Thursday, June 23, 2011

Binondo Food Trip | Shutter Clicks, Long Walks and Lots of Eating

It's a success, 13 flavors from 7 food stops, all in 7 hours, the Binondo food trip experience was great, extremely satisfying, a must-do in Manila.

It was I who planned this one day food trip in Binondo held a few weeks ago. Actually, I've been planning to do this ever since I've read The Creative Dork's Ultimate Binondo Food Trip, but the lack time and company hinders me from doing it, not until the 5th of June of this year. Joined by 5 bloggers including the Creative Dork himself, we really had a superb Binondo food experience.

That was a lazy Sunday morning, around 9 am, I met up with Brenna of The Philippine Travelogue and Robbie of The Creative Dork at one of my favorite spots in Manila, the Carriedo Fountain. Located at Plaza Sta. Cruz, this fountain is an easy to find landmark where any Binondo Food Trippers can meet up. Only the three of us were available that morning, the other three joined us after lunch.
With Ivan Dy's Big Binondo Food Wok Map at my hand and Robbie, our tour guide with us, we started our Binondo Food Trip, excited and hungry (I did not eat dinner last night). 

Food Stop #1 - Shanghai Fried Siopao

Robbie brought us to this small, not so noticeable food store along Ongpin cor Bahama streets. He said that their fried siopao is very special, different from other siopao I've ever tasted. Still hot from the pan, I gave my big bite. Then wow, it is indeed the "bestest" siopao I ever tasted. Each fried siopao costs P16.00 only, so cheap, tastes so great.

freshly cooked fried siopao
Food Stop #2 - Wai Ying Fast Food 

Just a few walks from Shanghai Fried Siopao, we reached Wai Ying, This famous fastfood found along Benavidez street is my favorite. Their dimsum here are fantastic, the taste were incredibly good. We ordered Hakaw (P65.00), a siomai with whole shrimp inside, that's my favorite. Then we ordered Curry Beef Siomai (P55.00), a crispy fried siomai dipped in curry sauce. We also ordered Shrimp Chong Fan (P60.00), another dumpling though it is flat and dipped in soy sauce.

A glass of Nai Cha aka Milk Tea (P50.00) is the perfect match for a dimsum meal.

Brenna taking picture of the menu
my favorite, Hakaw
Curry Beef Siomai
Shrimp Chong Fan
Nai Cha
Food Stop #3 - Dong Bei Dumpling

Mr. Robbie then led us to this dead end store at Yuchenco street. Their store is not so large and the ambiance is very much like a typical "carinderia", with someone busy preparing the dumplings publicly beside their sliding glass door. According to Robbie, their dimsum are the best in Binondo. So we wasted no time, we ordered right away their kutchay-filled Steamed Dumpling (10 pcs. for P80.00) and their Fried Stuffed Pancake (4 pcs. for P100.00). I was, however, not so hooked by the Dong Bei flavors. Wai Ying's dumplings are still my favorite.

Steamed Kutsai Dumplings
Fried Stuffed Pancake
the kutsai, Dong Bei's primary ingredient
Around 11:45 am, my stomach can't store anymore slices of fried pancake and steamed dumplings. The trick in a Binondo Food trip is that the walks on its old streets will burn the "busog" feeling, a tip from Robbie.

By this time also the three other bloggers, Den Marco of Marco's Adventure, Darwin of Tracking Treasure and CA of Adventourous Feet, were on their way, so we waited for them. While waiting, we met an unexpected blogger, Tita Lili of Life is a Celebration who was with two European travel bloggers of Rice Capades on the other table. It's like blast of good vibes when we bumped into them. Before 1 pm, the six of us were complete.

Tita Lili
fellow bloggers
Food Stop #4 - Shin Tai-Shang Foods

It was already 1:00 pm when we moved to our next destination, a sweets/grocery store in Salazar street. The variety of Chinese sweets in Shin Tai-Shang is plenty. I bought one Coffee Latte Mochi Cake (P40.00). Its taste is like a typical hopia but with an increased sweetness plus there's a surprise in the core. They're also selling energy drinks, fungus soup, maki, siopao and ma chang. The prices are not cheap though.

Ma Chang
Coffee Latte Mochi Cake
Food Stop #5 - Kainan sa Estero

Another popular food stop in Binondo is found in an alley beside the Estero. A Binondo food trip is certainly not complete without having a try Estero's Crispy Chili Fried Frog Legs (small serving costs P110.00, large serving P200.00). It was actually my first time to eat frogs, tastes like a chicken. Yum yum, the spice they added to the frog legs made it so irresistible. I'm just wondering though where they're getting the frogs, I hope not from the Estero.  

Crispy Fried Spicy Frog Legs
busy lahat sa pag-lamon
Food Stop #6 - Tasty Dumplings 

Our supposed next stop was Cafe Mezzanine to try the Soup#5, but unfortunately they're closed on Sundays. So we headed to Tasty Dumplings in Ongpin street instead. A large bowl of Porkchop Noodles (P113.00) and Tsay Mah Pao aka Siopao (P82.00). A combo of these two is so perfect, extremely satisfying.

