During the flight back to Manila from Kalibo, my ex-teammates and I randomly decided to have a Binondo foodtrip on November 12. That foodtrip eventually evolved into a 2-day bonding extravaganza—complete with a planning session, a “work” plan, owners for each task, and a schedule to work with.
And this is the part when I tell you about how it turned out:
PART 1: The Pre-meet-up
The Northerners (Diane, JR and I) were supposed to meet up @ Dome Cafe at 9:15 am but thanks to me and hundreds of people in orange who were biking too leisurely in front of the cab that I took, we got to leave Shang at 9:45 am. Hehehehe :) Note to self: Allot extra travel time.
PART 2: The Meet-up
Hans, Ten, Frond, and the three of us were to meet up @ SM Manila at 10 am. Congratulations to Frond for being the only person to make it in time. How punctual of you :p The three of us got there at about 10:45 already. Hehehehe even more :)
We had to stay at Starbucks because Ten had to attend to a critical issue. I took the time to make chika with Frond and JR, play Veggie Samurai c/o Frond’s iPod touch, make buyo Frond to treat us to a doughnut breakfast, and be amused with Frond’s new camera. While all these were happening, JC was already in our first stop @ Binondo. We are terribly sorry for leaving you unattended with those tempting dumplings.
PART 3: The Binondo Foodtrip Proper
Rode a jeep to Binondo, where I thought I lost my cellphone. Hahaha! When we went down the jeep, parang bumigit agad ako ng 10 pounds.
First stop: YING YING TEA HOUSE
I am proud to report that I have found the best dimsum place in this country. We ordered 2 servings (4 pieces) each of Xiao Long Bao, Hakao, and Pork & Shrimp Siomai. The Xiao Long Bao oddly didn’t have soup inside but the meat itself tasted great! Even the dimsum wrapper breaks perfectly! The Hakao was another revelation—it had huge and plentiful chunks of shrimp! Sulit! But, the most mabenta for our table was the Pork & Shrimp Siomai. Each piece was huge and you can actually see that it really contains pork and shrimp. I have to go back there soon to eat siomai again!
Second stop: BPI Hahahaha!
It was a bright and sunny day tapos biglang umulan. But of course, nothing can stop us from eating so go lang!!
Third stop: Tasty Dumplings
They have a lot of best-sellers but since we were already feeling full (seryoso!), we just opted to share 3 servings of porkchop noodles (2 served regularly and 1 hand-tossed). The regular soup and noodles were not too tasty. Analogy: parang ‘yung tubig na pinaglutuan ng instant noodles. Or maybe we did not put some sauce or something. Maybe the waitresses can teach the customers how to eat it? Nonetheless, the hand-tossed noodles—the noodles were separated from the soup—had sauce and tasted great! What had our attention though was the porkchop! It’s easy to bite and chew, it’s crispy, and it tastes medyo sweet! Sarap! And get this, each porkchop noodles serving—huge porkchop, noodles, soup—costs roughly Php100.
Fourth stop: Shanghai Fried Siopao
Thanks to some blog, we tried to find this shop to buy siopao for take-out! I am just about to taste it but the blog says it’s the best they ever tasted so it should be good, no? Each piece costs only Php16! Frond and I bought 4 pieces each (wow, libre ba ‘yun?) and JC and Diane bought more to take home. The kuyas there were friendly and funny, as a bonus!
[And this is the part where I stop taking food pictures because I was too busog to function.]
Fifth stop: Golden Fortune
As if we were not yet full (I was, promise), we headed to Golden Fortune for shabu-shabu! Sakto! When we got there it was promo (a.k.a. pro-moves) time!
We had sate soup which was sooooo good and soothing to the throat and tummy! Paglabas nung order namin that we were to put into the pot, almost all of us were shocked. Ang dami! But it was just enough since we finished everything except some veggies. My favorites were definitely the cheese ball, the lobster ball, and the squid.
Sixth stop: Wai Ying Fastfood
No foodtrip is complete without milk tea. We headed to Wai Ying not to eat–though the duck was so enticing—but to taste their milk tea! Each cup costs only Php50 and sobrang sarap! Tasted like the authentic stuff from Hong Kong! Only thing it lacked was a nice bunch of pearls.
Last stop: Eng Bee Tin
Of course, we ended the day thinking about our family and friends (a.k.a. Kiel Mercado). We headed to Eng Bee Tin to buy pasalubong. Mooncake, hopia, mochi, tikoy, mochipia (mochi + hopia)—name it, they’ve got it!
It was a fulfilling foodtrip. I was not only busog, but I felt like I got to know the Chinoy culture more. It was also great that my friends and I have medyo the same appetite. I can only imagine going to Binondo with my college boys! Baka gumugulong na ako pauwi. After the foodtrip, I think I gained a good 20 or 30 pounds. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn shorts because all the fats seemed to have traveled to my power thighs. Hahaha!
It was another jeepney ride to go back to SM Manila. But before that, JR and I had to struggle with our bladders so we rushed (with Kiel’s 2 boxes of mooncake in hand) to the nearest McDo to be free from the bondage. Hahaha! Waiting for a jeepney to arrive gave me a nice feeling as it reminded me of the good ol’ days when I ALWAYS used public mass transportation. Maybe I should go back to doing that.
Anyway, I want to send my gratitude to my good friends Diane and JC who owned this leg of our ultimate weekend. Mabuhay kayo for knowing Binondo like the back of your hand!
[Ultimate Weekend kwento to be continued. It’s gonna be legen…]