not raining either. We don’t want to rain obviously because we will be having our tour on foot.  Before we start our tour, Jeff gave us an orientation and told us that aside from museum and temple tour, we will also visit 5 food stops for food tasting.  All smiles when we hear the word FOOD!, since most of us decided not to have our breakfast at home since we will indulge ourselves on Chinese cuisine.

Our first stop is The Calvo Building located in Escolta built in 1938. It has a museum inside where you can see photographs of how an Old Manila look like.  Special added features are the amazing collection of antique bottle and newspaper publication. It is really amazing how they were able to keep and preserve it for the young generation. A good place for an educational tour.

And who said there’s no Movie Theater during this era? well think I again, this Capitol Theater is very popular among movie-goers.

The highlight of this tour is food tasting… the most-awaited! Our first stop is Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant where we feasted on the authentic Chinese Premium Chicken. By far this is one of the best chicken I ever tasted. I am not a food critic but this chicken is sooo delicious and I wouldn’t mind recommend it to my friend to visit this place. It looks very simple, like an ordinary fried chicken, but once you taste, you will definitely ask for more!


Our second stop is New Po-Heng Lumpia House. By the name itself, obviously we will be eating lumpia. I was hoping before we enter the restaurant I said to myself it should be lumpiang shanghai because I don’t eat fresh lumpia. But taraaann… they serve fresh lumpia to customers. Of course I don’t have a choice, it’s either i’ll eat it or watch my friends eat their food. Oh boy this is a food tour so I don’t have any excuse not to taste it just for a bite! Well very simple, if at first bite I don’t like it, then I will not eat it!  But unbelievable, I was able to consume it in less than 10 minutes and my friends don’t believe me that I don’t eat fresh lumpia.  Well this is the first time and I won’t hesitate to go back again to this place. Another resto that can be recommended to friends.

Before heading to our third food stop, we spotted some of an unusual scene that can only be found in Binondo.


Our third food stop is Dong Bei Dumpling Food House. They serve different kind of dumplings and this time we will try their traditional steam dumpling and the not so traditional pancake dumpling.  When Jeff told us that we will eat pancake, what cross it to my mind is the usual pancake serve for breakfast. At the back of my mind I was thinking to my delight that we will be eating something sweet this time.  Again I was surprised, after eating steam dumpling, they serve right infront of me is the pancake dumpling. It’s called pancake mainly because they serve it like a pancake itself.  Dumplings here are okay just like similar to any chinese resto who served dumplings.

Fourth stop is Masuki Mami House. Their specialties are mami and siopao which were the staple food for an old Chinese family.  This time we will be tasting their asado siopao. Yummy!!!! taste even better than kowloon. Another place to recommend! 😛

Before we headed to our last food stop, we went to Chinese Buddhist Temple. We were accompanied by a chinese boy named Willy. Their temple is a sacred place for them where they say their prayers, meditate and offer food to their Buddha. Inside the temple you can find a big table in the center with chinese ornaments in it. We noticed several heart shaped made of wood on top of the table and in front of it are small pews all line up. The thing is you will get a pair of those wooden piece, you will kneel down on the pew, make a wish then shake that piece and throw on the floor. If both piece fell on opposite side, it’s a yes. But if it fell on the same side, it’s a no. Most of us wanted to try that traditional chinese ritual and we did not notice that we were already creating noise inside the temple. Some of us laughing, some of us kept on trying over and over again just to get a yes as an answer. This Chinese old lady notices our noise and scolded us. She told us it’s better to leave the place since we’re not respecting their temple.  We don’t really intend to make a noise inside the temple it’s just that we were just carried away with this chinese ritual that all of us wanted to try. We left the place and apologize to the old lady.

Our last food stop is Ling Nam Restaurant. This restaurant is popular that can be found on the malls within the city. Our last meal for the day is Beef Wanton Noodle Soup!  Save the best for last! You can never leave Chinatown without tasting their wanton! What a way to end this tour,, burp! 😛  ~~~08.06.11 / Binondo, Manila


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