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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Binondo Food Crawl 2019 - Great Buddha Cafe, Chuan Kee, Mezzanine Cafe, Mr Ube, Ilang Ilang resto and 1919 Grand Cafe

My annual Binondo Food Crawl project is now on its 3rd year!  Its now a tradition to do this food crawl every year and in time for Chinese New Year and Im happy that my friends are joining with me and we welcome new joiners every year to join in our food crawl in Binondo.

Our Manila Chinatown need no introduction, because it is known as the oldest Chinatown in the world, and when we have a Chinatown, then we have the most delicious food made by Fil-Chi people who lived there for years and their cooking method are inherited from their father and mother even before the Spanish times.



For this year, me and Ted Claudio from the #EATgetaway team are joined with Ted’s videographer Elyandre Dagli and Food vlogger Kevin Karl Gabutin of Feast your Eyes PH. Two of our friends are planning to join but didn’t make it on time, but one friend who was on sick leave joined us at the mid part of the food crawl and tour.

Binondo Food Crawl 2019 VLOG
part 2- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A6muWYkPM0

I also posted a vlog or video version of our Binondo Food Crawl 2019, just visit the link above and watch my video journal about our food crawl.



For our first stop at lunch time, we arrived here for an assembly at The Great Buddha Cafe in Ongpin st. That new building near their old Eng Bee Tin store is now the new Eng Bee Tin flagship store, the old branch nearby is now closed.



At the 2nd floor, you’ll find The Great Buddha Cafe, a new cafe concept operated by Mr. Gerry Chua, owner of Eng Bee Tin store. We discovered this last year and was our last leg for the Binondo Food Crawl, we are surprised that they serve new food concepts and they did just to invite new customers-- the millennials.

THE GREAT BUDDHA CAFE




The most popular attraction here at The Great Buddha Cafe is the big size statue of a golden Buddha. The owner said that they bought this in China, but he was hesitant to buy it, until he dream about it and it was like Buddha was calling him. Then next day he bought it and shipped it here in Manila and as a grand centerpiece for their newly opened cafe, then they named the cafe - The Great Buddha Cafe.

Here are the food we have on the table:



Pan-Fried Dumpling
PHP 148

The popular dumpling in Ongpin now serve in pan-fried version, the taste is the same but there’s an additional crunch feeling. If the steamed version is a bit soft, then the crunch of the pan-fried dumpling adds more heavy-ness in your tummy.



Beef Tendon
PHP 260

Its soft, sticky and the beef tendon gives you more mouth watering flavoring. This is one of my fave here because I love the taste and super soft tendon mixed with the rice. The bowl is a bit small for me, if ever Im dining alone, I might order two bowls.




Shrimp Hakaw
PHP 158

Its best to eat this right away while its hot.  The shrimp is big and just the right size for the hakaw shape.



Pork Steamed Buns
PHP 65

No need for additional sauce, because inside contains the pork with lots of sauce, but this one is best serve with a dip of hot sauce and a hot coffee. Its not your ordinary ube colored siopao.




Cream Cheese Nai Cha
PHP 130

The Cream Cheese Nai Cha is one of the best selling drink, I always suggest a friend to try this whenever they will dine in here at The Great Buddha Cafe, so same review, they love it! In order to taste teh crem cheese on top, you have to sip at the rim of the glass and then use the straw to sip the Nai Cha.




Pork and Shrimp Siomai
PHP 128

The pork and shrimp siomai are the ever fave here at The Great Buddha Cafe, this version is also sold in Eng Bee Tin, so for an Eng Bee Tin fan, they kno that the siomai is the best. The siomai is pack with lots of pork meat and also shrimp.



Beef and Shrimp Wanton Noodle Soup
PHP 250

Tasting their beef and shrimp wanton noodle soup reminds me of HK or Taiwan kind of soup, because of its savory taste and beef soup base.



ENG BEE TIN FLAGSHIP STORE

For our 2nd visit, we went to Eng Bee Tin to shop for some goodies, the new flagship store is located at the ground floor, and its great to see that Eng Bee Tin evolved into some kind of a Chinese Deli grocery and no longer a small stall store here in Binondo.

You can now grab your push cart and roam around the store to find the best Chinese Deli for you.



Tikoy with Bacons
We now see new food concepts just like this Tikoy with Bacons, Tikoy with shrimps or Tikoy with zero sugar!



Hopia Ube

The favorite Eng Bee Tin hopia ube are here. Many shoppers hoard a lot of Eng Bee Tin’s hopia, so when you arrive at the counter, look for a fast express counter that will serve for one basket customer. Because some customers buy a bulk of  hopia and it takes a lot of time for the cashier to box them all.



