Friday, November 23, 2007
One Saturday in Binondo (by Niña Batino)
One Saturday in Binondo.
By Niña Batino
This Saturday was different. I had just enrolled at a travel writing class and we were set to join the Big Binondo Food Wok by self-acclaimed streetwalker, Ivan Dy that day.
Taking the Pasig River Ferry Service to Binondo proved to be a fascinating option. The ferry was adequately air conditioned and surprisingly, had a flat television which played videoke hits. Before the 45 minute ferry ride to Escolta ended, I found myself happily singing along with the song, Quando Quando.
Our hunger prompted us to Polland Hopia and Bakery in Escolta Street where I had Kuchai-Ah, a sumptuous pork and tofu empanada and a good-for-2 crispy fried lumpia which had thinly diced pork, tofu, cabbage and carrots.
As the tour of Ivan Dy was yet to commence in two hours, we decided to explore Binondo a bit more. We went to Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli along Quintin Paredes Street where I grabbed a pack of fortune cookies and proceeded to Sincerity Café and Restaurant along E. T. Yuchengco Street where we shared an absolutely scrumptious oyster cake.
With all the food already devoured, it was ludicrous to still join the Binondo Food Wok. But my stomach has proven to be incredibly resilient in other important events. It will not fail me today.
We marched on to Binondo Church where we met Ivan Dy and we were then off to another culinary adventure.
Our first stop was at a chocolate tablea manufacturer where we were made to try tasty chocolate paste which will make anyone crave for more. Next yummy stop was at Café Mezzanine, also called Volunteer Fireman’s Coffee Shop, where we were given bowls of kiampung (salted rice with peanuts and pork) and fishball soup, washed down with iced brewed coffee. Far from being famished, I still managed to try out these absolutely delightful dumplings and Chinese pancakes from an authentic Chinese restaurant called Dong Bei.
There were other several food stops which were equally unforgettable : Siopao of a different kind, boiled egg likewise of different kind and fried dough with sugar, all of which were worth the risk.
Our final stop was at New Po Heng Lumpia House located inside an old Art deco building where we were served superb lumpia with peanut sauce.
Officially stuffed, we then headed back to the terminal of Pasig Ferry Service, ready to bring my Saturday to a good end with a second round of Quando Quando.