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Thursday, February 15, 2018

BINONDO FOOD CRAWL 2018 - Ramon Lee's Panciteria, New Toho Food Center, Nosspe Eatery and The Great Buddah Cafe


Hi everyone, every year I always organize this DIY Binondo Food Crawl and last year's result is very successful, my blog post and Youtube post helped a lot of foodies on where they can eat or dine during the Chinese New Year or after the main celebration.

This 2018, I've organized the new edition and I can say that this is the best food crawl ever because we get to encounter some new food and also important people who popularize the famous food in Binondo.

I've made a Google Map pin point to the food destination we visited last Monday.
You can view the map point here via my Binondo Food Crawl EATgetaway map


My plan is to visit some restaurant outside the Chinatown but still part of Binondo, Manila, last week I stumbled a video on Youtube featured by GMA News and they've featured this old panciteria that still open since 1929.

When I learned about its location, I automatically added Ramon Lee's Panciteria to my itinerary and it will be our main meet up to start the Binondo Food Crawl.


Ramon Lee's Panciteria is famous for their pancit canton special, I got attracted to this resto because it has similarity to my fave resto -- Chonam in Quiapo, that is now forever closed and we no longer get a clue why they closed down.

Ramon Lee's Panciteria is located in Ronquillo st., a few steps away from the Sta. Cruz church and fountain and that Filipino-Chinese arc or the Manila Chinatown Arc is easy to locate on foot, there's a nearby Jollibee stand close to this panciteria


I guess the era and chapter of Chonam has ended in my life history, but today, I've embraced the classic Ramon Lee's Panciteria replacing my ever fave resto, this panciteria in Ronquillo st. is now my main favorite --- sorry Quicksnak, I now have my new favorite.


Here's the menu of Ramon Lee's Panciteria (thanks to Aci for the pic)
Wow! all food on their menu is on the range of PHP200-PHP300++


Here are the food we ordered.

PHP 380

I chose this because I have a clue that their pata tim is like the pata tim in Chonam. The style and softness of the pig leg is so soft. Adding it with some soy sauce with calamansi added more flavor and aroma. Its not too salty and sweet, but its up to you to adjust and mix your kind of pata tim.

Im surprise that the delivery of food to our table is so fast and we just waited for less than 15 minutes.


PHP 300

Its a sweet n sour sauce based fillet fish with breading. The sauce has a weak sweet and sour taste, and most people prefer a bit thick kind of sauce, but for others who doesn't like a strong sour-ry or sweet taste prefer this kind, because they can adjust if they need to add some condiments to increase the taste of the sweet and sour.

For my friends who are sweet and sour fans, they are quite disappointed with this meal and since I'm not a fan of breaded fish fillet, but I do like the weak version of their sauce.

In this kind of resto, we always add soy sauce and calamansi for more explosive flavors.


PHP 300

This is the best seller here in Ramon Lee's Panciteria, I can say that this is the most tastiest and soft pancit canton that I tasted in my life. Its weird lang because I eat pancit canton and I have never tried this version, but I remember my dad and sis always order a pancit canton in Chonam, their pancit canton is the best selling food item too and people rave about it because of its saucy add on.

Same here at Ramon Lee's Panciteria, with lots of ingredients and left you with a lot of pancit canton sauce --- which I learned is made up of a beef broth, flour, soy sauce, salt, water and sugar.

If you are a newbie, you should try their pancit canton special. You'll love it talaga.


PHP 170

My friend Rona ordered this and see said that its good, I took a bite of the fish with sauce that is similar to a sweet and sour, and with tausi. I found it so tasty and the tausi flavor is so strong.

Some people order this dish and accompanied by a pancit canton special.


On pic with Aci of
Aaron Nomo of Numu TV on Youtube
and Rona Maria Beltran of
Ted of and Enzo of arrived a bit late, but they've got in time to finish our left overs. Sakto wala kami take out.

Our blogger friend Edel Santiago of didn;t make it to join with us, but our friend Jeff of Tripkada arrived in the next restaurant visit.


Btw, here's our bill..... oks lang! pwede na at masarap naman yung food.


We went inside the Manila Chinatown and we walk the half of Ongpin street and took a left turn at Sabino Padilla st. Its a short cut going to Tomas Pin Pin st, our agenda is to visit one of the most oldest restaurant here in the Philippines.


This restaurant still operates and was here since 1888. The buzz here at the New Toho Food Center is that our national hero, Jose Rizal, usually dines here. The building was caught on fire last 1984 but the resto owners didn't want to abandon the business and decided to rebuild and resume operation.

Im a newbie here and I didn't know the best seller, but I heard that their asado is the best.


