I became a tourista for a day in Chinatown, it’s a different tour because we were at a mall filled with food and culture that was brought here by the Chinese and Taiwanese, it’s a tour organized by the food event organizers Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma, the 1st successful food tour was few months ago in Tuscany in Mckinley Hills, for the 2nd leg of the tour, they invited us to try a taste of a piece of Chinatown’s flavor and culture right infront of our nose, the location is very easy to find because its in the vicinity of Binondo and Chinatown in Manila.
If you are a newbie in Lucky Chinatown Mall, then this tour is for you. I’m not a regular visitor of the mall, but I stated to like the vibe and feel of it, its starting to shape itself on its own and become more different from other malls.
During the tour, I started to feel that I went to Hong Kong minus the cold weather and the language barrier, I enjoyed the mouthwatering food and also the thrill of trying that acupuncture treatment, even my blogger mate Ian who has lots of tattoo in his arm got chickened out for trying the acupuncture hahaha, yeah I chickened out too.
The Awesome Food and Culture tour is best for barkada, tourist and family who wants to start a food and culture adventure without an airfare, you just need to bring your camera, your tummy, and your curiosity. You have to come in with an open mind because the Chinese culture is different but interesting to know.
Here’s the venue, the Lucky Chinatown mall.
But don’t worry, the food and culture tour is not inside the air-conditioned complex, there two- three establishment inside the mall,but most activities and tour happened within the Chinatown Walk in the middle of the open air of the mall.
Here’s the Chinatown Walk…glowing so beautiful at night.
below are my list of top 15 secrets in Lucky Chinatown mall as it was revealed to us by Anton and RJ Ledesma
1. Chinatown Walk
I love this set up, I thought that they will remove the lanterns after the Chinese New Year last year, me and my wife first saw this after we celebrated our first Chinese New Year in Ramada Hotel, we went here in the mall to dine and shop, and also watch the fireworks display.
There's a Chinatown Walk in every country, they usually have this hanging lanterns in different Chinatowns. Chinatown Walk is one of the most visited spot for selfie and photo op here in Lucky Chinatown.
2. Enjoy a 4,000 year of tea making tradition at Botanical Herbal Hall store.
At the Herball hall inside the mall, RJ Ledesma introduces to us this kind of tea with a 4,000 year old style of tea making. The bootle is cute and resembles those old ceramic bottles in old Kung Fu films. We tried four kinds of herbal tea.
Lo 5 tea (Momordica Grosvenor Five Flowers Tea) - tastes sweet and its my favorite, it really help you beat thirst and wants to quench for more. I just want to add sago and gulaman because it tastes closely to a black gulaman.
Pear c tea (Snow Pear Chrysanthemum Tea) - A juicy taste tea
May Bloom Tea - this tea helps you lower cholesterol, it has a soury taste and sweet after taste. A best drink
for a foodie
Plum tea - the tea is good for digestion, it has a woody soury flavor,but best to drink it to kill some "umay", it cleanses the taste buds and it helps flush oil in our body.
3. A visit in Miao De Temple
There’s a mini temple in Lucky Chinatown, and because some of the store owners or customers are practicing Buddhism, the mall decided to put one at Chinatown Walk, the mini temple serves as a lecture ground for those who are curious about Buddah and his way of life. The Miao de Temple is a place to respect Buddah, we learned here that you can pray and say your wishes inside the temple.
To have an awareness about Buddah’s teaching, they gave away free books and prayer book copies to all tour attendees. Yes…its free!
They also taught us how to pray and make a wish, and also a proper way to hold the incense.
Hold the incense and recite “Namo ami tuo fo” three times and then make a wish and say your intentions.
The Buddah altar infront of us… Namo ami tou fo
4. Lechon belly!!!!
Suddenly..we saw this lechon belly in the roasting corner of a store…omg! we giggled for some excitements hahaha.
Lots of food coming from the different southern provinces of the Philippines are being sold here at the Chinatown Walk
5. Mr. Fast Foo
Mr. Fast Foo store challenges us because they can prepare a food for you in 3-4 minutes., how fast..is 3 min? The food store at the Chinatown Walk offers different kinds of Cantonese taste. One of their specialty is the Cuapao, a cuapao bread filled with pulled pork and pork belly.
Their Lumpia is good too, you can choose for an all meat lumpia or a all veggies lumpia.
One of the best too is the Makimi noodles. It’s a must try!
6. Cha Cha Food House
Try something new and different, like this golden brown deep fried Pumpkin Cake at Cha Cha food house. It’s a delicacy and a street food delight in Xiamen, China. You can buy this here at PHP 10 per piece.
The taste is a bit similar to a pilipit or carioca, but the taste inside is very healthy because it is made from pure squashed pumpkin. I took some of this at home and cooked it, It good a nice taste but I over cooked it to golden black and instead of brown haahaha.
A must try here in Chinatown Walk
7. Texas roasted chickens
It is not part of our itinerary, but the owner of Texas chicken want us to try their special roasted chicken. I tried it and it was so tasty good.
They marinated the chicken for 8 hours and then cooked it in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes and then they roasted it in a special roaster for minutes.
The guy with white glasses is the owner… Thank you Uncle!!
in China, they call a male stranger an Uncle to give respect for being senior to you.
8.Wanton Noodles and Shabu Shabu noodles
We’re not done yet for Chinese food.. here’s one of the authentic noodles from Xiamen!!!