Custard Hopia

Ive tried this and its good! Although that the hopia is super soft because it is filled with custard cream. I hope they release a salted egg yolk version, for sure that will be a best seller. Or maybe they have it already and I didnt know it yet hahaha.

Pls inform me if they have the salted egg yolk version.



Durian Moon Cake

Im a fan of mook cake because of the salted egg yolk and monggo. But this one is a Durian version. Wow!!! Expect a much fruity flavor moon cake and a salty egg yolk inside.



Lava Pao - Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns
PHP 250

I’ve seen this in a poster ad in one of their kiosk branch in SM Bacoor. But its always out of stock, so I learned that they sell this here at the Eng Bee Tin flagship store for only PHP 250, per pack, I think it has 6 pcs inside. I bought one and my wife is very happy to taste it.



Shrimp Camaron

Read to eat food are also available starting from PHP150 to PHP 180. They also sell kikiam, camaron, and lumpiang shanghai.

I bought a pack of lumpiang shanghai, because my son loves it.



My bag will be heavy when I go home hahaha.
Visit the Eng Bee Tin flagship store in Ongpin st., just near the Binondo Church.




CHUAN KEE

For our 3rd stop, we went here at Chuan Kee, I always dine here before with my sister and its like a tambayan for us, but then I rarely visit Chuan Kee because the resto is always full of customers.



Chuan Kee is known for its Chinese turo-turo style, here you can see freshly cooked food that are ready to be served.

Here are some list of food that you can order at Chuan Kee.
Pork Asado Lechon - PHP 140
Asado with egg - PHP 130
Pork Asado - PHP 120
Lechon Kawali - PHP 120
Kiam Pong - PHP 60
Machang - PHP 90
Adobo egg - PHP 40
Camaron relleno - PHP 90
Kikiam - PHP 85
Honey Pork Kikiam - PHP 85
Goyong - PHP 80
Adobo tainga ng baboy - PHP 75
Asado tainga - PHP 75
tokwat baboy - PHP 75
Fried meatballs - PHP 75
sweet and sour meatballs - PHP 90
Adobo tofu - PHP 52
Congee - PHP 130
Siomai - PHP 65
ube siopao - PHP 58
Misua - PHP 55
Fried Egg - PHP 35
Luncheon meat - PHP 30
corned beef - PHP 48
pandesal - PHP 7
coffee - PHP 58
hot milk - PHP 45
Hot soya - PHP 52


Gokong Soup - PHP 190
Fishball soup - PHP 130
Fishball mami - PHP 150
Pork Maki - PHP 140
Pork Maki Mi - PHP 160
Kamto Soup - PHP 150
Kamto Mi - PHP 170
Chopchay Soup - PHP 150
Pata Soup - PHP 150
Pata Mi - PHP 170
Siomai mami - PHP 170
Asado Mami - PHP 170
Chicken Mami - PHP 170
Meatball soup - PHP 150


Xiaolong bao - PHP 180
Shrimp hakaw - PHP 125
Pork Dumpling - PHP 130


Beef tendon - PHP 190
Steamed spareribs - PHP 180
Braised beef - PHP 190
Steamed chicken - PHP 180


Soup no. 5 - PHP 300
Chinese bulalo soup - PHP 280
Ama Soup - PHP 240
Black Chicken Soup - PHP 240


Patatim - PHP 600
Oyster Cake - PHP 200
Chicken Chinoy - PHP 198


Kung Pao Chicken - PHP 198
Cha-mi - PHP 180
Cha-canton - PHP 180
Cha-bihon - PHP 180
Cha-sotanghon - PHP 180
Miki Bihon - PHP 180
Cha-misua - PHP 180



CAFE MEZZANINE

Right beside Chuan Kee is Cafe Mezzanine,  I forgot to mention that these two resto and cafe is also own by the owner of Eng Bee Tin.

I learned that the Cafe Mezzanine is a cafe-resto for their fireman volunteers. All proceeds from the  Cafe Mezzanine generated are donated for their TXT FIRE Fire Brigade volunteers. So if you dine in here, the money that you paid for your food will all go for the benefit of the volunteer firefighters.

Each volunteer firefighters get a membership card that they can use for free coffee, meals and also discounts.



Cafe Mezzanine displays vintage fireman headgear around the cafe, and also they have those metallic hose controller on display.

I really like the vibe here in  Cafe Mezzanine, its a very private and quiet place and its best to chill out and also dine in with friends if you want to enjoy talking with each other over a good food.



When we dine in here at  Cafe Mezzanine, there are two volunteer firemen beside our table, which they gave us some short info about the cafe and also to correct that that soup no. 5 does not contain any pig innards.