Last year we visited Ilang Ilang restaurant, and it was very gloomy and dark resto, because all fixtures and ambiance is a bit vintage, but here in New Toho Food Center, its more darker and more vintage feel. It feels like that you transported back in time. Im glad that the resto staff are kind and very accommodating.

I was a bit scared when I entered the resto, but then as soon as I sat down and grab their menu, I felt some comfort and hunger hahaha


Here's their menu


My tummy is still full from the first resto we visited but I super missed their kikiam, so I ordered that and told my companions -- Rona and Aaron to try it because its the real kikiam ng mga Intsik.



I first tasted this in Ilang Ilang resto near Binondo, Im so glad that they have it here in New Toho Food Center. Its one of the best seller, and its tasty and filled with lots of meat.

Never leave Binondo if you haven't tasted this kikiam!
its the real kikiam guys!
forget the fast food and bangketa kikiam!


PHP 155

Ted was disappointed with the previous sweet and sour fish, but his appetite came back after tasting New Toho Food Center's real sweet and sour pork in thick sauce. Ted said this is the real "luto ng Instik"

I even joke at them that it taste close to Chowking hahaha. But this is better than those fast food version.


PHP 200

Enzo ordered this and its the food that he enjoyed eating it. For me, Im not a fan of it, I actually don't like it because you need to break the crispy canton and then pour some pancit canton sauce, its hard to manage when its on your plate, but the taste is good and the crunchy part of the pancit canton prito inside your mouth will make you want for more.



When I first tried this last year, I thought that it was a big shrimp in relyeno style that is similar to Bangus na relyeno. But its like a big shrimp covered with kikiam.


PHP 155

The lechon cold cuts is different from the pinoy traditional lechon we know. This one has less oil and its good served as it is, no need to reheat or make it crispy because the taste is already good and it really make you taste the lechon spirit flavor. I heard that they are cooked in a Chinese pugon fire oven made from clay.

Its already tasty good and no need to add lechon sauce on it.


Enzo tasting his crispy canton


Groupfie muna bago mag transfer sa ibang resto. Also this is the time when Enzo and Aci left us to attend an event in Makati.

After the left, Jeff arrives and joined us in our next resto visit.


So here's our bill.... mas mura!


Me and Ted are debating if we will try or not to taste the popular black chicken soup. I told him that Lai Lai cafe offers it, because I saw a friend's post days ago that he dined there with his office mates. But Ted told me that there's this resto around  Chinatown that serves the black chicken soup and he saw it in Mark Wein's vlog on Youtube.

While we are at Toho, we watched Mark Wein's vlog and we saw that he went to Serry Restaurant. I did some Google map search and I found that the resto is at Sabino Padilla st., it was near and we passed by it when we went to Toho.

But when we arrived there, yes Mark Wein's vlog showed the sign and it is similar to the sign here at the entrance, but then we later found out that the resto is named -- Nosspe Eatery and not Serry Restaruant...hmmm I dont know why the change, or could be that.... it was taken over by another group??


Inside Nosspe Eatery, we are the only customer that time because it was passed lunch time.
The owners are very accommodating and even they talk a bit of Tagalog, they did understand what we!!!


Here are the menu of Nosspe Eatery aka Serry Restaurant.


The Chinese medicine soup is very intriguing.... I also spotted that Turtle soup and Eel with ginseng soup. According to a Fil-Chinese person who owned another resto, he told us that this resto are from mainland China and not really a Fil-Chi resto like the popular ones we usually visit. That's why when we mentioned this resto, they dont have any idea what they offer.


PHP 150

The Black chicken was boiled with the soup based of "tungkoy", a mixture of different kinds of herbs and wood flavor, similar to that cinnamon wood. The soup base is very tasty and the aroma of it is very addicting. The soft meat of the chicken is so perfect and this will gave you some kind of belief that the black chicken will cure you and taste better than a regular chicken, but in reality, it taste like from the ordinary chicken.


PHP 250

This kind of oyster cake has less egg, unlike with other version they are mix with a scrambled egg. But here in Nosspe, their version has lots of veggies, which is good and much more tasty, but hard to fill your tummy with it, but eating lots of it makes you wozzy ahahah ( I think may MSG)


PHP 45

I've bought two of these because its a perfect gulaman drink!! you can take it anywhere and best serve chilled.


Another photo...and there's Jeff!


Here's our bill from Nosspe eatery...  oks lang!
We went there just to try the Black Chicken soup.


After our 3rd resto visit, we walked through the heart of Manila we saw that the streets are alive and colorful. Street vendors are smiling because lots of people and tourist are buying their products - food and lucky charms, in prep for the Chinese New Year.