Porkchop Noodles
Food Stop #7 - Shining Star Fastfood 

We came into this corner fast food in Ongpin street and Salazar street. We want Soup#5. Another must-try food in Binondo is the Soup#5, a soup with a bull's dingdong which has a taste similar to a "bulalo". For only P120.00, a bowl is good enough for 3-4 persons. The owner suggested their Cogon Juice (P15.00), which is so refreshing.

Soup# 5
Cogon Juice
Binondo Food Trip Tips and Tricks

• Start early, eat many - start the food trip as early as 9 am so you can maximize your food trip
• The more the merrier the cheaper - the trick for not spending too much is to split the cost among your friends, by meals for sharing
• Binondo Food Wok Map - Ivan Dy's map is extremely helpful.
• Prepare your stomach - don't come to Binondo when your stomach is full

Another blogger was on his way to meet us, Jerome of Balintataw. He was quite late though, we're almost done with the Binondo Food trip.  Robbie, Marco and CA were leaving in a few minutes when he came. Just for his effort of coming all the way from Laguna, we tried to have at least 2 more food stops. But since it was a Sunday, not all the restos were open. We walked until we found ourselves standing near the Pasig River, across is a view of Manila Cathedral's dome. The dome gave us a fun and exciting idea, an Intramuros Walk Tour. Read Jerome's Binondo Food Trip Turned Intramuros Photowalk.

________________________twin post___________________________

Impromptu Intramuros Tour 

Darwin, Brenna, Jerome and I continued the day with an impromptu Intramuros tour. Both Darwin and Brenna were first timers. Since Intramuros is my school community for 3 years already, I served as their tour guide (naks naman). But seriously, I am open for guiding tours in Intramuros (the passion kicks), whenever I see foreigners walking in the old streets of Intramuros, I really wanted to give them a free tour, too bad I'm not confident enough.  

So to fulfill Darwin's wish of exploring the walled city, I showed them the easiest, most efficient route of touring Intramuros. 

1.) From Binondo, we crossed Jones Bridge, walked along the Magallanes Drive. Pass by the statue of Queen Isabella II

2.) We entered the walled city from Aduana (customs building) ruins. Walk A.Soriano street then turn right to Fort Santiago.

3.) Walk back to Plaza Roma in front of Palacio del Gobernador and Manila Cathedral.

4.) Walk to the Plaza Sto. Tomas where there's a marker of the old site Universidad de Sto. Tomas.

5.) Walk further to Colegio de San Juan de Letran, climb up the stone ramp and walk along the walls of Intramuros.

6.) Pass by the Baluarte de San Gabriel, Parian Gate, Baluarte de Dilao, Baluarte de San Andres, Puerta Real Garden, Baluarte de San Diego, Puerta de Sta. Lucia, Postigo del Palacio.

7.) Back on the street of Intramuros, pass by the San Ignacio Ruins, DOT Clamshell, freedom wall, Plazuela de Sta. Isabel, Casa Manila and finally in San Agustin Church and Museum.

We ended the day with the Bagets' favorite, a meal in Jollibee. Thanks for the company guys, more travels to come. I hope there's a Part 2.



  1. nice! parang ang saya mag food trip ulit! hehehe

  2. Thanks Ivan for such great tour. Will never forget that, and I want you join me when I visit Intramuros again. T'was really one of my dream. Love the place! sayang konti lang yung time natin...but balik tayo I want to see Fort santiago. I was really amazed that you know almost everything about Intramuros History.

    Thanks, till next time!

  3. Wow, you had a load of MSG there! Hahaha. I think it was last year when I went to Binondo to sample some of the food there. And the girl at Dong Bei's still the one making their dumplings!

  4. me too i will never forget that binondo trip.... dahil yun ang pinakakaabangan ko tapos di rin nakasama... T_T

  5. I miss going to INtramuros. I studied at Colegio de Sta. Rosa for the whole of my elementary years and absolutely love the walled city!

  6. i cant imagine how you fit all that food in your stomach! andami!! hehehe pakopya ha... ;)

  7. @jerome, haha sama ka sa part 2.. alam ko may part 2 ang binondo e :)
    @Darwin, naks.. salamat :)
    @sir Cedric, uu nga.. MSG!!! grabe nmn si ate, buhay na nya ang paggawa ng dongbei dumpling :)
    @sir Ian.. sama ka din sa part 2
    @Average Jane, hi.. thanks for droppin by.. cheers to us, i also love Intramuros
    @happysole, haha.. hndi ko din alam kung paano.. hehe.. msarap kasi e..

  8. hi ivan!follow namin ang food trip nio, this sat :D excited much, sa wakas, nakahanap ako ng makakasama :D



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