Kiampong - PHP 80

I love the taste of the kiampong rice, its salty, and sticky. Its a perfect combo to my dimsum.



Machang Pork and chicken - PHP 110

Another sticky rice with lots of meat, its a heavy meal and I eat this as it is, I dont pair it with other dimsum because its so heavy in my tummy, Its a good snack in the afternoon or your take out food for your breakfast when you are in a hurry, you can eat it using your hand by peeling off the leaf used for cooking.



Kikiam
2 pcs - PHP 190

This is the real kikiam. I always say that the kikiam you see in a fishball street vendor is not the real kikiam. Here in Binondo you will taste the real Chinese kikiam.



Soup No. 5
PHP 350

Here’s the soup no. 5, at first I thought that its the same soup that is being serve in Tagaytay, a kind of soup that contains testicles and penises of cow or pig, but here in Cafe Mezzanine, their version of Soup no. 5 is different, it contains only beef, tendon and chicken feet. No innards of an animal. The taste is similar to a paksiw with after taste of a beef soup base.



Xiao long bao
PHP 210

I didnt know that there’s a xiao long bao here in Binondo, its a first for me to try it here, because I learned about xiao long bao when I dined in a popular resto in Ortigas and Makati. But here in Binondo, you can get a different style of xiao long bao.



Lava Pao
PHP 120

Finally I’ve tasted the Lava Pao, it is the same Lava Pao being sold at Eng Bee Tin, but here you can enjoy it for only a PHP 120 for 3 pcs.



Inside the Lava Pao -- salted egg yolk custard!!!
Best to eat it while its hot.



Kainan na!
Our 3rd food crawl is bit heavy already! Hahaha




MR UBE

Our 4th food crawl stop for our Binondo Food Crawl is a new food and resto concept by the owners of Eng Bee Tin. I learned about this from Ted who got info from Mr. Chua that they opened a new store near the Manila Chinatown arch

So we went there to visit and see what they can offer to us.



Mr. Ube sell this pack of tikoy, I think the price is around PHP800.  It has different flavors, the original tikoy, ube tikey, strawberry tikoy and the green one is pandan -- I think.




Mr. Ube offers lots of noodles and rice meal. For the price, it is around PHP 190+ up to PHP200 only.




Mr. Ube dining area is located at the end of their Chinese deli store. Just walk and a resto staff will welcome you there.



Singaporean Laksa
PHP 210

Im surprised again that Mr. Ube offers Ramen and Laksa, I didnt get to order ramen because there are lots of ramen outside Binondo, Im very curious about their laksa noodle soup, so we ordered it and tasted a different kind of laksa.

The taste is not that strong, we expect a much spicy flavor, but I think they lessen the spicy-ness so that the customer can adjust to taste. Its soury and peanut flavored, and its good for a person who want to start to discover the laksa flavor.

For hard core laksa lovers, we need to adjust more on the spice level, just ask for a chili sauce if you want more spice.



Beef wanton noodle
PHP 210

The beef wanton noodle is similar to the one they have in The Great Buddha Cafe.



Fried Wanton
PHP 160

This Fried wanton is pack with lots of meat inside, wow! The crunchyness is good and the fried wanton is not that hard.  Its best to dip it with a sweet and sour sauce and chili.



Lava Buchi
PHP 70

Not your ordinary buchi, inside is a hot steamy custard, be careful when you eat this.



Thailand style porkchop
PHP 198

We are curious about this Thailand style pork chop, so we ordered one and tried it. Wow! The pork chop is so soft and it taste like a soy pork chop. Im not sure if its marinated or they double fry it with a soy or honey sauce.



Our 4th stop is also heavy! Wow! Mr. Ube did captured my attention. Im going back here for the laksa and the porkchop.




ILANG ILANG RESTAURANT

We dont have this in our list, but our friend Jeff want to go here to buy a Kikiam, so we walked out of Binondo and went to San Nicholas area where we can drop by to Ilang Ilang restaurant.



Ilang Ilang Restaurant can be found in this poorly lit alley in San Nicholas.  I went here 2 yrs ago when we were guided by a friend Chef that we should try their food. And we are impressed that their food is tasty and good.



Ilang Ilang restaurant is so old and when you enter it looks like that you are transported back in time. It was suggested by our friend chef that we dine here if ever we are in the festivity of Chinese New Year in Binondo, because every festivity of the new year, all restaurants in Binondo are jam packed with diners and customers. So for a short walk away from Binondo, you’ll get to sit and relax here in Ilang Ilang and enjoyed the tasty food with a very vintage vibe.