For our last and 4th resto visit, we learned about this newly opened cafe --- The Great Buddah Cafe, we are surprised that it is owned and operated by Eng Bee Tin so we now expect what kind of food we are going to eat. Thanks to Rache Go of Kaladkarin Diaries for sharing this awesome info about the cafe.



This new cafe is at the 2nd floor on Eng Bee Tin's new building in Ongpin st. The new building stood right beside the Chuan Kee or Cafe Mezzanine of Eng Bee Tin. I was intimidated when I first enter and I got worry for the price of their food. But then as soon as I sat down, I started to feel very comfy and feel at home, because the cafe staff are nice and they will attend to you once you sat down.


The Great Buddah cafe just opened last week of the 2nd week of Feb 2018. It opened and surprised us that there's this big bronze statue of Buddah inside where you can have a photo for free! We learned that the cafe is owned by the Eng Bee Tin group and operated by the sons and daughter of Mr Ube Chua, 3rd generation owner of Eng Bee Tin, the one responsible for making and popularizing the ube hopia here in the Philippines.


The Great Buddah Cafe is so posh and sosyal! there's a souvenir store at the side for tourist and at the other side there's a wood carved emperor's throne room and dining table. Mr. Ube Chua  said that the emperor's throne is made from China, and also the Buddah statue is also from China, and its funny that the arrival of the Buddah statue gave the name of the cafe --- The Great Buddah Cafe. I forgot to ask if ever there's no Buddah statue, what will be the name of the cafe?


Here's the menu of The Great Buddah Cafe.
the price is okay and according to my friend their pricing is closed to Tim Ho Wan's price...whoaa!


PHP 130

Omg! this is so good and I just want that cream cheese float on top of my lips! the cream cheese gives a sweet and salty taste and then the nai chai drink refreshes you. Its very addictive!!! I like to warn you that this soooo good! One of my fave here at the Great Buddah Cafe!


PHP 220

The softness of the pork with honey asado sauce is tasty and the pork or taba meat is less oily, I think this is the best partner with a glass of cream cheese nai cha.


PHP 125

When we eat this we try to figure out what's under the vanilla ice cream. Because the cafe staff told us that there's a pastry under and top with vanilla ice cream. So when we eat it, we later learned that there's this some kind of hopia with sweet mongo under it...Then we learned that it was a Sun Cake, similar to the seasonal Moon Cake, but this version that symbolizes our Sun is offered every day because every there's a Sun Cake.

Its good...and a perfect dessert!!!

There's also a separate box of Sun Cake that you can purchase over the counter if you want it without the vanilla ice cream.


PHP 128

Wow!! this is the best siomai in the face of the Earth!!! why? because its so soft, tasty and the texture of the siomai is like heaven! hahaha.

Order this and try it yourself.


PHP 148

The prep is similar to that toasted siopao, the dumpling will be fried from its boiled water. Its also good and best to dip it in a soy sauce. For dumpling fans, you have to try this!


And here are our bill!!
btw...the pan friend dumpling was serve to us as a complimentary from Mr. Ube Chua, we sat down with us and shared a lot of his life story in managing the Eng Bee Tin, the history of the Ube Hopia and how he face a lot of challenges through the years.

It was a fun chat over coffee with Mr. Ube Chua, and we've learned one thing from him, he told us that "people should do good deeds". He shared to us lots of examples and it was very inspiring.

Thanks so much Mr. Ube!! and hope to see you soon.


And after a nice meal and coffee at The Great Buddah Cafe...dont forget to have a selfie with the giant Buddah statue!!!

on pic with Mr. Ube Chua of Eng Bee Tin!

That's why I call this the best ever Binondo Food Crawl of 2018!!!
because we get to meet Mr. Eng Bee Tin himself.


If you are in Binondo, dont also forget to visit these food joints. The Shanghai Fried Siopao is one popular food in the streets of Ongpin. Go get some for a price of PHP20 each.


The king of street food won't back down....the isaw, tenga, adidas, atay, BBQ and dugo are still a crowd fave. This isawan at paresan is at Sabino Padilla St.


If you are on the budget and have PHP300 on your wallet. Then go to Lai Lai Hotel and enjoy a buffet meal for PHP299 only.  Lai Lai Cafe is at Sabino Padilla st.


Tikoy are every where. Each corner of the street sells Tikoy. Its a traditonal rice cafe offered every Chinese New Year.


Thank for reading my 2018 Binondo Food Crawl.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or PM me via Facebook.

Thanks to my blogger and vlogger friends for joining in my annual DIY Binondo Food Crawl.
Thanks to Ted, Enzo, Aci, Rona, Jeff and Aaron for next year uli.

Feel free to use my itinerary as starter for your food adventure in Binondo!

Gong xi fa cai!
Kung hee huat tsai!
Kung hei fat choy!

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, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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