It’s a special noodles that was brought by the Malaysians, it’s a soup based in mixed peanut, herbs, meat and chili.
There are lots of different kinds of noodles and you can buy one bowl at PHP80, others with lots of seafood is priced at around PHP 130 per bowl.
In this tour, you also get a chance to try the food for free!
here’s my eye bite of a big prawn from my shabu shabu noodles
My table mates Kathy Kenny and Rudstin are happy with the turn out of the food fest…
Poor Rudstin..for he is not allowed to try any seafood because of his allergy.
9. The Megaworld Lifestyle bottled water
Its free for all touristas of the Awesome Food and Culture tour.
I super love the bottle design
10. Get some Feng Shui tips at Phoenix Dragon store
I was so tired already because of the heat of the sun at around 2pm. I’m glad that this Feng Shui store is air-conditioned. We went here for a short Feng Shui 101
One of the image statue decorated around the store
The store manager who is also an expert in the field got a kind heart to answer all our inquiries about Feng Shui, he also demonstrated to us on how they remove negative energy from a jade or stone jewelry by using this ceramic mortar and pestle like object.
Here’s some bracelets for more positive energy for you.
Visit the store or just contact Samson for more inquiries.
11. Learn about traditional Chinese wedding at Reflexion’s Studio
RJ Ledesma also showed to us the store that specializes in Chinese traditional wedding.
Its kinda hard to understand but the wedding is bit more fun and cool in terms of preparation with loads of items to symbolizes their tradition.
Some of items are on display at the table, I now I learned why they have these…because some of the items helps the couple to stay longer and also get good luck or even bear more kids.
I thought that these two figurines is just a décor for your home, in Chinese wedding tradition it symbolizes to them for longevity as lovers.
12. Events, workshops and booth sales inside the mall
We are now inside the Lucky Chinatown Mall.
At the ground level, there are lots of booth sales and bazaars for shoppers. Btw, there’s Toy Kingdom inside the mall hahahaha. astig di ba ?
13. Enjoy a Taiwanese style of shaved flavored ice at Rainbow Snow
It’s a Taiwanese style of your regular halo halo, but its different, they shaved the ice with flavor and they prepare it with add ons of fruits or even sweet syrup.
I enjoyed this because its more tastier that a gelator or an ice cream.
It just gave me an idea to make my own DIY shaved delights at home.
The store crew showed to us on how they make shaved iced
Rainbow Snow is located at the food court level of the mall.
14. Try acupuncture, fish spa and massage at Wellness Sanctuary
Wellness Sanctuary offers a wide range of Chinese traditional wellness and relaxation. One of the best seller here is the acupuncture and the fish spa.
Some touristas tried the acupuncture and they told me that it’s the best and it helps them rejuvenate within minutes. I was scared that day to try the needles, they will stick those acupuncture needles into the outer skin of your ear, all you have to do is relax and you’ll fee the release of stress after the removal of the needles.
They gave us free acupuncture, fish spa and massage trials. I didn’t expected that the session is priced at PHP 700
Here’s one of the tourista bloggers trying the acupuncture. Vance and Daryll at the back are laughing because they saw my reaction after the needle pinching.
15. Tao Yuan restaurant
I saw this restaurant before during my early visits in Lucky Chinatown Mall, and I know it’s a good restaurant because they offer authentic Chinese food.
They have an aquarium inside to show to their customers that their lobsters and fish are prepared and served fresh from the water tank.
Hainanese Chicken is one of the best seller here in Tao Yuan, their cooking style is different from the Singaporean Hainanese chicken. The story of this dish is that a chef from Hainan City transferred to Singapore that’s why they have this kind of dish there. In Chinese style, they use white chicken and ginger sauce, its more different from the Singaporean version with lot of sauces.
For the Hainan rice, they use the chicken stock and ginger to cooked with the rice.
A birthday dish that is served even if its not your birthday hahaha. In China, they love to eat noodles because it symbolizes long life. Its also a normal food to all homes in China.
Mango Lapu Lapu
The owner of Tao Yuan shared to us that they want to serve a different dish that is very Pinoy! they cooked this Lapu Lapu fish with sweet and sour sauce and added with yellow and green mango. It was just an experiment, but the turn out of the experiment is turning this dish into a best seller here in Tao Yuan.
Whew!!! that’s the secret….oks ba? if you are interested to join the tour, then check out the details and schedule below.
Join the tour and be a tour-ista for a day!
Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet
RJ Ledesma of Mercato Centrale
Tour price: PHP888
Tour sched: 11am- 3pm
next tour is on May 24, May 31 and June 7, 2014
Guests can buy tickets at the Lucky Chinatown Concierge or the Eastwood Mall Concierge.
“Being a heritage project, Lucky Chinatown is committed to showcasing the best in Filipino-Chinese culture. So we are very excited to partner with food experts like Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma to bring people the Awesome Food and Culture Secrets of Lucky Chinatown Tour this summer. It’s a great introduction to different aspects of Chinese culture and the variety of Chinese cuisine, all in one place,” said Kevin L. Tan, First Vice President and Commercial Division Head of Megaworld Corporation.
For more information on Awesome Food and Culture Secrets of Lucky Chinatown, please call the Lucky Chinatown Concierge at 576-8139 or visit www.megaworldlifestylemalls.com.
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Thursday, May 15, 2014
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, PBNetwork PH, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.