It’s already past mid-afternoon when we, armed with maps from the HK airport, alighted at the MTR station in the Mongkok district. Nina (of Just Wandering) whetted our collective appetites with a tale of a much-written about hole-in-the-wall place that serve this really different kind of siopao. Since we we were in the vicinity for a look-see of Mongkok’s electronic shops later in the afternoon, we thought why not find the place and taste for ourselves? Turns out the place wasn’t really hard to find as we ran into a motley group of hungry diners, both local and foreign, hogging the sidewalk along Kwong Wa Street. We were given a number and told to wait an hour.
Once upon a time, travel bloggers who were also happy foodies, were sent to a not so far away Disneyland perchance to savor the ride but first, to partake of the food offerings…
On our first day in Hong Kong Disneyland, the first order of the day wasn’t a fancy ride nor a character meet-and-greet. It’s lunch. Yep, the Disney magic transcends the senses of sight and touch and spills over onto taste. All that talk while growing up about not playing with your food and here we are, looks like the chefs were the ones who played around with theirs. You could say we were in for an interesting lunch.
We capped our first day in HK watching the sunset and admiring the early dusk view of the Kowloon and Central nightscape at the viewdeck of Victoria Peak. Boy, was it a chilly 19 degrees up there with the wind adding to the cold. We chanced upon Mak’s on the way out of the Galleria mall, the warm lighting looked inviting and the thought of having hot soup on a chilly night sounded like a good idea.
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?
Being named after one of the special wards of Tokyo, Shinjuku Ramen House has some big shoes to fill. But this virtual institution in the restaurant front is more than capable of meeting big expectations and big appetites. I remembered eating at their rather non-descript branch in Makati Avenue years back and know from memory how good the food was.
Their other Makati branch was also rather old and non-descript until it got a major renovation some months back. As part of the Little Tokyo complex, it gets immediate attention from passersby since it is located along the busy thoroughfare of Pasong Tamo, at the much-coveted corner where one turns before heading off to Makati Cinema Square. At certain times of the day, the parking lot is full and the restaurant plays host to a mixed clientele eager to taste their authentic ramen and other Japanese fare.
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.