Being in the Metro may be a bit toxic as it is not only undeniably crowded, but also unfortunately polluted. Here you could see every bit of a third world country our beloved homeland is, but then again, it is no secret as well that living in the Metro has given us a ton of opportunities to grow, to thrive, and to live. What we are trying to say is every single thing has a downside, but also of course every single thing has something to offer – much like the Metro.
Filled with honking cars, buzzing people, and obviously a ton of skyscrapers, you really should find the beauty that you think has gone good bye just because it is not the kind of at-your-face beauty you have always been used to. That being said, while having a casual road trip on a rather busy weekend, we decided to pull up at the ever-famous town in Binondo, the Chinatown!
Chinatown has been what it is ever since we could remember. Packed with different dining concepts that highlight more of the Chinese cuisine, we could not wait to explore the delectableness it sure is not hiding as most restaurants actually have big windows you could look at from the outside.
With that, here are three dining options you could certainly check out on your next Chinatown visit:
1.) President Grand Palace Restaurant
As we have reached Binondo just right in time for lunch, we did not think twice and went to President Grand Palace Restaurant. Upon entrance, we got a whiff of the yummy promise that awaits us alongside the sight of a really spacious venue, covered round tables and chairs, as well as a homey atmosphere filled with smiling faces.
President Grand Palace Restaurant is one of the many well-known dining places here in Binondo as this one might be one of the firsts here. And so we ordered their Bird’s Nest with Crab’s Meat (Php 350) that is a huge bowl of hot soup with thick texture and has a nice roll on our tongue. Together with soup, we had two of their mains and rice which are their Sweet & Sour Pork with Pineapple (Php 320) that has a lovely blend of contradicting flavors, their Fried Squid with Salt & Chili (Php 400) that is a bestseller and is actually a favorite of ours, as well as their Fried Rice Yangchow Style (Php 250) that is mixed with shrimp, pork, along herbs & spices. We also got a sip of their refreshing Green Mango Shake (Php 100) that is just perfect for the heat that day!
2.) The Great Buddha Cafe
We further continued our Binondo adventure and walked our way going to The Great Buddha Café which actually is in the second floor of the enormous Eng Bee Tin branch that we would be talking more of later.
Actually planning to have some dessert of theirs, we were not able to stop ourselves and asked what savory offerings of theirs are their bestsellers which they answered by saying we should go for their Soy Chicken (Rice Php 210 | Half Php 350 | Whole Php 600) that is definitely tender and flavorful as well as their Beef Tendon (Php 260) that is all tasty, chewy, and just downright delicious.
To really eat up what we came here for, the people of The Great Buddha Café recommended for us to munch up their HK Style Flaky Egg Tart (Php 58) that we ordered another round of as well as their Golden Custard Buchi (Php 98) that are balls of tenderness and crunch in every bite, paired with their Brewed Coffee (Php 100) that fueled us up for more Binondo exploration.
3.) Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli
After that, as we finally got to satisfy our appetites and pleasured our taste buds, we went down to the first floor which is the Eng Bee Tin branch we mentioned before hand. This one is huge and fun and filled with their popular treats like Hopia, Piaya, Mochi, Polvoron, Tikoy, Cakes and a whole lot more you should grab, hoard, and munch on afterwards at home – just like we did!
Truly, great eat outs, hidden gems, enjoyable company – the life in the Metro that you have could not be bought by the life away from all of it. It is nice to take a breather from it, yes, but then again, the noisy streets and the busy people and everything in between that is in the Metro are what you actually keep coming back to and what you call home.
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Address: Chinatown, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila