Say Chinatown and one of the first things that comes to mind is the chow. It’s almost a sacrilege not to sample the food when one ventures to Binondo. Little wonder that Manila’s foremost streetwalker, Ivan Man Dy, came up with the Binondo Food Wok Map.
He was getting too many texts and calls from people asking about the whereabouts of eating places in Manila Chinatown that he felt compelled to come up with something to help people find their way to the divine food offerings that await in the busy streets.
Sunday is a nice time to go to Manila’s Chinatown. It’s less crowded, there’s not much traffic, and most restaurants have room to spare. Some would argue it doesn’t really feel like being there in Binondo if it’s not crowded. But there are times when it would be nice to be able to sit down and grab a bite without wading through the crowds and waiting for a long time even for short order items on the menu. Your happyfoodies chanced upon this panciteria, Shin Din Kha, while on a food trip with friends about two weeks ago. We were full at that time so we had to bypass this small restaurant. But a recent Sunday lunch found us wandering here again, this time with hungry tummies.
So what do we avid traveler-photographers do during the monsoon season? Hmmm, at times, we just brave the weather and go ahead with our trip. But sometimes, we’d wisen up and not push our luck, opting to stay in the city and find something else of interest. That is exactly what we did recently when along with two fellow foodie friends, your happyfoodies braved the Saturday monsoon rains to eat their way through a Saturday. Nevermind the overcast skies and intermittent rains, the muddy streets and damp air, but really, is there something more pleasurable than sniffing out the delicious smell of Chinese food wafting from shops and hole-in-the-walls and succumbing to the temptation?
Mention Binondo and one immediately conjures up images of crowded streets, Binondo church, Chinese herbal medicine stores, Eng Bee Tin hopia, and of course, the-hole-in-the-wall eateries. I used to live in Manila and Ongpin was a regular haunt but not anymore. Venturing to the Binondo Church one Sunday and the almost mandatory side trip to Eng Bee Tin, I chanced upon this seemingly small restaurant with the signage, “Tasty Dumplings”. And so started food trips to this eating place that yielded tasty surprises.