Rellenong Hipon (5pcs)
PHP250

When we arrive, we saw these food displayed at the counter. I think its for take out or maybe food for dine in customers, they can take some of the food at the counter and cook it when someone ordered.



Kikiam
PHP 135



Lumpiang Shanghai




My family wants an oyster cake or oyster omelet, so I bought one order for take out here at Ilang Ilang.

Kaso yun lang, hindi ko natikman pag uwi ko, kasi the next day is that I went to Isabela province na.



Here’s Jeff’s take home -- Kikiam!!! For only PHP 135




1919 GRAND CAFE


For our 6th and final stop for our Binondo Food Crawl, we went here at Juan Luna st and we found this old HSBC Building built during the year 1919, now housing the a new luxurious cafe-- 1919 Grand Cafe.

The old HSBC building is infront of El Hogar building, one of the oldest building in Escolta area. Im not sure why they resurrect the old building and placed a new cafe there.

But its great to see that someone is now re-using the old building as a new haven for coffee and food in Binondo.



I learned about this when Gab tagged me on a FB group of Let’s Eat Pare, so I bookmarked it and set our destination here for our final leg of the food crawl.



Everything is nice, neat and luxurious, we just cant believe that we are in Binondo when we are inside the 1919 Grand Cafe. I heard that they just opened last December 2018, and now going full blast this January 2019.

For the price of their food, you get a pasta for PHP320+, coffee at PHP 180, cakes at PHP 150
The price is just right and it feels that you are in a resto or cafe in BGC or at the fashion hall of Megamall.

For me, its a good venue for coffee, dates and want to relax after your long day of food crawling.
It was the best food crawl discovery and the best for our final visit.

So here’s what we have on our table.
Note: They accept cash only as of now.



Choco cake

PHP 150

A very sinful chocolate cake, Gab ordered this to pair it with his hot coffee.



Blueberry Cheese Cake
PHP 150

And here’s my cake!!! I super love the softness blueberry cheese cake. Not that too sweet. For me its perfect.



Latte
PHP 180

When I tasted their coffee, I tasted a very strong coffee flavor, then I learned that they have their own roasting machine at the cafe bar. Wow! I just saw their coffee machine and roaster, looks so expensive!! Maybe its the top of the line coffee and espresso machines.



The chef of 1919 Grand Cafe learned about our arrival and I think they saw me vlogging and some of us taking photos of the food. The manager of the cafe approached us and they told us that the chef want us to try some of the upcoming food on the menu.

Wow!!!! We are surprised for that offer, so take it, at first we thought it will be 1-2 food but then the food just keep on arriving hahahah.

On photo above is like a Mango pie or a Mango marmalade pie. Very tasty and sweet, perfect for your black coffee.



This one is like a mamon with foamy sweet whipped cream



This one contains fruits like pineapple.
I asked if these are available, then the chef said that it will come out soon on their menu.
So no price yet available.

Im not sure if you can order this now, but ask the staff or the manager if they have it.



This one is like a Japanese seafood pizza. This is our fave!! The pizza bread is like a pancake bread and topped with lots of seafood -- kani meat, squid, salmon (not sure if there are oysters) and then added with Kewpie mayo and some wasabi flavor -- Im not sure what are the ingredients, I just describe the taste that I felt.

Its really good!!!



I thought it was over, then the food tasting continues hahahah
I already paid for my coffee and cake,and as we stood up and prepared to leave the cafe, we are surprised that there’s a radish cake on our table hahah

Wow! Their version is different, we dip the radish cake on that soy sauce and then chili oil, then we felt a very explosive flavor, its different from the radish cake we tasted in some Fil-Chi food resto in Binondo. The taste is very new to us.. Then we declared, that this is our favorite

Wow!! Thanks 1919 Grand Cafe!!!!!!



Thanks for reading my Binondo Food Crawl 2019, I hope you enjoyed my post and learned about the new resto and cafe to try here in Binondo.

Thanks to Sir Gerry Chua, owner of Eng Bee Tin for the tip of where to eat along Ongpin, and we’re surprised about that Mr. Ube store!!!  Congrats sir!

Till next food crawl!!

If you want to join in our next food crawl activity, feel free to email me at azrael@gmail.com
Or send me a message on my FB or IG account


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 collect Transformers toys.
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MY SCHEDULE

Feb 28 - Axe event in Makati
March 2-3 - out of town
March 9-10 - hotel staycation
March 16-17 - Batangas trip
March 20-24 - Batanes trip
March 25 - Azrael and Lace wedding anniversary
March 30-31 - hotel staycation
April 18-22 - Singapore trip
June 28-30 - Toycon 2019